How Connectivity Is Evolving Through Optical Fibre and Edge Computing

Moncho Terol    22 July, 2021
Edge Computing

Every process involves efforts, trials and improvements in order to achieve overall success. The efforts that have been made in relation to connectivity are countless .

Gone are the days of connectivity over copper networks with landline telephony. Remember the days of connecting to the Internet using your landline and having your connection drop because a call came in?

From Copper Wire to Optical Fibre

Before explaining how optical fibre revolutionises our connectivity, it is necessary to determine what we are talking about .

Optical fibre consists of extremely thin wires that have a transparent core and are coated with plastic. In fibre, data is transmitted by light.

One of the most important reasons for switching from copper to optical fibre is bandwidth. The current fibre offer is 1 Gbps but in the future it may be up to several Tbps. Copper cables typically transmit at up to 50Mbps (typically less than 20 Mbps). In other words, fibre already has 100 times more capacity than copper and in the future it may have 150,000 times more capacity than previous technologies. In addition, fibre accesses have a lower latency than copper, with a latency of less than 1ms.

👉 💡 Did you know that, thanks to companies like Telefónica, Spain has more fibre than the UK, Italy and Germany combined?

Benefits of Optical Fibre 

There are several benefits to this type of connectivity, including:

  • Permite una conexión a grandes distancias.
  • It allows connection over long distances.
  • It has a high capacity to transmit information.
  • The information is better protected against possible external attacks.
  • Electromagnetic interference has no effect.
  • They are light and have a very low error rate.
  • They provide a much lower latency (~1ms).
  • Lower power consumption. The fibre network is 85% more efficient than copper.

Also, as technological advances are made, better speeds are achieved. For example, the visualisation of videos on services such as Movistar+ or Netflix is getting better and better, as the available bandwidth allows for UHD , 4K and even 8K formats

Therefore, we can say that, regardless of distances, connectivity makes it easier for us to connect with the world. Today, to further serve this purpose, technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) allow us to be more efficient in our home and office. To better learn and explore what the future of connectivity and IoT will look like, take a look at Edge Computing.

Looking to The Future of Connectivity: 5G and Edge Computing

Efficiency in connectivity in the coming years will be a recurring theme in a number of sectors. 5G networks will be vital, for example, in places such as airports, as they will be used to obtain real-time information on thousands of passengers, their luggage and aircraft tugs.

Edge Computing

While 5G will make everything faster, it will also bring higher demands on bandwidth. What will be the actual capacity of a 5G network?

Edge Computing holds part of the answer. This is because it allows for greater storage capacity and for data processing to take place close to the user. It will improve, through various technologies, what is known as latency time.

Reduced Latency with Edge Computing

If a traffic light, industrial machine or security camera is connected via the IoT, with Edge Computing it will no longer have to send that data to the Cloud for processing, avoiding delays. Edge processing will allow that task to be done on the same device or in close proximity.

Let’s look at another example: if a car is driving in a foggy area and wants to get data from other vehicles to avoid a collision, 5G will enable them to communicate with each other quickly. However, processing the data quickly requires the Cloud, which can be “far away”, increasing latency and therefore the critical time to avoid an accident. Edge Computing will reduce the latency period, as this information will reach the vehicle, using 5G, in a few milliseconds.

We are fortunately at a time where we are enjoying the evolution of connectivity. At home or at work, on our commutes in big cities, we always have our devices producing information instantly. Advances in connectivity, with 5G and Edge Computing as the best exponents, will bring that future much closer than we imagine.

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