Cloud services have burst upon us like a supernova, simultaneously expanding and changing network traffic patterns. The light of a supernova is also a metaphor for freedom. Like clouds floating in the sky, the internet cloud frees users from old restraints. Business users and individuals can access cloud computing and applications on-demand, at any time, from anywhere, for as much as they want and as long as they want, and pay only for what they use. It also frees IT departments from maintaining a physical infrastructure and dealing with software updates and bug fixes.
Fibre Systems Spring 2016
Cable companies are highly attractive acquisition targets, as illustrated by recent deals such as Liberty Global’s acquisition of Dutch cable provider Ziggo, Vodafone’s acquisition of Ono in Spain and Kabel Deutschland in Germany – not to mention the Comcast/Time Warner deal in the United States. This ‘blitz’ of mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the telecoms and cable sectors since 2013 has led to speculation that the European Commission is less concerned than it used to be with maintaining the competitive but fragmented structures once deemed necessary to stabilise market pricing.
When Google published an insider’s view of its data centre operations, one image showed a branded bicycle that is their employees’ preferred method for getting around the company’s warehouse-sized facilities. Google builds some of the largest data centres in the world, although it considers the precise details to be commercially sensitive. One thing is clear, however; data centres are getting bigger and bigger, and this has major implications for the way they are designed.
For a long time, data centre operators turned to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) as the obvious source for their cables and optical modules. But OEMs are losing their magical grip on the optical connectivity market, says ProLabs, a UK-based supplier of ‘compatibles’.
Few industries are subject to the pace of innovation experienced in the telecom sector. But, as innovation escalates, so too does the cost of developing the novel technologies that help to keep companies ahead of their rivals. Optical components and module vendors in particular are feeling the pressure.
On 22 February, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 5G PPP, the public-private partnership between the European Commission and the European industry and research community, released a vision paper describing how 5G network infrastructures will lead to ‘a new industrial revolution’.
The paper, titled 5G Empowering Vertical Industries, considers the application of digital technologies to the most important vertical sectors in Europe – including manufacturing, transportation, healthcare, energy, and entertainment – and how their requirements will shape 5G system design.
As data demand ramps ever higher, researchers are looking to innovative amplifier designs to help transport a broader light spectrum through optical fibres, finds Andy Extance
Duncan Ellis shares his views about the increased focus on automation from network operators, and how the physical layer has so far stubbornly resisted the move
Switching off copper networks where fibre has been deployed is the end game, so why are so few operators doing it, wonders Pauline Rigby
With demand for fibre to the premises increasing, Keely Portway looks at the role training plays in ensuring installation skills remain available to meet this growing demand