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Fiber remaining relevant despite mobile's rise

By Donna Donnawitz
November 29, 2012
Businesses don't always have the best networks. In some cases, a company will cling to using an outdated network service to save a little bit of money, even though leaders know it may stifle operations. More companies are waking up to the reality of a world driven by connectivity, but as they do so, they also awake to a mobile-focused world. This changes the network landscape and makes cabling media seem much less important.

But like the rest of us when we first wake up, there is plenty of confusion. Those initial visions of a wireless world can only become real if companies, particularly telecoms, focus on getting the right types of cables in the right place.

Cabling as the foundation for mobile
There is a lovely juxtaposition in the idea of a wireless, mobile workplace. You see, the vision is one of convenience and ease in which workers are not tied to their desks and everybody is getting the job done on HD smartphones that are fast, reliable and always connect to the network without problems.

This simple vision for operations could eventually happen, but if it is going to happen, there is going to be a dark underside - cabling.

It's kind of like Coruscant in the Star Wars movies. At the top it is all bright and visually stunning, but as you go deeper toward the planet's surface things get more complex, grungier, exposed but still stunning.

In the same way, there is a bright vision for a wireless workplace, but it is built on an underground and utility-pole-based world of cables stretching through sewers, under roads and above our heads.

The reality is that wireless communications need backhaul and that backhaul comes in the form of fiber-optic cabling infrastructure. In offices, it may be provided by the LAN and the WAN, but the end result is the same, everything feeding into fiber. This is not yet the case, as copper is still predominant in many areas. But as bandwidth rates rise faster than new standards for copper can be created, fiber will likely emerge as the primary form of cabling, especially for mobile and Wi-Fi backhaul.

As a result, media conversion will become key when connecting to Ethernet-based systems. Since WANs, LANs and even Wi-Fi routers are built on Ethernet, they are not inherently interoperable with optical cabling. Fiber to Ethernet media converters are, therefore, becoming vital in supporting future visions of a worry-free end-user network supported by robust cabling architectures.

Perle has an extensive range of Managed and Unmanaged Fiber Media Converters to extended copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber optic link, multimode to multimode and multimode to single mode fiber up to 160km.


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