What Is Optical Communication?
The computers and mobile phones around us send messages via electrical signals "0 and 1". Optical communication consists of a "transmitter" that converts electrical signals into optical signals, a “receiver” that converts optical signals into electrical signals, and "optical fibers" that transmit optics.
Three Main Advantages of Optical Communication
Suppose you want to transmit 10Gb of information in one second (10 billion signals). If you use electrical communication, you need to adjust the signal every 100 meters. In contrast, using optical communication requires an interval of more than 100 kilometers. The fewer times the signal is adjusted, the fewer machines will be used, thus saving energy.
For example, when you phone or chat online now with your foreign friends, you will feel there is no difference with the domestic conversation, without lag in sound. In an era of electrical communication, one can transmit at a short distance and transmit less information, and international communication is mainly transmitted through satellite as relay. However, with optical communication, one can transmit at a long distance and transmit more information. Therefore, by using fiber-optic cables laid on the seafloor, it is possible to communicate with overseas. Electrical waves have the same speed as optical waves. However, because the transmission path is longer by satellite, the signal arrives slower. The submarine cable is much shorter, so the signal will be faster.
2. Transmit Massive Amount of Information at One Time
Using optical communication, a large number of users can receive the required information at the same time (movies or news, etc.). In one second, electrical communication can transmit only 10Gb of information (10 billion 0 and 1 signals). In contrast, optical communication can transmit information of up to 1Tb (1 trillion 0 and 1 signals).
3. Fast Communication Speed
Electrical communication can cause errors in electrical noise, resulting in decreased communication speed. However, optical communication is not affected by noise, so it can transmit signals quickly.