Advantages and Disadvantages of Optical Fibers, Cables and Fiber Optic Communication Systems

Here is one of the most popularly searched queries – What are the advantages and disadvantages of optical fibers, fiber optic cables, and fiber optic communication systems? There are several advantages for optical fibers and fiber optic cables compared to conventional copper cables or any other traditional communication medium.

There are many advantages than that mentioned here but some of the major advantages of optical fibers and fiber optic cables are;

Low loss or attenuation, generally in the range of 0.2dB/km at 1550nm.

The reduced diameter of the fiber optic cable and reduced weight compared to metallic cables.

Lower cost compared to copper cables of equivalent transmission capacity

Greater safety and immunity to electromagnetic interference and radio frequency interference compared to metallic cables

Optical fibers are resistive to corrosion

Flexibility and ease of installation in smaller ducts

High information carrying capacity

Immunity to tapping information

Immunity towards cross talk

The whole scenario is not in favor of optical fibers in fact. There are some disadvantages to optical fibers. The biggest advantage of fiber optic cable is that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. The disadvantages of fiber optic cables and optical fiber communication system as a whole are given below;

The termination equipment for fiber optics is costly compared to that of copper cable communication

Repeated electrical to optical to electrical conversion is required as the whole communication is in the optical domain

Some of the components like amplifiers, splitters, multiplexers, de-multiplexers, etc., are still under the development stage.

Lack of clear-cut international specifications and guidelines for latest optical communication based systems

Optical fibers are delicate and trained people are required to handle optical fibers

Optical fiber splicing and protection is still expensive and adds to the cost of the optical networks

Even though there are disadvantages, as the optical fibers offer almost enormous bandwidth, fiber optic communication systems are being widely deployed all over the world.

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