In less than five years since the first commercial introduction, lightguide systems are sweeping the telecommunications Industry. Initial applications were in Interoffice trunk and long-haul routes, and these have stimulated very rapid advancement of the technology. Multimode fibers have given way to single-mode fibers designed to operate at 1.3- and 1.5-μm wavelengths. Transmission rates have multiplied from 45 Mbit/sec to hundreds of Mbit/sec today and Gbit/sec are expected In the future. Repeater spacings have Increased from 6 to over 50 km. The price of cabled fiber has dropped by more than a factor of 2 and is expected to continue to decrease. Virtually all new trunk and toll cable Installations now use optical fiber cable.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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