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Photonics Spectra
Aug 1998
All-Optical Networks Peek Over the Horizon

Michael Van Belle, Contributing Editor

The future of telecommunications carries some fairly irrefutable requirements: it must be fast, it must cost less, and it must support an insatiable need for network capacity. Photonics components offer the most logical and easy way to achieve all three.
The international telephone system has about 700 million terminals, and it still handles the bulk of global network traffic. But that is changing, as Internet usage grows in leaps and bounds every year.
What this has already meant is that long-distance and local exchange carriers are finding their fiber networks pushed to the limit, and they see wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and related technologies as the answer to their prayers.

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