Impact of wave propagation delay on latency in optical communication systems

Tetsuya Kawanishi, Atsushi Kanno, Yuki Yoshida, Ken Ichi Kitayama

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

8 Citations (Scopus)


Latency is an important figure to describe performance of transmission systems for particular applications, such as data transfer for earthquake early warning, transaction for financial businesses, interactive services such as online games, etc. Latency consists of delay due to signal processing at nodes and transmitters, and of signal propagation delay due to propagation of electromagnetic waves. The lower limit of the latency in transmission systems using conventional single mode fibers (SMFs) depends on wave propagation speed in the SMFs which is slower than c. Photonic crystal fibers, holly fibers and large core fibers can have low effective refractive indices, and can transfer light faster than in SMFs. In free-space optical systems, signals propagate with the speed c, so that the latency could be smaller than in optical fibers. For example, LEO satellites would transmit data faster than optical submarine cables, when the transmission distance is longer than a few thousand kilometers. This paper will discuss combination of various transmission media to reduce negative impact of the latency, as well as applications of low-latency systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Metro Networks and Short-Haul Systems V
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jul 4
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Metro Networks and Short-Haul Systems V - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 2013 Feb 52013 Feb 7

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Metro Networks and Short-Haul Systems V
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • financial business
  • lightwave propagation
  • low latency
  • online game
  • optical fiber
  • radio-wave
  • satellite
  • submarine cable

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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