intelligence

Next Generation Optical Fibre: Making Your Broadband Network Go Further

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Issued: April 2011
Authors: Dr. Merrion Edwards and Vanesa Diaz

Introduction

As a recent blockbuster video on YouTube called “A Day of Glass” demonstrates, with the inventive pace of communications technology these days, it is realistic to foresee a world where even the most humble of appliances in our homes and at work,like fridges and desktops, are fully connected and enabled as video and voice interactive devices. It is easy to see that such a world would require an unimaginable amount of bandwidth. The millions of hits that this video has had indicate a real world interest in a future that is so technology and telecoms enabled, and thus offers an explanation for, and a justification for supporting, the incessantly increasing consumer demand for bandwidth in telecoms networks of today.

The global path towards offering high speed broadband via fibre to the home has, at its root, the driver that subscribers want to live in a super-connected world and so want the bandwidth to enable it. Hence the telecoms industry is striving to deliver fibre to the home and 100 G data rates to increase capacity wherever there are bottle necks, such as in the core or the metro-core.

But let us reflect a little bit on the modest technology that is at the heart of this fast evolving communications industry: the optical fibre. It is a little heralded fact that fibre is fantastic, without optical fibre all of this would not be possible: while a single copper pair is capable of carrying six simultaneous phone calls, one single optical fibre, running at a modest 10 Gb/s over 64 channels, can carry over 10 million simultaneous phone calls! Hence it is fair to say that the optical fibre is the fundamental enabler of all modern day telecommunications networks.

But what can the modest optical fibre do to help us enable a future ever more connected world?

Click below to download this whitepaper.


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