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- System Operating Margin; the difference between the signal a radio is actually receiving versus that which is needed for good data recovery (i.e, Receiver Sensitivity). It measures the signal loss a system can sustain before it degrades to the error rate specified at the Receiver Sensitivity threshold. In other words, SOM takes into account all the gains and losses in the components (e.g., transmitter power, type of antenna, distance, etc.) that make up a wireless network to make sure that the system has sufficient power to send radio signals to their destination.