In communication networks, such as Ethernet or packet radio, throughput or network throughput is the average rate of successful message delivery over a communication channel. This data may be delivered over a physical or logical link, or pass through a certain network node. The throughput is usually measured in bits per second (bit/s or bps), and sometimes in data packets per second or data packets per time slot.
The system throughput or aggregate throughput is the sum of the data rates that are delivered to all terminals in a network.
The throughput can be analyzed mathematically by means of queueing theory, where the load in packets per time unit is denoted arrival rate λ, and the throughput in packets per time unit is denoted departure rate μ.
Throughput is essentially synonymous to digital bandwidth consumption