Well, yes! The global data demand is growing at a rapid rate, more precisely at 26% CAGR as per Cisco VNI Global IP Traffic Forecast, 2017-2022.
A simple reason for such massive increase in data demand is because of the ever-increasing devices and connections which are growing faster at 10% CAGR than both the world population (1% CAGR) and Internet Users (7 % CAGR).
A connected 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) TV at your home consumes nearly 15-18 mbps of data. This is 3x more than the plain HD TV that you had a few years back. It is estimated that by 2022, 62% of connected flat panel TV sets will be 4K. This clearly points towards the increasing demand for data courtesy increasing video consumption.
The same is validated through the below graph on traffic growth due to different applications; Internet Video will amount to more than 71% of total data demand by 2022.
Fine, so it’s established that users want more & more of data and less & less of lag. But how do ISPs and CSPs meet these demands?
Enablers to meet the data demands:
Fibre is the most scalable, secure and cost-effective option to transmit large volumes of data, uninterrupted for years. But fibre by itself cannot make this happen, what else are the enablers to meet the bandwidth demands of tomorrow?
- We need faster electronics
a. Electronics that can do “Modulation” faster. In simple language, the faster the light source can be turned on & off, or say, irradiation of the optical light source is varied, the faster you can transmit data over a strand of fibre. More wavelength to transmit data over:
2. More wavelength to transmit data over:
a. If we have the resource (read: fibre) that can utilise the entire available spectrum from 1260nm to 1620nm, we will have more
window to transmit data over. In the last 30 years, hardly ever we have gone beyond 1550nm. But the newer generations PONs are
pushing the fibre to function in the range of 1580nm to 1620nm.
b. With Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), we can pack more data on a single fibre strand. So, on a single fibre strand, with
Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), you can have upto 128 different marginally spaced wavelengths, carrying different
packets of data, compounding your data transfer capability.
3. More Fibre:
a. For all of the above mentioned enablers, fibre is the sole transport medium and hence, we need more & more of it. The demand by Global OTT players for their data centres, where data transfer need is in the range of 100Tb/sec, 3000+ fibre strand optical fibre cable is the minimum requirement.