Friday, September 21, 2012
Fiber vs. mobile - One of the silliest debates in the tech world
I am, on so many levels, amused when marketing types get together and debate the merits of technologies based on their hype, completely missing the point of what is actually going on in the technology world. This is happening in the whole fiber-optic cabling vs. mobile network installation debate going on in many countries.
You have one side talking about how fiber has unlimited bandwidth and will be needed to support many current and almost all future business needs. Then some pundit throws out the fact that many businesses are still using 1 Mbps or 10 Mbps networks for their connection and listeners laugh a little. Somebody else then cites rising data traffic rates to point out that those companies will need to move forward into optical networks soon enough.
Then the mobile side chimes in and tells everybody to think about their office and consider how many employees have smartphones and use them for work. They talk about how the mobile revolution is making the desktop that plugs into the network completely irrelevant, making a corporate mobile or Wi-Fi network that can support operations much more important than installing high-performance infrastructure going into the building. Besides, mobile proponents say, the wireless approach is less expensive. Oooh, scathing point. That always wins the debate.
Of course, the mobile side does tend to conveniently leave out the face that if a company builds out mobile and Wi-Fi infrastructure, it still needs all kinds of backhaul bandwidth or the entire arrangement will completely fall apart. So much for that debate.
The fiber vs. mobile discussion, though important as a barometer of how workers access information inside and outside the office, does not really present a major technological contradiction, as businesses can't really decide between fiber and mobile. If you want to go mobile, you're going to need fiber. Ask almost any telecom provider and they'll tell you all about how they use fiber to provide backhaul for their various signal distribution stations. Companies trying to go wireless will need to use fiber-optic cabling infrastructure and the supporting tools, such as fiber to Ethernet media converters, to make the most of mobile technologies and bring the network into the future.
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.