Will The Powerful 5G Kill Fiber Optics?
5G is the fifth and the latest generation of wireless data networks, that will allow a wide range of mobile and fixed smart devices such as mobile smartphones, smart wearable devices (e.g. Smart glasses and watches) as well as settled, smart home, office and city machines secure, efficient and stable access to the internet. It is expected to play a significant role in shaping the future of smart devices, communication, and data accessibility.
So, how will the 5G technology bode for fiber optic? Will the powerful wireless 5g networks eradicate fiber optic networks and replace optical fiber cables in the near future?
The Future of 5G Wireless Will Depend on Fiber
Like all wireless mobile phone networks before it, 5G will also work on radio signals that may lead people to believe that 5G wireless will work entirely on radio frequencies. However, this is not the case because 5G will rely heavily on fiber networks for the backhaul portion due to the many capabilities of optical fiber technology, which will help 5G maintain stable faster data transmissions with low latency and high bandwidth.
Let’s take a closer look into why 5G will not be killing fiber optics:
Some people would be surprised that a vast network of fiber optic cables backs the world’s wireless infrastructure; in fact, 90% of all internet traffic travels over fiber. 5G is expected to provide connection speeds of 1-10 Gbps, which is much faster and higher than what 4G provides. Fiber is the best choice for the backhaul end of the vast traffic expected to connect to data centers demanding high bandwidth and low latency.
The best thing about fiber is that it is future-proof with unlimited bandwidth potential. The biggest 5G providers, such as Verizon are investing heavily in fiber networks before 5G deployment.
5G promises 1-10Gbps connection, the latency of 1 millisecond end-to-end round trip, 1000x bandwidth per unit area for a larger number of devices, to deliver all these benefits there will be a need to install more fiber networks.
Compared to all other mediums fiber can provide backhaul support for higher speed wireless, lowest latency, accessibility, and coverage. To ensure diversity, availability, and coverage of 5g, service providers, will need to establish a net if small cell sites/distributed antenna systems (DAS) that are connected by fiber.
Our fiber optic network installation experts believe that there will need to place 5G Small cell sites/DAS closer to users for example on light or utility poles to avoid the issue of dead spots and signal bottleneck. Smaller cell sites/DAS will ensure that there are fewer terminal users covered on each site, and the cell can provide higher per-user capabilities. The performance of these small cell sites/DAS will need the backhaul support of fiber since other mediums such as copper cable networks, which will not be able to cater to a large amount of traffic the 5G centralized radio access network (C-RAN) is expected to produce.