One of the chief advantages of optical fibre cables – over those made from copper – is that they are significantly smaller and lighter, so are easier to handle and install. Standard twisted-pair copper cables used for the old telephony trunk networks were enormously heavy, with typical cables measuring between 20 and 40mm in diameter and weighing almost half a tonne per kilometre. And that’s only a 100-pair cable; a 1,000-pair cable would frequently weigh more than three tonnes per kilometre.
Fibre Systems Winter 2016
The evolution of fibre networks has led to increased bandwidth, which in turn has enabled new services, but this growth in the network has not translated into a proportional growth in revenue for operators. To attempt to remedy this unsustainable situation, several European research projects have been set up to investigate new technologies for optical access networks.
At its general assembly last year, the FTTH Council Europe issued a new call for action, asking Europe’s decision makers to create a more business-friendly environment for fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment. The man responsible for overseeing the plan is Edgar Aker, who was appointed president of the board at the same meeting.
Cost and compatibility can make a compelling case for pushing 100Gb/s bandwidth over a single optical channel, both as individual links and supporting 400Gb/s Ethernet, finds Andy Extance
Robin Mersh takes a look at how the industry is creating next-generation optical access fit for 5G
Technological advances to aid the increasing demand for bandwidth, on the path towards the terabit network, should lead to optical signals that are flexible and adaptive, like water, argues Dr Maxim Kuschnerov and Dr Yin Wang