Everything you need to know about fiber optics in a cell towers
With each passing year, the number of people using wireless devices is also increasing. The number of people using smartphones or mobile phones has doubled in the number. People are now using technology more than in the past. An increase in the use of technology demands high speed and reliability. Fiber optic cables are major sources and mediums to bring reliability and increased speed to networks. The cell towers or the antennas may seem wireless, but they are not completely wireless. Fiber optic cables are in use to connect to the cell towers. Fiber cables are now replacing the complex coaxial cables gradually.
Why use fiber cables for antennas?
Higher bandwidths are important, and fiber optic cables can provide higher bandwidths. The chances of data losses are less with fiber optic cables over coaxial cables in antennas. To get higher bandwidths, you have to add more antennas to the towers and connect the antennas to the cell towers; you have to use coaxial cables. These coaxial cables are very complex and heavy, which increases the complexity of connecting with the antennas. Fiber cables are lighter in weight, and the complexity is less. That is why fiber is preferable over coaxial cables in modern cell towers. The attenuation rates are very less if the right fiber selection is made. To get the correct type of fiber for connectivity, acquire structured cabling companies in Dubai, and enjoy the higher network bandwidths.
What is FTTA?
FFTA stands for fiber to the antenna. It is a broadband architecture for the towers’ connectivity to the base station. There is a thing called RRH, which stands for Remote Radio Head or Remote Radio Unit(RRU). It is responsible for transmitting, receiving, and amplifying the signals to and fro from the antenna to the mobile network. This RRU or RRH has a connection with the base unit or base station through a fiber optic cable.
Modern cell towers are now commonly using FTTA architecture to reduce attenuation rates and have higher bandwidth rates. We will discuss the advantages of fiber cables over coaxial cables later in this article.
Which modes of fiber to use?
Generally, fiber optic cables have two modes. Single-mode fiber optic cables and multimode fiber optic cables are both cables that are compatible with FTTA architecture. The selection of the fiber will depend on the transceiver and the cost. Multimode fiber cables are used with low-cost transceivers and to reduce the installation cost.
When you want to transmit signals to a long distance, you need a single-mode fiber optic cable. Single-mode optic fiber requires good quality and expensive transceivers, which eventually increases the cost of installation.
Advantages of fiber over coaxial cables for antennas
Below are some of the advantages of fiber optic cables over a traditional and old coaxial cable. These advantages will force one to use fiber optic cables more frequently over complex coaxial cables.
1. Light in weight
Fiber optic cables are lighter in weight; their thickness is almost near to human hair. The fiber optic cable’s lightweight puts less stress on the cell tower than the coaxial cables, whose weight is greater than fiber cables.
2. Less complexity
More and more antennas are added to the cell tower to increase data transmission rates or frequency. The antennas’ addition becomes complex with the coaxial cables, but it is less complex with fiber optic cables.
3. Higher bandwidths
Fiber optics are famous for higher bandwidths and data transmission rates as compared to coaxial cables. The chances of data and signal loss are very less in fiber optics.
4. Durable and long-lasting
Fiber optic cables long last and can work for longer periods, whereas coaxial cables have less life span. Fiber optic cables do not corrode as compared to coaxial cables.
5. Signal quality
Fiber optic cables offer better signal quality as the chances of the interference of multiple signals passing through it is almost zero. Also, for good signal quality, you must use a quality fiber cable. If you are looking to get yourself a high-quality fiber cable, hire structured cabling companies in Dubai to get high-quality results.
6. Environment friendly
Fiber optic cables send the data or information in pulses to and from the base station, making them environmentally friendly. On the other hand, data transmission is in the form of current signals for coaxial cables.
Who does the maintenance and repairing job for FTTA architecture?
In an FTTA architecture, the maintenance of the fiber optic cable and installation requires expert hands. No random person can do the maintenance job of the fiber cables in a cell tower. It is also very important to look for the connectors’ cleanliness before installing the fiber optic cables in an FTTA architecture. The connectors you will get from the authorities will not be clean and ready to use. Do proper inspection on the connectors’ cleanliness to have no signal attenuation issues in your communication.