One-, two- or three-dimensional periodic structures with an omni-directional photonic bandgap are well known as "photonic crystals". For applications in new or improved functional components used for communications we currently investigated in more detail their spatial and chromatic dispersion. Especially the strong angular difference between phase and group velocity in the vicinity of an optical bandgap may be used in practical devices. These strongly frequency dependent beam-steering effects were demonstrated by one author decades before: they may now be interesting for spatial optical frequency discrimination and thus also for dispersion compensation or pulse shaping. In contrast to photonic crystal fibers 2D-planar "photonic crystal waveguides" offer the ability to use both the spatial and chromatic dispersion characteristics. Thus by changing the geometry of propagation adaptive dispersion management may be possible. Based on our former theoretical and experimental studies, we show actual simulation results for state-of-the art planar photonic circuits technology on the dispersive properties of one- and two-dimensional photonic crystal waveguides. Possible ways for applications of more complex 2D-photonic crystal waveguide devices in optical communications for use as adaptive dispersion compensators will be presented and discussed.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.