Fibre Optic & 5G
A smooth transition to 5G wireless networks will be entirely dependent on fibre-optic cables for their efficient delivery of data along the cables from network providers to the 5G cell towers.
From 5G cell towers, wireless signals are transmitted, delivering greater bandwidth at much faster speeds (10-20 times faster than current 4G networks) to the user.
Dense fibre optic networks are necessary support structures for wireless 5G to take off because the limitation of a 5G mast is that an individual cell tower can only securely transmit signals to a radius of about 60 metres. Therefore it can only do what it is intended to do with the complementary technology of optical fibre networks that deliver data to the mast.
The key element with which the core of optical fibre glass is doped, is Germanium. Its uniquely high refractive index creates total internal reflection of infrared light within the cable core, reliably delivering data with minimised attenuation (i.e. reduction in signal strength during transmission) along hundreds of miles of cable. So the transition to 5G and optical fibre is expected to underpin and drive growth in germanium demand for the foreseeable future.