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Since the practical demonstration of the EDFA in the late 1980s there has been an enormous amount of research into new or improved materials for fiber optical amplifiers and lasers. The motivating factor for materials scientists working in the field is the limited application space for silica based erbium doped amplifiers. While silica based fibers manufactured by some form of chemical vapor deposition technique remain as the favored choice for optical fiber device engineers, there are often performance and design issues which makes it necessary to seek solutions based on compound glass. Applications described in this paper are; extended C and L band EDFAs, Tm doped fibers for S-band amplifiers and power scaling three-level fiber lasers. These devices are enabled by a combination of intrinsic spectroscopy, rare-earth phonon-coupling and attainable numerical aperture. The glass system based on antimony silicate has proved to be very versatile enabling a 48 nm C-band EDFA, an L-band EDFA operating beyond 1620 nm, a 60 nm broad S-band Tm amplifier and a 980 nm Yb fiber laser with > 1 W output power.