Friday, December 14, 2012

Coaxial Cable vs Fiber-optic Cable Technology

Below are the main and basic differences between coaxial cable and fiber-optic technology. I tried to use layman's terms to explain the differences, comparison and similarities. There are 4 categories that I used to show the characteristics and features of both.

I have tried to distinguish using simple terms the two popular technologies, coaxial cable and fiber-optic cable and used 4 categories which are Material used, Technology behind, advantages of using and setup, and commercial and home applications of both. Any additional information and comments from the experts are welcomed, thanks in advance.


Material used for Coaxial Cable:
- Copper core cable shielded by Air gap
- Co-axial cable (sharing the same axis or center) consists of an outer and inner part with the outer part used as a protection from electrical interference while the inner part carries the electric signal

- uses electromagnetic field technology to carry the signal
- coax cable uses electricity, electric signals (electrons) to transfer data
- copper core of the coaxial cable carries an analog signal

Advantages of Coaxial Cable:
- coaxial cables can be used near metallic objects without loss of power
- protects the signal from having interference with an electromagnetic source such as electronic devices around
- coaxial cable easily fits on the input jack of the receiver and no problems with kinks -

Uses and Applications of Coaxial Cable:
- carry telephone and data signals
- distribution of cable television signals from Cable TV provider companies
- Coaxial cable is used to transmit radio frequency signals
- connect radio transmitters to the antenna
- connect radio signal receiver to the antenna
- connecting home, office, business computer network
- LAN (local area network) internet connections
- WAN (wide area network) internet connections



Material used for Fiber-optic cable:
- thin hollow fiber glass made of silica

- fiber of thin hollow silica glass is used as a small pipe to transmit light particles containing signals and data information between the two ends of the fiber
- fiber-optics cable uses light (photons) to transfer data
- optical fibre carries a digital signal

Advantages of Fiber Optic Cable:
- flexibility of the cable (however, kinks distort the signal)
- transparent properties of fiber optic cable
- can be transmitted over longer distances with minimal or no losses
- allows data to be transferred at higher bandwidths
- can be curved around a corner during installation but can not be bent (signal distortion)
- data transmission through the strands of fiber optic glass is faster

Uses and Applications of Fiber-optic cables:
- fiber-optic communication companies,
- fiber optic cable tv distribution to houses and businesses
- used to carry telephone, television, and data signals within a wider band of frequencies

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