The fibre optics path

Fibre optics may be expensive than copper but the demand is increasing in the Middle East and also around the globe due to its capabilities. The world market for fibre optic components is estimated to be approximately US$20 billion, while the market for optical communications systems is close to US$60 billion. Both these markets are forecast to grow at 25% a year over the next five years, driven by the strong increase in data traffic arising from internet and the telecommunications sector.

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By  Angela Sutherland Published  January 23, 2006

|~||~||~|Fibre optics may be expensive than copper but the demand is increasing in the Middle East and also around the globe due to its capabilities. The world market for fibre optic components is estimated to be approximately US$20 billion, while the market for optical communications systems is close to US$60 billion. Both these markets are forecast to grow at 25% a year over the next five years, driven by the strong increase in data traffic arising from internet and the telecommunications sector. Vendors are leveraging recent improvements in fibre connection speeds in Fibre Channel Storage Area Networking. Recent advances have seen the development of fibre channel arrays increasing in speed ranging from 4Gigabits to 16Gigabits. Today, within a campus or a multi-story environment, it is possible to connect distributed server farms to the same high-speed disk subsystem using common fibre channel architecture. Furthermore, fibre is used to provide advanced security solutions for government and enterprise sectors. Due to its immunity from outside interference, fibre optic security systems provide intrusion detection using the fibre optic cabling as a sensor. In a recent move, the three national telecoms operators of the UAE, Iraq and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) have come together to begin the laying of a submarine cable connecting the three nations. Etisalat, Iraqi Telecommunications & Post Company (ITPC) and Saudi Telecom Company (STC) have signed a construction and maintenance agreement that will see the installation of FOG2, the second generation of the Fibre-Optic Gulf (FOG) cables. This shows the growing importance and demand for fibre. The main reason as to why fibre is used in the enterprise space is due to its wide range of coverage. A fibre connection can provide a reliable link up to 10km while a copper connection is limited to 90 metres. Today, fibre is used extensively in both campus deployments and buildings to provide connectivity to users across multiple floors and disparately connected buildings. Privately owned and operated fibre networks account for almost 80% of all fibre networks worldwide. Because fibre transmits light, it is immune from electrical interference, including lightening and electromagnetic interference. This makes it the obvious choice when providing connection in extreme environments such as manufacturing plants and refineries. In many areas where copper cabling can deteriorate due to corrosion, fibre can provide a robust alternative, especially in coastal regions. ||**||

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