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Rising mobility does not mean the end of cables

By Donna Donnawitz
June 14, 2013

The number of things that can connect to the internet without being plugged into a data cable can be staggering. If you go to the right kind of store, right now, you can find everything from mobile phones to robots, refrigerators and ovens that can connect to the web. This increasingly interconnected environment is enabled by a combination of Wi-Fi and mobile networks that use radio signals to support data transmissions. If you wanted to, you could be on Facebook on your smartphone, have your television streaming Netflix and Pinterest running on your refrigerator (helping you find recipes) . All of this is done, of course, without cables.

It isn't just the home seeing this revolution. Many businesses are beginning to expect their workers to use personal smartphones and tablets to get the job done, as mobile devices gain prevalence. This begs the question - why do we need all of those pesky cables anymore? The answer may be simpler than you'd expect - wireless solutions won't be able to get the job done without good cabling in a supporting role.

Everything needs backhaul
Every type of network needs access to some kind of backhaul line to support high-performance connection to the web. In LAN architectures, the network goes back to the data center, which is generally attached to an interconnect that provides backhaul. In home networks, the telecom infrastructure provides backhaul. For mobile networks, cables running to signal towers offer the backbone for data transmission. Wi-Fi networks generally get their bandwidth from the LAN and increased mobile use means more data being sent between radio signal towers and the optical networks that connect them to the web. In the end, increased wireless functionality may end up meaning a growing need for fiber.

Fiber-optic cabling in the wireless ecosystem
Increased Wi-Fi use in homes and businesses could put greater strain on the LAN, which, in turn, adds bandwidth challenges to the data center interconnects. Fiber is already prominent in this area, but other aspects of the data center may begin to need fiber to ensure application and service delivery to mobile users. In mobile networks, fiber is becoming a key component within the radio tower, making conversion to Ethernet vital. As fiber becomes more prominent in telecom, radio signal tower and data center settings, media converters are becoming a vital cog in the growing wireless network movement.

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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