Summer 2018 Optical Connections Magazine


FIBRE FUTURES Intensification of fibre count in a given cross section of cable or duct is one of the objectives of ribbon fibre. This form of fibre packaging can also accelerate installation by supporting the ability to simultaneously splice multiple fibres, in the process lowering labour costs, and can shorten restoration timetables. “Ribbon cables are another notable technology. Popular throughout North American networks, the benefits of these cables are increasingly being realised in Europe too,” offers Vanessa Diaz, marketing development manager EMEA, Corning Optical Communications. “Typically deployed in campus environments, buildings and datacentre backbone applications where high fibre counts are required, ribbon optical cables can offer the highest fibre density relative to cable size, and 80% faster splicing for quicker, more cost-effective installation and emergency restoration.” BEEFING UP THE LONG… A major and continuing line of fibre optic networking development is aimed at increasing the achievable data rate over longer and longer un-repeatered distances. As remarked by Diaz, not that long ago fibres that could deliver incredibly high data rates that could be carried over thousands of kilometres were mostly only needed for the submarine industry. Today, though, the relentless increase of optical transmission rates has pushed optical fibre manufacturers to create advanced fibres for long-haul terrestrial networks that employ similar technologies. “Classified as Recommendation ITU-T G.654.E, the superior attributes of these new terrestrial fibres can be leveraged to extend network span lengths, skip amplification sites, upgrade to higher bit rates, or lengthen the distance between regenerators, resulting in far more efficient long-haul networks,” says Diaz. “I expect we will see a lot more use-cases for these fibres in the near future. commonly found in LAN and short reach datacentre applications where it supports high data rates with the use of low-cost Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) transceivers. In this context, Wide Band MultiMode Fibre (WBMMF, or OM5) is an evolution designed to optimise the ability of WDM to run at least four optical signals over a single fibre. Short WDM (SWDM) OM5 also has reach implications. “Typical multimode fibres are optimised to work at one colour of light, 850 nm, where the effective modal bandwidth of these fibres is 4,700 MHz/km” states Diaz. “While OM5 gives you this same fibre transmission capability, it also specifies a minimum effective modal bandwidth of 2,470 MHz/km at 953 nm. This broadens …AND THE SHORT OF IT Duplex MultiMode Fibre (MMF) is

switching brings automation and control functionality to the fibre layer,” comments Drew Martin, market manager, HUBER+SUHNER Polatis. “Moreover, as this is completed with no conversions, all-optical switching is agnostic to speed, colour or protocol of the light across the connection.” Martin further notes that software control of all-optical switches enables on-demand, instantaneous provisioning of fibre connections, and that these switches are used to protect against equipment failure of fibre breaks. “All- optical switches are also a key resource for the automation of network system test labs, reducing optical cabling connection times by up to 75%,” he adds. For the future, HUBER+SUHNER Polatis envisages optical switching playing a greater role in network monitoring and management. “Increasingly we are seeing all-optical switches being used for remote monitoring of optical links for cyber-security or network performance testing, and the integration of optical switches in SDN-controlled on-demand datacentre interconnect provisioning,” reports Martin. ElectroniCast Consultants found that PLC splitter compact devices used in FTTx, PONs and other telecommunications (and CATV) service provider network applications led in global consumption volume with 97.2% in relative market share or 31.878 million units in 2017. PLC splitter compact devices used with testing and monitoring applications are forecast to reach 1.24 million units in 2027, up from 841,000 units last year. Market forecast data in the study report refers to consumption (use) for a particular calendar year, and the data is not cumulative data.

the window of operation to extend the reach of full-duplex SWDM fibre systems.” Some observers reckon WBMMF is also well positioned to support the speeding up short reach data rates to 100G, 200G, 400G and even 800G Ethernet. requirements and what might be termed “technology inertia” as historic constraints on its wider adoption, optical switching is now attracting much interest as a technology that can streamline present and future optical networking. An analysis published by Occams Business Research & Consultancy reckons the global optical switches market was valued at US$4,524 million in the year 2016 and could reach US$13,415 million by the year 2023. In this account, optical switching meets the need to accommodate rapidly rising traffic volumes and higher bandwidths and reduce power consumption and footprint compared to electronic solutions. In this context, all-optical switching can also be pretty versatile. “All-optical According to a recent study from ElectroniCast Consultants, the worldwide consumption volume/quantity of Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) component- level (bare-fibre) splitters reached an estimated 32.796 million units in 2017. The analyst firm says PLC component splitters will continue to contribute an important role in deploying optical fibre closer to the subscriber (FTTH/ FTTB/FTTP) by allowing a single Passive Optical Network (PON) interface to be shared among many subscribers. PLC splitters distribute optical signals from an input optical fibre port to multiple optical fibres output port. SWITCHED ON Although experts have cited CapEx



ISSUE 13 | Q2 2018

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