We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- Understanding the Optical Fibre market revolution
- Fibre Optic Networks, Fibre-to-Home & Other Deployments
- Progressive Fibre Optic Networks and Growth
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
- What is WiFi?
How has the Journey of Optical Fibre Been?
The optical fibre revolution has taken the world by storm. And why not! Fibre optics hold the key to creating better-connected communities globally, improved liveability, progress, and development across the world. The arrival of optical fibre and its veritable deployment can change lives within nations and across boundaries. For individuals and organizations, optical fibre cables (OFCs) have fundamentally revolutionized the way business is conducted, as a result of which advancing social, economic, and regional development is well within the horizon and no more a dream.
The journey of optical fibre that had started about seven decades ago has now expanded to occupy a mammoth-sized landscape of digital infrastructure cutting across nations. By 2025, the global fibre optic cable market is expected to reach US$11.6 billion, marking a CAGR of 11.18%. With such developmental figures, progress with Fibre Optics in communication and business has become a living reality today.
The Promise of Fibre
There’s much more to fibre optic cables than meets the eye. These cables contain thousands of optical fibres in a protective insulated jacket. They contain thin glass strands which are capable of transmitting information in the form of light rays. These fibre cables have obliterated the use of traditional metal wires in networking cables.
The Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) has the power to unlock the potential of advanced services via mobile, Internet, IPTV, automotive safety applications, as well as in high-profile space, including military applications and controlling operations in mega-cities. What’s more, several non-intrusive medical procedures like endoscopy as well as microscopy utilize the power of optical communications to offer improved healthcare networks. Undoubtedly, the fibre cable infrastructure is at the foundation of a vast communication system.
Several industries and sectors stand to benefit from the successful optimization of fibre optics. This includes healthcare, which uses functional and manoeuvrable fibre optics devices for many of its procedures, and the military, which is not alien to interconnectedness even in inaccessible terrains. It also covers education, where bandwidth costs are being optimized both inside and outside the physical classrooms, and agriculture, whose multiple tools now depend on fibre optics for water management and water quality monitoring.
Similarly, OFCs will contribute to traffic management systems and positively impact travel time durations while managing the traffic flow in Tier 1 and intelligent or the established administrative/official term, smart cities.
Why is There a Growing Need for Fibre Optic Networks, Fibre-to-Home & Other Deployments?
With all its robust properties and features, fibre optic cable installations can create long-distance connections between regions and nations. Some Internet providers for residential services also invest in last-mile installations so that optical fibre cable installations are extended to suburban areas. In this manner, those households can access the internet directly.
Fibre-to-home (FTH) services in the market like Google Fibre and Verizon FIOS are household names today. These services offer lower capacity consumer packages and provide gigabit Internet speeds to households. Fibre revolutions in Africa and the Middle East are beginning to show results in social, regional, and business domains, with revenue-generating optical fibre cable networks.
Advanced fibre optics broadband connections have paved the way for improved communications with great ROI benefits for the telecom industry. Enhanced internet access is now possible with improved broadband infrastructure. This, in turn, influences the creation of multiple job avenues and economic growth, all thanks to the Optical Fibre Cable. Emerging economies can now avail enhanced connectivity and communications across borders.
Progressive Fibre Optic Networks and Growth
These networks have now become the critical element in bridging the large digital divide in developing countries. Enhanced connectivity has enabled businesses in various domains to interact with global centres of business on an equal footing.
We at STL take pride in our contribution towards developing a robust networking infrastructure irrespective of geographical barriers. STL has developed an innovative range of cable solutions for access, backhaul, and last-mile networks for all your digital transformation needs.
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.
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.).