Recent reports have indicated fiber optics does more than $2 billion worth of business around the world. As communications companies look for innovations and improvements, fiber optics are expected to be at the forefront of those changes.
For starters, a fiber optic system set up by a Latin America telecommunications company or an American telecommunications company is made up of a trio of components:
- A fiber optic cable
- An optical receiver
- An optical transmitter
The optical transmitter takes electrical signals and converts them to optical signals; the fiber optic cable takes that optical signal from transmitter to the receiver and the receiver reconverts the optical signal into an electric signal.
As demands increase by residents and companies for more bandwidth and faster connections, there are many benefits for a Latin America telecommunications company or an American telecommunications company to make use of fiber optics. But there are also several disadvantages to establishing a fiber optic network and it’s important for companies to weigh the pros and cons.
- Lots of bandwidth: A fiber optic system offers lots of bandwidth, more so than copper cable systems.
- Better distance: Another advantage of fiber optics, signals can be transmitted over long distances, which helps telecommunications companies expand their networks.
- Less of a risk: The growth of the fiber optics market and the increased use of fiber optics has gone hand in hand with the increase of data security. Though data can travel over longer distances with fiber optic systems, it can’t be detected because data is transferred via light. That means data won’t be intercepted while it’s being transferred.
- Accommodation: It’s often the case that an American telecommunications company or a Latin America telecommunications company will need extra bandwidth. When that happens, fiber optic systems can easily accommodate that expansion. Fiber optic cable can be expanded and wavelength division multiplexing technology (WDM) helps fiber cables accommodate that expansion of bandwidth.
- Difficult installation: Fiber optic cables can be very advantageous for a Latin America telecommunications company, but they’re not always easy to install. Bending fiber cables can cause them to break fairly easily and during installation, they can become easily damaged and they are very difficult to splice.
- They’re fragile: Most fiber optic cables are made of glass, which can be much more fragile than traditional electrical wiring. Another disadvantage is that fiber optic cables can be affected by chemicals, so special care has to be taken if they’re being installed underground.
- Specific needs: With fiber optic equipment, special equipment is often needed to make sure it works and functions properly.
- High costs: Fiber optics is a big business that continues to grow and installation costs have continued to drop. That said, installing fiber optic cables can still cost companies more when compared to other materials like copper cables. Copper cables don’t require extra care during installation and the cost of fiber optic cables can be driven up significantly if extra equipment is required for installation.
For telecommunications companies, fiber optic cables and fiber optic services can be very beneficial, especially for everyday residents wanting connectivity. In fact, a single optical fiber can carry up to three million voice calls or 90,000 TV channels. While they have many benefits, fiber optic systems also have some disadvantages and it’s important that companies take time to weigh the pros and cons of the technology before using it.