In digital transmission, the number of bit errors is the number of received bits of a data stream over a communication channel that have been altered due to noise, interference, distortion or bit synchronization errors.
The bit error rate (BER) is the number of bit errors per unit time. The bit error ratio (also BER) is the number of bit errors divided by the total number of transferred bits during a studied time interval. Bit error ratio is a unitless performance measure, often expressed as a percentage.
The bit error probability pe is the expectation value of the bit error ratio. The bit error ratio can be considered as an approximate estimate of the bit error probability. This estimate is accurate for a long time interval and a high number of bit errors.