We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- Evolution of the Internet over the years.
- Impact of the Pandemic on Networks.
- Monumental Role of Internet Provider.
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
- What is WiFi?
The Internet: Then vs Now
Imagine what our digital networks can do for us
1969 was a monumental year for technology. Not many realised it at the time.
On Oct 29, 1969, a team of graduate students from UCLA, led by Professor Leonard Kleinrock established a host-to-host communication of ARPANET, a packet-switching network. They achieved this by creating a computer-to-computer connection with a team at the Stanford Research Institute. This piece of technology would go on to serve as the precursor to what we know as the Internet today.
Building on the foundation of this breakthrough, there has been tremendous growth in the past 52 years concerning digital networks and technology. Everybody agrees that the Internet has become an integral part of our lives. We would go a step further and suggest that it has become a necessity for survival. Such is its omnipresence that it has pretty much disappeared into the background of our lives, with technology and apps flawlessly integrating into our homes, wearable gadgets and transportation. Universal connectivity has long become the established norm.
What was the Impact of the Pandemic on Networks?
Although the growth and development of the internet and related technologies is a rapidly evolving process, the human race has learned to adapt to new tools and systems effortlessly. Talking about the importance of a strong digital network might seem banal but the recent coronavirus pandemic has highlighted it like never before.
The longer we endure this pandemic, the limitations and advantages of remote working and being self-sufficient become more and more clear. Even though economies are reopening and people are returning to offices, many businesses are expressing their desire to establish a hybrid model of remote work for employees. The virus has caused the removal of barriers to remote working and initiated a shift in working habits.
How Monumental is the Role of Internet Providers?
The number one non-negotiable in all of this is the availability of a strong digital network that makes all of this possible. With social distancing and lockdowns executed in all parts of the world, people need to carry on their work and communication to sustain their livelihood and mental well-being. All the tools for work and social interaction are only available with a strong digital network and internet provider. Thus, 5G service providers and communication platforms have seen an exponential rise in demand and growth.
As constant consumers of internet services throughout the lockdown, we are all aware of the role it has in keeping us engaged. It has opened up a world of possibilities for us as we sit home, bounded by this lethal virus. Despite having to refrain from social contact and interaction, we have never been this well-connected. The greatest support in making this possible has come from the network service providers making 4G and 5G networks available easily across the globe.
The physical world might have come to a halt, but our lives in terms of work and communication have not been impacted as gravely thanks to these digital networks. Be it video conferences, communication, webinars or social media, our ability to lead a dynamic life has been more or less retained.
STL Connects 17,000 Indonesian Islands
Countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia have witnessed an influx of tourists in the past year post lockdown, for remote working and the new ‘staycation’ trend. People moved to these areas for a relaxed and easy-going work environment as well as a strong digital network that could support their work requirements. The availability of a reliable digital network has brought us to a point where our physical location does not impact the quality of our work or its delivery.
This has only been possible because of the strong network providers in the area. A leading telecommunication infrastructure provider in Indonesia has singlehandedly been able to connect over 17K islands and 300+ ethnic groups, transforming their everyday lives during these tough times. Built on a 100% fibre optic network, and enabled by STL’s tech prowess, the services are reliable and secure. Owing to these services, work from home and education for kids has been a stress-free task for the locals.
As we continue to battle and survive the pandemic, these network providers have proved a boon to human lives. Technology has yet again demonstrated the extent to which it influences and enhances our lives.
What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data. This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities.
There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).
An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.
The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.
What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).