Innovations in ‘sustainable’ photonics technologies such as free-space optical links and solar-powered equipment provide developing countries with new cost-effective opportunities for deploying future-proof telecommunication networks.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    Keiser, G. Encyclopedia of Telecommunications (Wiley, London, 2003).

  2. 2.

    A Framework for the Establishment and Maintenance of a Sustainable NICIS (Report of the International Committee for the Development of South Africa’s National Integrated Cyberinfrastructure System Appointed by the Department of Science and Technology, December 2013); http://www.dst.gov.za/index.php/resource-center/cyber-infrastructure2.

  3. 3.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/

  4. 4.

    Zeilinger, A. Nat. Phys. 14, 3–4 (2018).

  5. 5.

    Yin, J. et al. Science 356, 1140–1144 (2017).

  6. 6.

    Diamanti, E. & Kashefi, E. Nat. Phys. 13, 3–4 (2017).

  7. 7.

    Fagas, G., Gallagher, J. P., Gammaitoni, L. & Paul, D. J. in ICT - Energy Concepts for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (ed. Fagas, G.) Ch. 1 (InTech, 2017).

  8. 8.

    http://www.greentouch.org/

  9. 9.

    Ahmed, M., Ahmad, I. & Habibi, D. IEEE/OSA J. Optical Commun. Networking 7, 669–680 (2015).

  10. 10.

    Ahmed, M., Ahmad, I. & Habibi, D. J. Lightwave Technol. 33, 7–18 (2015).

  11. 11.

    Mowla, M. M., Ahmad, I., Habibi, D. & Phung, Q. V. IEEE Trans. Green Commun. Networking 1, 264–280 (2017).

  12. 12.

    Fadlullah, Z. M. et al. IEEE Intelligent Syst. 28, 86–91 (2013).

  13. 13.

    Chen, J., Gong, Y., Fiorani, M. & Aleksic, A. IEEE Commun. Magazine 53, 140–148 (2015).

  14. 14.

    Chiaroni, D. Network Energy: problematic and solutions towards sustainable ICT. Tu1E-07 In 24th Congress of the International Commission for Optics (2017).

  15. 15.

    De Domenico, A., Calvanese Strinati, E. & Capone, A. Compt. Commun. 37, 5–24 (2014).

  16. 16.

    Tombaz, S. et al. 2014 IEEE Int. Conf. Commun. (ICC) 4029–4035 (2014).

  17. 17.

    https://5g-ppp.eu/

  18. 18.

    Hamza, A. S., Deogun, J. S. & Alexander, D. R. IEEE Commun. Surveys Tutorials 18, 1572–1595 (2016).

  19. 19.

    Li, X., Huo, Y., Zhang, R. & Hanzo, L. IEEE Trans. Green Commun. Networking 1, 59–73 (2017).

  20. 20.

    Wang, T. Q., Green, R. J. & Armstrong, J. IEEE J. Selected Areas Commun. 33, 1959–1971 (2015).

  21. 21.

    Richardson, D. J., Fini, J. M. & Nelson, L. E. Nat. Photon. 7, 354–362 (2013).

  22. 22.

    Willner, A. E. et al. Adv. Optics Photon. 7, 66–106 (2015).

  23. 23.

    Fontaine, N. K. et al. in Asia Commun. Photon. Conf. OSA Technical Digest (online) M1J.4 (Optical Society of America, 2017).

  24. 24.

    http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/ict/brief/making-rural-broadband-affordable

  25. 25.

    South Africa’s inequality is no longer about race. The Economist (20 May 2017); https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21722155-democracy-has-brought-wealth-only-few.

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund, the South African National Research Foundation, the South African Research Chair Initiative of the Department of Science and Technology, the National Basic Research Program of China (2014CB340004), the Royal Society-Newton Advanced Fellowship, the programme for Huazhong University of Science and Technology Academic Frontier Youth Team, the National Research Foundation and the Royal Academy of Engineering for their support.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK

    • Martin P. J. Lavery
    • , Mojtaba Mansour Abadi
    •  & Anthony E. Kelly
  2. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

    • Ralf Bauer
  3. University of Southampton, Southampton, UK

    • Gilberto Brambilla
    •  & Radan Slavík
  4. University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

    • Ling Cheng
    • , Mitchell A. Cox
    • , Angela Dudley
    • , Bienvenu Ndagano
    • , Carmelo Rosales-Guzmán
    • , Filippus S. Roux
    •  & Andrew Forbes
  5. Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Pretoria, South Africa

    • Angela Dudley
    •  & Kobus Roux
  6. University of Aston, Birmingham, UK

    • Andrew D. Ellis
  7. Nokia Bell Labs, Holmdel, NJ, USA

    • Nicolas K. Fontaine
  8. Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light and Institute of Optics, Information and Photonic, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Nürnberg, Erlangen, Germany

    • Christoph Marquardt
  9. Square Kilometre Array, Johannesburg, South Africa

    • Selaelo Matlhane
  10. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa

    • Francesco Petruccione
  11. University of Padova, Padova, Italy

    • Filippo Romanato
  12. National Metrology Institute of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa

    • Filippus S. Roux
  13. Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics, School of Optical and Electronic Information, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, China

    • Jian Wang

Authors

  1. Search for Martin P. J. Lavery in:

  2. Search for Mojtaba Mansour Abadi in:

  3. Search for Ralf Bauer in:

  4. Search for Gilberto Brambilla in:

  5. Search for Ling Cheng in:

  6. Search for Mitchell A. Cox in:

  7. Search for Angela Dudley in:

  8. Search for Andrew D. Ellis in:

  9. Search for Nicolas K. Fontaine in:

  10. Search for Anthony E. Kelly in:

  11. Search for Christoph Marquardt in:

  12. Search for Selaelo Matlhane in:

  13. Search for Bienvenu Ndagano in:

  14. Search for Francesco Petruccione in:

  15. Search for Radan Slavík in:

  16. Search for Filippo Romanato in:

  17. Search for Carmelo Rosales-Guzmán in:

  18. Search for Filippus S. Roux in:

  19. Search for Kobus Roux in:

  20. Search for Jian Wang in:

  21. Search for Andrew Forbes in:

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Martin P. J. Lavery or Andrew Forbes.

About this article

Publication history

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-018-0162-z

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing