Feb 6, 2019

What’s The Difference between Fibre, ADSL and LTE?

Our world is becoming increasingly digitised and the global online community is growing at an astronomical rate. In order to keep up with this trend both residential and business users are becoming more reliant on reliable internet connections. Everything from entertainment and communication to smart home appliances and security technology makes use of the internet.

Looking at your options for dependable internet service, you’ve likely asked what the difference is between fibre, ADSL and LTE?

Fibre: Reaching For the Speed of Light

Fibre uses light for your internet supply. Instead of using electrical signals, fibre optic cables transmit data through beams of light which move at around two-thirds of the speed of light. That’s roughly 66 times faster than the speed of electrical signals, which is why fibre internet far exceeds older systems. Reaching speeds of up to 500 Mbps (for now) for Fibre to the home, it’s clear why fibre is referred to as ‘high-speed broadband’.

Beyond the sheer speeds offered by fibre, the fact that it makes use of light means that the signal can carry much further from the source without weakening, making it a more quality method. Also, because you are making use of light signals, as opposed to electrical ones, electromagnetic interference (e.g. from high-powered electrical devices like electric fences) won’t interrupt your service. Furthermore, fibre optic cables are also far less vulnerable to aging, decay and infrastructure upgrades than copper lines. Which essentially means that you will experience a reliable, high-speed internet connection that you can depend on.

Cost savings are another benefit of fibre. Having fibre in your property increases the value of your home especially because people generally invest in property for the long term and with the internet of things (IOT) fast becoming a reality this future planning is becoming more and more relevant.  From Security, to entertainment, convenience and communication all rely more and more on IOT.

Add to that the fact that you have the option to order a fibre voice line (VOIP) which in many instances is more cost effective than copper landlines.

ADSL: Electrical Signals and Valuable Metals

ADSL, also known as Asymmetric Digital Subscriber line, makes use of copper telephone lines to transmit data as electrical signals. One of the greatest benefits of using existing phone lines is that users don’t need to install any extra wiring in or to their homes. If you have existing copper telephone lines that have already been installed in your home, then your will not require any additional installations to obtain an ADSL service.

With the ever-evolving technology and rate at which data can be shared it becomes increasingly frustrating to meet these demands with speed limitations and congestions on an ADSL line.
This is likely due to the fact that copper telephone cables were never intended to handle the demands of modern internet usage. That is why increased traffic from other users in your neighbourhood can cause congestion or bottlenecking. This causes a knock-on effect the same way you experience a traffic jam on the way to work.

Cable theft also raises challenges for copper lines because of their value, which can lead to downtime and unreliable service.

LTE: Evolving, Wireless Internet

LTE (or ‘Long Term Evolution’) is essentially a path / platform to accessing wireless 4G internet, just like using the internet on your phone. It’s relatively quick and easy to set up, offers good speeds (many LTE-Advanced users reach about 55 Mbps) and does not need to be limited to a single location.

The limitations to these services however exist due to the limited coverage, as well as the congestion in high-traffic areas. Another reason that may steer you away from a LTE solution is the price.  The price of data on LTE is generally more expensive than alternative solutions.

Simply put, while all three of these widely used internet solutions have their advantages; fibre is definitely the most reliable solution for both the long and short term – provided that it is available in your area.  If fibre is available in your area, MetroFibre can provide you with a variety of quality internet packages to meet your daily connection needs.