By Dave Tanis, Senior Product Manager at AFL
In the previous blog, Getting the Most out of a High-Fiber Diet Part 1 – Cable, we looked at the factors behind the need for higher fiber count cables and innovative technology, like SpiderWeb Ribbon®, that delivers it.
Now we will turn our attention to the high-density fiber “ecosystem” that connects those cables into an optimized system delivering services.
There have been many cautionary tales around launches of game-changing technology which ultimately failed because the supporting ecosystem was not in place. One famous example is the Michelin PAX “run-flat” tire. Michelin developed a tire that could run over 100 miles when flat; basically assuring the driver could get to a service station to have it changed. It was a great idea which ultimately failed because they could not convince enough garages to buy the required tire repair equipment, which left customers stranded when they couldn’t find a garage that could change these tires.
The ecosystem for higher density cables must solve some very difficult challenges that require innovative solutions. In addition to supporting the high-density cable, everything from splice vaults to rack space to the connectors themselves, must also be able to fit in existing spaces while accommodating more fiber. Installing higher fiber count cable certainly becomes less attractive when new splice boxes must be installed to accommodate bigger or multiple splice cases.
Another important consideration is time. These higher cable count systems have to find ways to decrease the installation and test times to make deployment efficient and cost-effective.
Along with our parent company Fujikura, all of us at AFL are proud of the innovative solutions that we have developed that support installing, maintaining and troubleshooting higher fiber count networks:
- SpiderWeb Ribbon that enables up to three times more fiber with the same or smaller diameter as traditional loose tube fiber cables.
- 90R series mass fusion splicing machines to deliver rapid, best-in-class performance when splicing ribbon fiber cables.
- Very High Density Wall cabinets which can accommodate up to 6,912 splices for transitioning from OSP cable to indoor cable.
- ASCEND® modular platform for easy and manageable fiber connectivity in data centers, central offices and headends.
- FlexScan® OTDRs with MPO switches which can reduce ODTR test times by a factor of 10.
- FOCIS Lightning® fiber inspection tools which deliver 10X faster inspection results than traditional scopes.
The demand for bandwidth shows no signs of stopping. Service providers will continue to deploy more fiber to meet demand and AFL will continue to offer products and services that make it easy for them to do so.