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The current market trends are driving high-speed communications networks towards higher bandwidth, speed and flexibility. The huge increase in web applications and e-banking have made user's demand for bandwidth accelerating rapidly. This has increased motivation for the development of the ultra-broadband systems based on photonic networking technologies. Optical time division multiplexing (TDM) and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) are two main technologies that could be used to meet this demand. This is because the wide bandwidth of photonic components combined with the flexibility of TDM and WDM routing technologies, and the high speed capabilities of optical devices such as optical gates and switches, optical wavelength converters, and fast multi-wavelength lasers, offers the potential of switched networks with several Terabits per seconds. This aim of this article is to give a introduction about the characteristics of WDM and TDM optical networks and present a comparison between the them.