The advantages and disadvantages of optical fiber cables over electrical cables

Advantages of  optical fibres

The optical fibre cables are lighter , smaller and easier to handle than  copper cables , They can cover greater distances more reliably than the wire , They can not be compromised by the signal tapping , The optical signals are free from the noise  due to the electrical interference .

The information can be carried by the radio waves transmitted down coaxial cables at a rate of about 107 bits per second , But this can be increased by several orders of magnitude if the information is carried as light pulses down an optical fibre .

The typical optical fibre cable can carry about 9000 telephone channels , or over 1000 music channels , or 8 television channels , which is over five times the capacity of the best copper cable , They can handle greater speeds ,  And they can immune to EFI and RFI .

The optical fibers have extremely high bandwidth , There is no other cable based data transmission medium offers the bandwidth that the fibers do , They are easy to accomodate increasing the bandwidth by using many of the recent generations of fiber optic cabling , The new equipment can be added to the inert fiber cable that can provide vastly expanded capacity over the originally laid fiber .

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber Optic Cable

The fibre optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than the metal cables , The amount of information that can be transmitted per unit time of fibre over other transmission media is its most significant advantage , With the high performance single mode cable used by telephone industries for long distance telecommunication , The bandwidth surpasses the needs of today’s applications and gives room for growth tomorrow .

The optical fibers have a very low rate of bit error  , The optical fibers have resistance to the electromagnetic interference , And  the fiber optic transmission are virtually noise free , They can be used as the endoscopes in medicine and engineering to see inaccessible places , So the exploratory surgery can be avoided .

The optical fibres have early detection of cable damage and secure transmissions , The Fiber provides an extremely secure transmission medium as there is no way to detect the data being transmitted by listening in to the electromagnetic energy leaking through the cable as is possible with traditional .

The optical fibre offers low power loss , This allows for longer transmission distances , In comparison to copper ,  The longest recommended copper distance is 100m while with fibre , it is 2000m , They are immune to the electromagnetic interference , They can be run in the electrically noisy environments as the electrical noise will not affect the fibre .

The fibre optic cables are much thinner and lighter than the metal wires , They  occupy less space with cables of the same information capacity , Lighter weight makes the  fibre easier to install .

The optical fibres have greater tensile strength than copper or steel fibres of the same diameter,  They are flexible , They bend easily and resist most corrosive elements that attack copper cables .

Disadvantages of optical fibres

The optical fibres are difficult to splice , And there are loss of the light in the fibre due to scattering , They have limited physical arc of cables ,  If you bend them too much ,  They will break .

The optical fibres are more expensive to buy , They are more expensive to install , And they have be installed by the specialists , They are  not as robust as the wires , Special test equipment is often required to the optical fiber , And the installation costs are still high .

The fiber is a small and compact cable , and it is highly susceptible to becoming cut or damaged during installation or construction activities , The fiber optic cables can provide tremendous data transmission capabilities , So , when the fiber optic cabling is chosen as the transmission medium , it is necessary to address restoration , backup and survivability .

The optical fibres require more protection around the cable compared to copper , The raw materials for glass are plentiful , unlike copper,  The glass can be made more cheaply than copper , the cables are expensive to install but last longer than copper cables .

The transmission on the optical fibre requires repeating at distance intervals , The fibres can be broken or have transmission loses when wrapped around curves of only a few centimetres radius ,  However by encasing fibres in a plastic sheath , It is difficult to bend the cable into a small enough radius to break the fibre .

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