With current global trends of employees sheltering and working from home, businesses require communication systems that are faster, more secure, and have larger capacity for their networks to operate at efficient levels. Ranging from healthcare systems to the marine environment, fibre optic technology is a crucial component of commercial and industrial infrastructures. Telecoms and data industry leaders, and home owners alike are expecting high-speed Internet access and are turning to fibre optic technology as a reliable option for these expected services.
Fibre optic technology is thus predicted to play a major role in this anticipated bandwidth demand and growth. Fior Markets reports: “The global Fiber Optics Cable market size is expected to gain market growth in the forecast period of 2020 to 2025, with a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast period of 2020 to 2025 and is expected to reach USD 6504.2 million by 2025, from USD 5139.1 million in 2019”.
The increasing use of the Internet and demand for fibre to the X (FTTX), fibre to the home (FTTH) or fibre in the loop and the switching over to bandwidth-intensive, high-speed, high-data rate applications are forces driving the fibre optics market.
Developments in fibre optic technology
Optic fibres are flexible and transparent and consist of extruded glass (silica) or plastic which can function as a waveguide, or ‘light pipe’ transmitting data as light impulses between the ends of the fibre. Fibre optic cables thus consist of either one or many thin strands of glass protected by a flexible, transparent sheath. The result is boundless performance capabilities evident in a National Geographic Magazine report that “the latest transatlantic cable is rated at 2.4 terabits. In one second, that cable can transmit a hundred hours of digital video or 30 million phone calls across the Atlantic” (Alan, 2020).
Fibre optic cable assemblies are widely applied, and their uses form the backbone of, for example, military networking, medical imaging and laser practices, and private and public networking for cable and Internet.
Since fibre cables are very secure and do not have an electromagnetic field, data cannot be intercepted, slowed, or jumbled with other signals. Although the safety, speed, and security of fibre optics are more expensive, compared to the rising costs of copper, it remains competitively priced in the marketplace. This is because metallic wiring is naturally thicker, load capacity is reduced, and installation is more difficult in challenging environments.
Smart cities are fast becoming a reality and will be the product of the ongoing and gradual evolution of information technologies, including the use of fibre optic cables. Forbes reports that San Francisco is creating a city-wide fibre optic network to enable the Internet as a public utility.
Additionally, new 5G wireless technology is facilitated with fibre optic cables. Wired Magazine indicates that telecom leaders depend on millions of miles of new cables, allowing the deployment of 5G devices across the globe to create an expanding networked society.