How Much Do You Know about Metropolitan Area Network?

With the development of network tech and other communication techs, metropolitan area network(MAN) appears to solve the problems of LAN(Local Area Network)interconnection and make up for the disadvantages of WAN(Wide Area Network). Maybe there are still many people unfamiliar with MAN although it is widely used in the daily life. Then in this post, the definition of MAN, types of MAN, advantages of MAN will be introduced by Gigalight.

The Definition of Metropolitan Area Network

A Metropolitan Area Network (short for MAN) is a large computer network in the large geographical area such as several buildings, a large university campus or even the entire city. MAN is larger than LAN but smaller than WAN. A MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) usually incorporates several LANs to form a bigger network. The purpose of MAN is to provide the link to the internet in the long run. The MAN backbone comprises of an optical fiber set-up.

The MAN’s communication links and equipments are generally owned by either a consortium of users or by a single network provider who sells the service to the users. The latter usage is also sometimes referred to as a campus network. The IUB network is an example of a MAN.  Generally speaking, MAN does not belong to any particular organization, in most cases, a group of users or a provider who takes charge of the service has its connecting elements and other equipments.

metropolitan area network

Types of Metropolitan Area Network

The most widely used technologies to develop a MAN (Metropolitan Area Network) are FDDI (fiber distribution data interface), ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) and SMDS (switched multi megabit data service). ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) is the most frequently used among them. ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) is a digital data transfer technology. It was developed in 1980 to improve the transmission of real-time data over a single network. ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) works just like cell relay system, where data is separated in the form of fixed equal sized packets and is transferred overtime. The purpose of ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) is to access clear audio and video results during a video conferencing. The attributes of ATM has enabled it to become a base of wide area data networking.

Advantages of Metropolitan Area Network

1. The biggest advantage of MAN is the bandwidth (potential speed) of the connecting links. MAN is extremely efficient and provides fast communication via high-speed carriers, such as fiber optic cables. MAN can cover a wider area than a LAN, It is a large network connectedness, information can be disseminated more widely, rapidly and significantly. MAN is usually operated at airports, or a combination of several pieces at a local school.

2. MAN falls between the LAN and WAN. Therefore, it increases the efficiency of handling data at the same time that it saves the cost to establish a wide area network.

3. Due to the use of LAN technology with active switching elements, the transmission latency in the network is low.

4. MAN offers centralized management of data. It enables you to connect many fast LANs together. Telephone companies worldwide have facilitated the transmission of data with the help of an underground optical fiber network. These optic fibers increase the efficiency and speed of data transfer. The optical fibers enable you to access a speed of almost 1000mbps. If you develop a WAN of 1.45 mbps, its cost is more than what it gives you. However, when you establish metropolitan area network, it offers you the speed of 1000mbps as a whole at the lowest cost.


Above is about the introduction to the definition of MAN, types of MAN, advantages of MAN. It is believed that one will have some certain knowledge of it after reading this article. In addition, Gigalight, as the optical interconnection design innovator, provides various series of products for MAN, such as SFP, CSFP, XFP, SFP+, SFP++, SFP28, CFP/CFP2/CFP4, QSFP28 optical transceiver and other series. More details are at Gigalight official website.

Author: Cindy

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