The advent of computer technology has inspired many scientists into great inventions. These brought about an era marked by numerous technological advancements. Such improvements have led to a soaring in the usage of bandwidth as more people have adopted the use of the internet. The internet has transformed how the world communicates. It is now much easier to get access to information. It is estimated that the number more than one-third of the worlds population are now online, a proportion that promises to grow. While it is prudent to acknowledge the vital role of the internet in global communication, there has been growing concern on optimal bandwidth to support the increasing number of internet users. With more users, more data-heavy services and more devices connecting to network, technology companies have been working to increase the rate of data transfer (bandwidth). The new fiber optic technology promises to increase the bandwidth rapidly. The significant change that this would cause is in orbital angular momentum (OAM). Fiber optics causes OAM of light to create streams of data-transferring channels that, though spatially distinct, are multiplexed in one fiber. As such the OAM could result in an added degree of flexibility for data multiplexing in the future of fiber networks (Li et al., 2012).
Increased bandwidth would have a positive impact on the work environment. Some of the significant ways in which this would be seen include cloud computing, video conferencing, mobile computing, and big data generating research. Most companies have embraced cloud computing. It provides customized access to the generalization of computing, support for scaling, whether horizontal or vertical. Further, the cloud platform diminishes the need for WANs and LANs (Wilder, 2012). However, it still requires high downloads and uploads bandwidth that can handle the amount of data retrieved from and stored in the cloud. Increased bandwidth will cut down on the times that are required for these processes, regardless of the number of people using the cloud at the same time, thereby limiting the occurrence of downtime for businesses.
Video conferencing is the fastest growing business application, as far as internet traffic is concerned. More companies are adopting a global approach that often requires meetings without necessarily being physically present. Additionally, we have moved into a data-driven era in which the capability of taking appropriate decision on the existing data is vital to medical treatments business achievements, disaster management, and cyber security. Mostly, the data that needs to be generated via a myriad of simulations, high-resolution sensor, and high through-put trials require an increased bandwidth to get, examine and process. Increased bandwidth will serve to facilitate the extraction of the best decision from such data. Mobile computing has been adopted by many businesses, especially after the deployment of 4G network, in areas such as ticketing systems.
Mobile computing still features with regards to application of increased bandwidth in the entertainment scene. The current population has vastly adopted the use of smartphones in connecting with family and friends globally. The deployment of 4G networks has also changed how the population accesses entertainment (Lee, 2013). Mobile technology has been used to watch videos and listen to music. In addition to the smartphones, other portable devices such as tablets have also been used for a similar purpose. Cisco has estimated that mobile internet devices, including laptops, currently outnumber the people living on Earth, at over 10 billion devices.
Peer-to-peer file sharing in the entertainment industry is also another application that drives the need for increased bandwidth. However, by as early as 2010, video had surpassed peer-to-peer file sharing concerning being the largest type of traffic online, or on the internet. The projections, at the time, estimated that by 2015, on-demand video traffic would be the equivalent of 3 billion DVDs monthly and one million minutes of video would cross global networks every second.
Other technologies that have been associated with the need for increased bandwidth include 3D imaging techniques and the gaming industry. The gaming industry has been transformed, and the gamers want the video games to be more lifelike. These changes come at a cost and require increased bandwidth to navigate, especially with online gaming.
Optical networks may prevent technology companies from realizing increased bandwidth. This is because photons that pulsate through the optical fibers do not move at the same speed. This non-linearity causes the light to go faster in a lit fiber than a dark fiber. Researchers have been looking into the practicality of solitons. A soliton refers to a pulse that retains its shape throughout so that the lit and dark fibers are balanced in such a way that widens the pulse (Thomas, 2013). As such, until research in optical computing and photonic switching can be fruitful, the unused potential bandwidth of the optical networks cannot be tapped. Solving these would bring about much-needed synergy with fiber optic transmission. Currently, however, it is only possible to theorize on the bright future of the optical networks.
Increased bandwidth has been seen to have great promise for online users. Increasing the bandwidth is a challenge. However, it is a challenge that technology companies are racing to conquer. Even though it is the oldest, underwater cable technology has proven to be critical in the race to increase bandwidth.
Lee, I. (2013). Mobile services industries, technologies, and applications in the global economy. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
Li, L., Su, P., Xue, J., Brillhart, M., Lau, J., Tzeng, P. J., ... & Wu, S. T. (2012, May). Addressing bandwidth challenges in next generation high performance network systems with 3D IC integration. In Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC), 2012 IEEE 62nd (pp. 1040-1046). IEEE.
Thomas, M. (2013). Technologies, innovation, and change in personal and virtual learning environments. Hershey PA: Information Science Reference.
Wilder, B. (2012). Cloud architecture patterns: [develop cloud-native applications]. Beijing: O'Reilly.
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