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The distortion and noise characteristics of semiconductor lasers in connection with optical fibers are reviewed. In particular, the intrinsic distortions and noise of semiconductor lasers together with the partition noise are discussed followed by a discussion on the influence of reflections. Modal noise phenomena due to the interference pattern at the endface of optical fibers are treated with respect to noise and distortions. Finally, the influence of polarization coupling in single-mode fibers on the resulting transmission behavior is discussed.