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GaAs-based dilute nitride lasers are potential light sources for future optical fiber communication systems at the wavelength of 1.3 μm. In this paper we discuss the results of studies of optimization of the growth conditions and active regions of the GaAs-based lasers. To this end, a series of samples were grown using the molecular beam epitaxy technique. The active regions consisted of quantum wells, strain-compensating layers, and strain-mediating layers. They were characterized by photoluminescence and double crystal X-ray diffraction methods. The optical properties were very much affected by a choice of growth conditions, details of the quantum wells, and postgrowth thermal treatment. Preliminary results on diode-pumped vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers, which launch light power of 3.5 mW coupled into a single-mode fiber, are also presented.