What is an Optical Network?

What is an Optical Network?

Enterprise Networking Mag | Thursday, July 15, 2021

An optical network is one of the quickest communication networks since it uses light as a transmission medium. It operates by converting an electrical signal received from a network node into light pulses, then placed on a fiber optic cable for transportation to a receiving device.

FREMONT, CA: An optical network employs complicated transmission systems that operate through fiber optic cabling to transmit all of the digital services we rely on today. Around 1980, the first commercial fiber optic systems became available. Optical networks have evolved into extremely complicated systems that enable access to extremely high data speeds. The telecommunications industry is constantly under pressure to create optical networks with ever-increasing capacity at ever-lower prices. So, how does one go about doing it?

A data communication network developed with optical fiber technology is known as an optical network. The principal communication channel is optical fiber cables, which are used to transform and send data as light pulses between sender and receiver links. An optical network is one of the quickest communication networks since it uses light as a transmission medium. It operates by converting an electrical signal received from a network node into light pulses, then placed on a fiber optic cable for transportation to a receiving device.

How Does an Optical Network Work?

Optical networks today employ various technologies and building pieces to transfer potentially Terabits of data over hundreds of kilometers without requiring the signals to be converted back into electronic signals. They may consist of simple point-to-point connections, such as those used for Fiber to the Antenna (FTTA), Data Centre Interconnect (DCI), 5G mobile backhaul, National Research and Education Networks (NREN), and terrestrial Satcom lines to and from satellite earth stations.

Core and metro optical networks, on the other hand, may employ a highly resilient mesh topology and many complex technologies such as Wavelength Selective Switches (WSS) and Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) in ROADMs (Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers), which direct the different channels of a DWDM system to different destinations.

What Is the Best Way to Plan an Optical Network?

There is a lot to know to plan and manage optical networking projects successfully and efficiently so that high-capacity, long-distance, and cost-effective communications systems may be delivered. But it does not mean one has to rely on a Network Equipment Manufacturer (NEM) to sell a costly, proprietary solution. Because of the increased availability of white box building blocks from various component and sub-system providers, one may now put together their own cost-effective solutions.

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