Enterprise / Networking
What You Need to Know About Wavelength WAN Services
The Pros and Cons of Wavelength Services
- Massive data capacity: Fiber offers far greater bandwidth compared to cable-based transport mediums such as twisted-pair copper or coax cable. Indeed, fiber links deliver over 1,000 times as much bandwidth as twisted-pair copper. While coax provides greater data capacity than twisted-pair, it still falls far short of fiber.
- Travels greater distances: Electrical signals across copper have a much shorter distance range compared to data traveling in light transport across fiber. For example, transmission across unshielded twisted-pair copper requires amplification after only ±100 meters (328 feet). Coax can only travel ±500 meters (1,640 feet) without a boost. But signals across fiber can reach up to 80 km (49.7 miles) before needing regeneration.
- Dedicated bandwidth and static path: A wavelength path is typically fixed. Conversely, dynamic (protected) routing of IP traffic varies depending upon network conditions, which may increase latency.
- Resists electromagnetic (EM) and radio frequency (RF) interference: Transmission over fiber optics is virtually noise-free. Conversely, transmission over copper can be plagued by electromagnetic (EM) and radio frequency (RF) interference, voltage surges, and crosstalk. We covered crosstalk in our post on colocation cross connections.
- Lower energy usage, size, weight, and cost: According to Multicom, fiber consumes 2 W per user while copper is >10 W per user. Fiber cable weighs much less and occupies less space than copper cable. Also, fiber cable comes from glass; copper must be refined from ore and therefore costs more.
- Fiber is difficult to splice: Unlike copper, fiber requires highly specialized equipment to splice and test.
- Fiber cable is susceptible to damage during installation: While fiber has a very strong pulling strength, the physical arc of fiber cable is limited. In other words, fiber cables can be broken if excessively bent. Moreover, transmission loss occurs when fiber cables wrap around sharp curves.
Different Types of Wavelength Services
- Metropolitan: Carriers offering local fiber connectivity within a metro area. Most large American cities have several metropolitan wavelength providers. For businesses located in major metro areas, this is an easy and cost-effective solution for point-to-point (P2P) connections between intra-city locations.
- Domestic: Businesses needing to connect locations across state lines may opt for domestic wavelength services over a national fiber-optic network. Note that domestic "long-haul" carriers are fewer in number compared to metropolitan wave service providers. Hence, pricing tends to be higher than the services offered by metropolitan carriers.
- International: These carriers provide connectivity between continents and countries. International wavelength services rely on both submarine and terrestrial networks. Usually, only a few providers can meet a company's specific wave needs when connecting its geographically diverse locations.
- Large file transfers: massive files such as video (think UHD/4K TV) or highly pixelated images need the bandwidth waves provide.
- Real-time data replication: the copying and transfer of data, as it is generated, to one or more locations. Real-time data is used for database and application migrations, redundancy, analytics, hybrid cloud computing, and data integration.
- Offsite data storage: since the amount of data businesses generate has skyrocketed in recent years, waves provide them the means to easily access information stored offsite.
- Disaster Recovery: DR or DRaaS, using its replicated data stored in the cloud, a business can quickly restore functionality and access to its IT infrastructure. Wavelength services provide the bandwidth needed to complete DR processes ASAP.
- Editing and transferring video files: Wavelength services facilitate real-time collaboration across multiple locations when editing and transferring video files. Similar solutions are also used in healthcare, real estate, architecture, and engineering sectors.
- Datacenter interconnectivity: of course, data centers need massive pipelines for the unimpeded flow of data. Waves allow for the transfer of large workloads with uber-low latency.
- Financial and banking applications: Wavelength services facilitate speedy, secure processing of credit card and ATM transactions.
Wavelength Pricing Guidelines
Are Wave Services Right for your Enterprise?
Want to learn more about how Lightyear can help you?
Let us show you the product and discuss specifics on how it might be helpful.
Not ready to buy?
Stay up to date on our product, straight to your inbox every month.
Enterprise / Networking
WAN Connectivity Pricing Guide: P2P, MPLS, Dark Fiber & More
This report covers how WAN services (P2P, Wave, Dark Fiber, MPLS & SD-WAN) are priced including proprietary pricing insights from 15k+ telecom service quotes.
The Impact of Hybrid Work Models on Corporate Cybersecurity
The “New Normal” hybrid work model has increased cyber threats exponentially, so what’s next for corporate cybersecurity?