Fibre-optics symposium considers where optical networks are headed

Created January 16, 2018
Applications and Research

Left, Laser Components team spell it out near their headquarters in Olching, Bavaria.

The public debate on the “fibre optics roll-out in Germany” is strongly influenced by politics and the media. In a market that is developing so rapidly, the experts also need a forum to discuss their experiences.

The fibre optics symposium held at Laser Components HQ, in December 2017, provided an opportunity for this kind of exchange. At least 40 experts from different industries met at the company’s HQ in Olching, Germany.

The agenda was diverse, covering the legal framework, FTTH roll out in buildings, and the current developments of cables and connectors. “The demand for bandwidth is increasing rapidly”, states Dr. Andreas Hornsteiner, head of the business unit fibre optics at Laser Components, who hosted the event.

“Current forecasts expect that the amount of mobile data is going to grow by a factor of seven within the next four years – and that’s just one segment of the market. Only optical networks provide the necessary speed to transmit these volumes. At the same time, we have to keep an eye on future technologies, such as autonomous driving.”

‘Valuable experience’
Deutsche Telekom is an important player in the roll out of broadband networks – from the main backbone to installation in buildings. As a principle, every newly built residential or commercial area is equipped with FTTH networks. Therefore, the corporation has gained valuable experience in the practical issues of everyday implementation, and its presentation met with great interest.

Other lectures dealt with more detailed questions, such as the latest developments in fibre optic cabling for data centers. The attendees were very impressed to receive a glimpse at the near future: The first manufacturers are currently working on dirt-repellent fiber endings, which would eliminate one of the main sources for errors in passive optical networks.

Cabling in data centers
With his abstract about “fibee optics and infrastructure surveillance”, Laser Components expert Falk Wagner proved that optical fibres can be used for more than just data transmission. Using so-called optical test units, they may also be employed to monitor critical infrastructures such as power grids or traffic networks. For more complex tasks, several OTUs can be combined into one system.

At the end of a busy meeting with numerous presentations and lively discussions, all participants said that they were satisfied with the results of the symposium, Laser Components reported.

Matthew Peach

This article was written
by Matthew Peach

Matthew Peach is a freelance technology journalist specialising in photonics and communications. He has previously worked for several business-to-business publishers, editing a range of high-tech magazines and websites.