What is the influence of 5G time on fiber optic cable?

Issue Time:2018-04-25

With 5G now officially on market, an obvious problem is how will new wireless broadband networks perform compared to wire line alternatives suchas fiber, coaxial?

An even better question is what will these networks need to look like to provide sufficient broadband capability for a majority of customers,one that lets them cut the cord to their wired broadband connection if they sodesire?

A good place to start is reviewing the various broadband offerings and theircapabilities. Fiber-optic cable is the gold standard.  Companies have demonstrated over 100,000 billion bps through put over a single strand of fiber.

By comparison, even with an enormous 10 GHz wide radio channel and 10 bps/Hz of ultra-high spectral efficiency, spectrum-based networks couldonly reach 100 Gbps of the oretical throughput, 1,000 times lower than the fiber value. Plus, fiber cables consist of multiple fiber strands--if you run out ofcapacity on one strand, another one is right there. Coax cable, used for cablebroadband, also only carries a small fraction of the capacity of a fiber opticcable.

Sinceit is not practical to extend fiber to every building, broadband architectures are pushing fiber as far out as is affordable, then completing theconnection--whether the last mile or last one hundred yards--with technologiessuch as DSL, coax cable and wireless. Advances in wireless technology will make wireless increasingly competitive with coax and other wired approaches.

Realistically,most American customers don't need hundreds of gigabits per second of throughput for their broadband applications. Usage studies show that many people are satisfied with the 10 Mbps and higher that they get with theircurrent LTE connections. And this throughput will continue to improve, even ifnot up to par with fiber. Given roughly a ten times throughput increase innetwork speeds every decade, 100 Mbps might be a reasonable target for 2020.Even 4K super HD only requires some 15 Mbps.

Amore important factor when considering wireless as an alternative to wiredbroadband is capacity. Today, just a few, simultaneous 10 Mbps LTE connectionscan consume sector capacity in a 10 MHz LTE downlink radio channel--this is onereason that typical service plans for mobile broadband range from 1 to 10Gigabytes each month. At a continuous throughput of 10 Mbps, a user can consumea Gbyte of data in 15 minutes. This is why mobile broadband network operatorsare so focused on increasing their network capacity, and various organizations

To increase capacity per user, the wireless network needs toboth increase the capacity of the radio connection and reduce the number ofusers on that channel--in mathematical terms, combine a higher numerator, thecapacity, with a low denominator, the number of people.

Thenumerator is easy. Operators need more spectrum and will need to continuedeploying spectrally efficient radio technologies. The big question is wherewill more spectrum come from?  The biggest swathes of contiguous spectrumsuited for expanding capacity reside in the multi-GHz range, which is availablein higher bands, beginning above 10 GHz and especially in mmWave frequencies(30 GHz to 300 GHz).

Butthere is a challenge deploying super-high frequency spectrum: High frequencieshave shorter ranges and don't penetrate walls and other obstructions well.Advanced beamforming will help resolve both issues, but the mmWave frequenciesunder consideration for 5G will be best suited for small cells.

Notonly do the high frequencies augment capacity in the numerator, but the smallcells mean fewer people in each coverage area. The higher capacity value in thenumerator combined with the lower number of people in the denominator resultsin much higher capacity per person.

Aside benefit of mmWave technology development is that the technology will alsobe applicable to backhaul connectivity, currently a major small-cell challenge.

Tounderstand what capacity and capability a hypothetical next-generation networkmight have, consider being able to use 5 GHz of spectrum (compared to 500 MHzof licensed mobile spectrum today) and obtaining 4 bps/Hz of spectralefficiency from advanced smart antennas (twice that of LTE-Advanced). Thesevalues multiply to an impressive 20 Gbps of capacity. This much capacity in asmall-cell coverage area would support 200 simultaneous users at 100 Mbps, andwould be competitive with wireline alternatives.

Wirelesscan be a competitive form of broadband for many people. Maybe someday in thedistant future fiber will extend to every house or building, but until then, itonly needs to come close enough for wireless to do the rest.

Howevern, according to a recent report by Zion Market Research, the globalfiber optics market was valued at around USD 2.75 billion in 2016 and is expectedto reach approximately USD 3.72 billion in 2022, while growing at a CAGR ofslightly above 5.2% between 2017 and 2022. The major factors driving the fiberoptics market growth are increasing demand for fiber optics in differentavenues such as telecommunication sector, private data networks, and others.Growing demand for high-speed internet is also driving strong need of the fiberoptics market.

That is why RUXFIBER has gone to great lengths to promote theproduction capacity and technology of the cable to meet the market demand.

Of course as for a leading fiber optic cable manufacturer, it isour duty to support telecom area market

Shenzhen Runxiang TelecommunicationTechnology Co., Ltd, established in Jan 2008, is located in Longgang District,Shenzhen City.  RUX is a high-techcompany specialized in research, development, production and sales of fibercommunication products.