Fibre optic DWDM

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Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing

A newer fiber optic media development for long-range communications is called dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM). DWDM multiplies the amount of bandwidth that a single strand of fiber can support.

Specifically, DWDM:

  • Enables bidirectional communications over one strand of fiber.
  • Can multiplex more than 80 different channels of data (i.e., wavelengths) onto a single fiber.
  • Each channel is capable of carrying a 10 Gb/s multiplexed signal.
  • Assigns incoming optical signals to specific wavelengths of light (i.e., frequencies).
  • Can amplify these wavelengths to boost the signal strength.
  • Supports SONET and SDH standards.


SONET is an American-based ANSI standard, while SDH is a European-based ETSI and ITU standard. Both are essentially the same and, therefore, often listed as SONET/SDH.

DWDM fibreoptic