At the intersect between education and technology

Future of Communication Connectivity Lies in Fiber Media Converters

A fiber media convertor is a networking device that connects and translates electronic signals into light signals and vice versa. Media converters connect multiple local area networks (LANs) to form one large network across a limited geographic area. 

Fiber media converters can help connect LANs over single-mode fiber up to 160 kilometers with 1550 nm optics at great speeds. The immense growth in virtual and digital data communication has fuelled the need for these converters.  Humongous data is being generated in today’s global networks. The growth in  SMAC (Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud) technologies like the Ansible automation platform is generating data which needs to be stored, transmitted and processed through  higher bandwidth cables.  The present cable networks lack the required bandwidth and scalability to carry the load or the evolving technology architecture. 

The rise in the fiber communication market is also driven by increasing data security concerns such as the more stringent HIPAA compliant hosting requirements in recent times. Data or signals are transmitted via light in fiber optic transmission, thereby negating any chances of data leakages or “listening in”, ensuring that all information remains secure.

A recent market research predicts the global industrial media converters market will grow at a CAGR of over 6 percent  between 2018 and 2022. The American continent was the leader in industrial fiber media converters In 2017 with 38 percent market share, followed by EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific countries).  America is expected to maintain this lead in the coming years.  The rise in data mining and artificial intelligence along with smart technology is driving  growth the world over.  Fiber optic media converters are seeing a demand in the oil and gas industry, defense and health. The market for the converters is expected to reach  nearly US $28 billion by 2025.

Fiber media converters come with the added advantage of flexibility and compatibility with the existing wiring, extended transmission and  cost effectiveness. Analysts see  the ease of installation of fiber media converters in existing cabling infrastructure as a major reason in the growth of the global industrial media converters markets.  

“The use of media converter aids in the easy transition of media types and extension of the LAN using fiber optic cables in the existing infrastructure. The use of single-mode optical fiber can increase the reach to up to 130 km. As industrial manufacturers are increasing their Ethernet protocol for connectivity and the need to connect copper base connectivity throughout the enterprise, media converters offer viable solutions for converting media and extending the networking capabilities within the current network infrastructure,” according to an analyst working with a leading global technology research and advisory company.

The American continent was the leader in industrial fiber media converters In 2017 with a 38  percent market share, followed by EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and APAC (Asia Pacific countries). Among the two major end users (discrete and process) of managed fiber media converters, the process industry segment accounted for nearly 70 percent of the market share. The major users are IT & telecom, broadcast, defense, medical and health sector industries.

There are minor disadvantages of fibre media converters. Fiber cables are fragile, and despite an almost 60 percent drop in its prices over the years, installation of fiber optics cables is slightly more expensive than copper ones.