The Advantages and Disadvantages of Optical Fiber Communication

Optical fiber communication not only has great superiority in technology, but also has great economic competitiveness, so it will play an increasingly important role in the communication society. Optical communication develops so quickly in the past few decades, and makes the world more than 80% of the telecommunications business in the optical fiber communication network transmission, which incomparable superiority is inseparable. Optical fiber communication is based on the light carrier as the information carrier, optical fiber as a transmission medium of a communication. Compared with the previous electrical communication, the main difference is that there are many advantages, while some shortcomings are also improved. Therefore, the post will introduce the main advantages and disadvantages of optical fiber communication.

6 Advantages of Optical Fiber Communication

1. The bandwidth is very wide, the transmission capacity is very large: the operating frequency of the fiber is 8-9 orders of magnitude higher than the current frequency of the cable, because the fiber is very fine, the outer diameter is only 125μm, one cable can hold hundreds of fiber, 12 × 12 = 144 ribbon cable has long been achieved. This method increases the line transmission capacity one hundred times. For single fiber, the use of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) or optical frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) is the most effective way to increase the transmission capacity of optical fiber communication systems. Another hair surface reduces the width of the light source spectrum and the use of external modulation, but also an effective way to increase the transmission capacity.

2. Low loss, long relay distance: fiber attenuation per kilometer than the current capacity of the largest communication coaxial cable attenuation per kilometer lower than an order of magnitude. Transmission capacity is large, the transmission error rate is low, the advantages of long relay distance, so that optical fiber communication system is not only suitable for long-distance trunk network, but also suitable for the use of access network, which is to reduce the per kilometer road system cost of the main reasons.

3. Small size, light weight: at the same time conducive to construction and transportation. At present, the fiber diameter of the commonly used fiber is only a few microns, plus the diameter of the fiber after the cladding is 125μm, slightly thicker than a hair. This fiber is 500m long but only 0.05kg. The use of this thin and light cable, whether it is transport or laying lines, are very convenient.

4. Good confidentiality: the light transmitted in the fiber is limited to the fiber core and cladding near the transmission, rarely run outside the fiber. Even in the bending radius is very small position, leakage of optical power is very weak. And after the cable after the fiber outside the package made of metal moisture-proof layer and rubber material sheath, these are opaque, so the light leakage to the cable almost no. Not to mention long-distance cable and trunk cable are generally buried in the ground, so the fiber’s confidentiality is good.

5. Anti-electromagnetic interference performance: fiber from strong electrical interference, electrified railway interference and lightning interference, anti-electromagnetic pulse capability is also very strong. The optical fiber is made of electrically insulating quartz material, and the optical fiber communication line is not disturbed by ordinary high and low frequency electromagnetic fields and lightning strikes. Metal-free fiber optic cable is particularly suitable for use with high-voltage power lines that is interfered with by strong electromagnetic fields and in flammable and explosive environments such as oilfields and coal mines. Optical fiber (composite) overhead ground (OPGW, Optical Fiber Overhead Ground Wire) is a combination of optical fiber and power transmission system ground cable, has been in the power system communication plays an important role.

6. Save non-ferrous metals and raw materials: general communication cable to consume a lot of copper, aluminum or lead and other non-ferrous metals. The fiber itself is non-metallic; the development of optical fiber communication will save a lot of non-ferrous metals for the country. In addition, it is particularly suitable for use in aircraft and spacecraft.

The Disadvantages of Optical Fiber Communication:

Things are divided into two-sidedness, optical fiber communication also has the following shortcomings:

1. Tensile strength Low theoretical strength of the fiber is greater than the tensile strength of steel. However, due to the existence of fiber in the production process or produce micro-cracks, the fiber tension when all the stress applied to the fiber, so that the actual tensile strength of the fiber is very low, which is bare fiber is easy to break the reasons.

2. Fiber connection difficulties to make fiber connection loss is small, two fiber core must be strictly aligned. As the fiber core is very thin, coupled with the high melting point of quartz, so the connection is very difficult, the need for expensive special tools.

3. Fiber is afraid of water into the cable after the three main problems will arise: water into the fiber, the fiber will increase the OH-absorption loss, the total channel loss increases, and even interrupt the communication; water into the cable, Will cause the metal components in the cable oxidation, so that corrosion of metal components, resulting in reduced cable strength; into the cable in the cold water, the water icing volume increase may be crushed fiber.


It should be noted that with the deepening of research and the development of technology, these disadvantages of optical fiber communication have been overcome, and the introduction of these shortcomings is to require us to try to avoid these problems in practical application. Optical fiber communication technology as an important support for information technology too, in the future information society will play an important role. Although the global optical communications is through the « winter », but the future of optical communications market will continue to show an upward trend. From the development trend of modern communications, optical fiber communication will also become the mainstream of future communications development. People expect the real all-optical network era will come in the near future.

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