Benefits of Using Fiber Optic Network Cables

As you may have already noticed, a number of people today are excited by the words – fiber optic network cable. And yet, these cables are nothing but yet another kind of wires that carry signal. Hearing this does not make one excited at all. What, then, are the reasons that people are so animated at the thoughts of some cables?

The answer to the above lies in what these cables can do for one. These are not mere cables with all the conventional carrying speeds and obvious pitfalls. These cables do not carry conventional signal messages. Rather, they carry light waves as signals. As a result, the quality of the signal is top-notch. The security factor of such a signal is amazing. The speed of communication is exactly the same as light, because the signal is nothing but light waves.

The main benefits of using fiber optic network cables are listed below.

Immunity to interference leads of excellent signal quality: A more ordinary cable does not have sufficient bandwidth to protect against multiple signals being carried over the same channel. Also, external signals interfere with signals carried over more ordinary cables. This is never the case with fiber optic. Optical cable channels are well-immune against hindrance caused by external signals.

Light-based carrying of information leads to tremendous speed: Optical fibers carry the signal as light rays. Light is properly modulated and encoded to deliver the communication message packets. The speed of information carrying is tremendous – it is exactly as fast as light travels. Hence the experience of observation is true real-time. This is effective for Internet and television channel signals.

Optical medium of carrying message packets leads to protection of security: The optic network signals are carried using light as the medium. As a result, hacking and breaking into the system becomes difficult. On the other hand, conventional wiring systems such as co-axial cables leak information. Thus, the optical carrying of message translates to a significant enhancement in security. If you are looking for security in your home Internet or TV network, then using a fiber optic network cable is one of the best choices that you can ever possibly make.

Independence of weather in speed and performance: A common complaint of other cables is that the signal carrying speed changes with change in temperature. However, light-borne messages carried over fiber network are not affected by any change in temperature. As a result, the speed and performance of the network built upon with such high-quality cables remain top-notch, independent of weather and temperature factors.

Thus, using a fiber optic network cable caters a number of benefits. And all these benefits add up in building further reputation of these cables.

The Pro’s and Con’s of Using Shielded Network Cables

Any products that are powered by electricity, also emit electromagnetic energy in the form of radio frequency emissions, or RF frequency. These signals generally fall in the AM/FM radio range, and can be measured with any RF signal detector. The problem is these frequencies disturb other equipment in the area, causing interference. In video surveillance situations, it could be loss of picture quality in your cameras or monitors. Other devices nearby can also be effected.

In order for these devices to function in an environment, they will have to be Electromagnetic Compatible (EMC), so they do not disturb or disrupt nearby equipment. In order for EMC to work, you have two items, emissions of the RF signals, and immunity from the RF signals. Immunity is the ability of any electronic product to tolerate the introduction of electrical energy from electronic products near by. You should look at both emissions and immunity when setting up a video surveillance network.

The biggest cause of emissions in a network camera deployment would be using unshielded twisted-pair or UTP cables to connect the cameras near RF emissions, instead of using shielded twisted-pair (STP) cables. The difference between the two is that the STP version is a Class B FCC product designed for home use, which will have higher RF emission requirements. The UTP is a Class A FCC rated product with lower emission requirements, meaning higher emission rates that will cause the interference.

The main issue is when you run the UTP in an environment that has other electrical devices like lighting, motors, or other electronic devices that give off RF signals. For example, running a UTP along side or inside a conduit with 12 or 24 volt electrical line to power a light. In this case, you would want to use the STP cable, which will help to block the emissions from the electrical line.

However, when you are just running one cable to one camera and nothing is near it, there is no reason why you can’t use UTP cable, as there is nothing nearby emitting electromagnetic signals. Let’s look at the Pro’s & Cons of STP cables.

The Pro’s of Shielded Twisted-Pair Cable is that it blocks RF emissions so you have less interference problems, resulting in better video quality.

The Con’s are it is more expensive, and less flexible, so installations might be harder & will cost more.

Since you really don’t have to run STP to every network camera, it should not be a huge problem or expense. Unless you see that you have certain camera cable runs that could be an issue with other electronic devices nearby, for the most part, you don’t need to run STP to every camera. Instead, you can install the UTP cables for the rest of your surveillance system, and save the STP for those other areas.

Making sure you are protecting your video signals in areas that have high RF emissions is critical to achieving a successful network camera deployment, so every camera can be seen, and the results recorded for future use.

Cell Phone Signal Boosters: Voice, 2G, 3G, and 4G – What You Need to Know

For more than a decade, since the widespread use of the mobile phone, North American cell phone carriers used one, or both of the Cellular 850 MHz and PCS 1900 MHz frequency bands to carry their voice and data. Purchasing a cell phone signal booster for your home was fairly simple 10 years ago as AT&T and Verizon pretty much used 850 MHz for everything in most states and PCS carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile used 1900 MHz. If you wanted to cover all carriers and data technologies, you simply purchased a dual band (850/1900 MHz) booster and all was well. While that is still somewhat the case, with the emergence of 3G, 4G, AWS, WiMax, LTE, etc. there is simply not enough space in the 850 and 1900 MHz spectrums to handle all of today’s cell phone technologies. Today, just about all carriers have branched out from the traditional dual band ranges to operate at least some of their technologies in other spectrums.

The purpose of this article is to give you a basic overview of some of the major carriers, which frequencies they use, and which technologies those frequencies are used for. Hopefully this will aid in your comprehension of cell phone signal boosters and which one may be right for your application. Please note that this article is from July 2013 and the information below may no longer be completely accurate at the time of reading.


AT&T’s voice ( 2G), 3G and HSPA+ (4G) networks operate on 850 or 1900 MHz across the United States. So if you are just looking to boost these technologies, a traditional dual band cell phone signal booster will suffice. It is important to note that HSPA+ or High Speed Packet Access Plus is AT&T’s 3G network with enhanced backhaul that has been marketed as 4G. It is not 4G LTE, which has been a source of confusion for many of our customers. If your phone, tablet, MiFi, etc. shows “4G” next to the signal bars, then you are on the HSPA+ network. If your phone, tablet, MiFi, etc. shows “LTE” next to the signal bars then you are on the LTE network. AT&T 4G LTE runs on the 700 MHz band on bands 4 and 17. It is important to note that AT&T 4G LTE is for data only. Phone calls and text messages are still transmitted on the 850 or 1900 MHz band. So, if you’re looking to boost AT&T 4G LTE data only, look for a booster labeled specifically for AT&T 4G LTE. If you need to boost voice, 2G, 3G, 4G and AT&T 4G LTE data then you will need to look for an AT&T Tri-Band booster which supports 850 MHz, 1900 MHz, and 700 MHz bands 4 and 17 (AT&T 4G LTE).


Verizon’s voice (2G) and 3G (EVDO) networks operate on 850 or 1900 MHz across the United States. In most states, 850 MHz is used for voice and 1900 MHz is used for data. If you are just looking to boost voice calls, text messages and 3G data, look no further than a traditional dual band cell phone signal booster. Verizon 4G LTE, like AT&T 4G LTE, operates in 700 MHz spectrum, but on band 13. Just as with AT&T, if you’re looking to boost Verizon 4G LTE data only, look for a booster made specifically for Verizon 4G LTE. If you need to boost, voice, 3G, and 4G LTE data you will need to look for a Verizon Tri-Band booster which supports 850 MHz, 1900 MHz, and 700 MHz band 13 (Verizon 4G LTE).


Sprint’s 2G and 3G networks on the traditional dual band frequencies nationwide, although mostly 1900 MHz. It is increasingly difficult to find a PCS only residential booster, so your best bet is a traditional dual band booster. Sprint’s first generation of 4G ran in the Wimax band (2.5 GHz) and is still widely deployed. Recently, Sprint has launched its 4G LTE network which runs on a mix of Wimax and 1900 MHz, and soon, a part of the 800 band, which was previously dedicated for Nextel/iDEN. Your best bet for Sprint 4G data at this time is to call customer service and ask which frequencies they are using in your area for the technology you are interested in boosting. If Wimax is used in your area, a Sprint 4G Wimax booster is what you need. There are currently no boosters on the market for Sprint 4G LTE which will initially be deployed on the G block of the 1900 MHz Spectrum.


T-Mobile runs on 1900 MHz for voice, 2G, and text messaging. Again, with it being hard to find a quality residential PCS only cell phone signal booster, a dual band booster is the way to go. T-Mobile’s 3G and 4G HSPA+ networks run on the AWS or Advanced Wireless Services band (1700MHz / 2100 MHz) but are in the process of being transitioned to the 1900 MHz band to make way for their LTE network, which will operate on the AWS band. At the time of this writing, choose a dual band booster for voice and 2G data. If you’re looking to boost 3 or 4G data, it is best to call customer service to see which spectrum is being used for 3 or 4G data in your area before purchasing a booster. Like with the other major carriers, boosting 3 or 4G AWS data will require a booster specifically labeled for AWS. If you are lucky enough to live in an area where T-Mobile has already transitioned their 3 and 4G networks to 1900 MHz, a traditional dual band booster will now work for not only voice and 2G data, but 3 and 4G data as well. If you’re looking for a booster which will cover everything T-Mobile has to offer (including 4G LTE), no matter where you live or what frequencies are in use, you will want to look at a T-Mobile Tri-Band booster.


MetroPCS uses 1900 MHz for voice calls. Some of their 3G service is offered on 1900 MHz while in some areas it runs on the AWS band (1700/2100 MHz). The AWS band is also used for their 4G LTE network. If looking to boost Metro PCS voice only, a traditional dual band booster will work. If looking to boost 3G data, it is best to call customer service first to find out what frequency they are using for your area. If looking to boost MetroPCS 4G LTE, you will need an AWS booster. If you’re looking for a booster which will cover everything MetroPCS has to offer (including 4G LTE), no matter where you live or what frequencies are in use, you will want to look at a Tri-Band booster which includes 850/1900 and AWS frequencies.

Cricket Wireless

Cricket uses 1900 MHz for voice calls. Cricket’s 3G data service utilizes the Sprint 3G CDMA network. So, if looking to boost voice and 3G data for Cricket, a traditional dual band booster is all that is needed. Cricket also owns some AWS spectrum on which they offer their 4G LTE service. If looking to boost Cricket 4G LTE you will need an AWS booster

So now that you are armed with the major carrier frequency and technology information, your decision on which cell phone signal booster you need to purchase should be easier.