We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- ‘SMART’ is the new buzzword.
- Why Does a Smart Home Require Ubiquitous FTTH Connectivity?
- How Important is FTTH Connectivity for a ‘Truly’ Smart Home?
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is WiFi?
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
‘SMART’ is the New Buzzword
There has been quite a buzz around SMART! Starting right from smartphones to smart TVs to smart cars, now discussions are going around SMART homes. But actually what is a smart home? It is a home equipped with IoT enabled devices and sensors, wherein all the machines including ACs, home appliances and TVs could communicate to each other, requiring least of human interference, could be monitored and controlled through smartphones and are energy efficient.
Imagine driving home on a hot summer day after a long meeting, you can simply use your smartphone to switch on the AC and voila! When you reach home it is already cool and cozy. Or you have returned home from a busy day and have to prepare the dinner and make the grocery list at the same time, you can instruct your refrigerator to list down and display items that are running out of stock so that you can quickly order them. Or you can ask your robot vacuum cleaner to clean the house while you are preparing dinner. Possibilities are endless! But have we even touched the tip of the iceberg? NO…
Right now we are struggling with basic internet connectivity. We face difficulty even in buffering and streaming a video or downloading it, leave alone aspiring about smart homes. That’s a really distant thought though!
So is it really possible to make this vision of a smart home come true… the answer lies in Fibre-to-the-Home or FTTH connectivity.
Why Does a Smart Home Require Ubiquitous FTTH Connectivity?
Have we ever thought WHAT is enabling all these machines to act SMART? Yes we got it right that is the Wi-Fi connectivity, which was earlier provided through copper cables but is now being replaced with a new technology called fibre optic cable… we better know it as FTTH.
With the growing penetration of smart homes, use of Wi-Fi technology to control home-based systems through smartphones will become an important part of our lives in future. We, as end consumers, have access to Wi-Fi on a daily basis but the technology that goes behind a smart Wi-Fi needs to be in place.
How Important is FTTH Connectivity for a ‘Truly’ Smart Home?
While each and every device connected to broadband internet in a smart home requires some bandwidth, there are certain applications that need more; this puts pressure on existing broadband networks. Interconnected technologies capture, transfer and translate data into meaningful information, which is required to develop and reinforce urban infrastructure. All this requires a high-speed, resilient network that can provide the communications infrastructure to transport an enormous amount of data end-to-end.
While optical fibre is capable of carrying high-bandwidth signal at long distances using light waves. It could replace copper infrastructure by offering higher stability and fewer interruptions to Internet access. Unlike copper cable, fibre optic technology is less susceptible to corrosion and less prone to power surge interruptions due to lightning and other causes.
FTTH delivers high-speed Internet from a central point directly to the home through fibre optic cables. This state-of-the-art network is capable of transmitting information at virtually unlimited speed and capacity (higher bandwidth).
A Difficult Road to Travel Indeed
Yes, FTTH is the technology that will make our home smarter. But it is an uphill task to connect billions of households in India with FTTH so that we can see the dawn of digital India.
The need of the hour is an expert who can provide design innovation for end-to-end FTTH connectivity and create next-gen networks at each step. We need expertise in FTTH connectivity solution, which converges design capability, deep fiberisation and virtualisation to enable ubiquitous connectivity for homes.
After all, we want to see the Indian homes getting digitally connected and becoming smarter at the speed of light!
What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).
What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data.
This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).
An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.
The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.