1. Home
  2. /
  3. Blog List
  4. /
  5. Connectivity Solution
  6. /
  7. Optical Fibre Cable
  8. /
  9. Advances in Fibre-Optic Cable and Connectivity

Advances in Fibre-Optic Cable and Connectivity

Posted By :
Advances in Fibre-Optic Cable and Connectivity

Optical fibre and cable connectivity arrangements are the background technology enabling modern communication systems to achieve high speed, broad reach, and increased bandwidth. The individual components such as fibre, cable, connectors, and end-to-end fibre optic have evolved over decades to support current and emerging applications. The demand for data has reached new heights, especially during the pandemic and post-pandemic. To meet this demand, the existing conventional cable deployment method is not enough as there is 10x fibre deployment needed at 3x the speed. This blog will discuss the following topics, which will give us an optimal solution for denser and faster fibre deployment.

  • Network Evolution & Bandwidth Growth
  • Cable Technologies & Advantages of Micro cables
  • Use Cases

Major technology & Capex shifts

The increasing data demand is putting a lot of stress on the fibre plants. Upgrading the fibre plants is inevitable and designing a smarter method of cable deployment is the need of the hour. The primary reasons for such data demands are:

  • The arrival of 5G
  • Huge data centres installed by cloud companies
  • Connecting everything through IoT
  • Virtualization (Software disrupting networks)
Technological shifts that affect Optical Fiber Cables

Unabated growth in demand for optical fibre

When we look at the 20-year CAGR (compound annual growth rate) from 1997- to 2017, optical fibre deployment has outpaced the world economic growth by 5 times. The rate of deployment of 1Bn fkm cable has drastically reduced from 38 years to 2 years in the period from 1970-to 2008. From 2016-to 2018, 4 Bn fkm cable has been deployed, which is remarkable. But the pandemic has accelerated this journey even more as education and work have shifted to home due to lockdowns, and online viewing of visual content has doubled. Although the cable deployment rate has increased, it is still insufficient to meet the current data needs. As per reports, there is a necessity for 10x fibre deployment at 3x speed which has forced network operators to develop new cabling technology.

Optical Fiber cable deployment growth

Micro cables

Micro cables are the best solution for faster and denser fibre deployment that can meet the current and future bandwidth requirements. This technology will enable network operators to install fibre cable systems faster than before with reduced manpower and equipment costs. These micro cables create the right balance between deployment speed and fibre density.

Micro cables are fibre optic cables which have a reduced outer diameter (OD) and cable weight when compared to conventional cables. Ex: Conventional Unitube Drop cable’s OD is around 4-8mm, whereas micro cable OD is around 2.5mm to even 1.6mm.

Cabling Technology Trend

Micro cable designs consist of a stranded loose tube, central tube, and unitube design. The common factors across all these designs are lightweight, OD, and reduced amount of jelly. Usually, micro cables don’t have metal or dielectric covering and hence cannot be buried directly underground. Micro cable designs are suitable for both outdoor and indoor environments. The features and benefits of micro cable technology are:

  • Features
    • Thinner jacket
    • Smaller tubes
    • More fibres per tube
    • 200um fibre
    • IBR ribbon
  • Benefits
    • Blow optimized
    • Reduced cable diameter
    • Lightweight
    • Easy handling
    • Smaller drum efficient logistics
    • Reduced risks of cable damage

The different types of micro cables used are shown below.

types of micro cables

How can we build denser networks faster?

Combining micro cable technology and blow installation equipment, we can build a denser network at a faster rate. The advantages and challenges are:

  • Denser urban deployments
    • Micro-trenched green field installs
    • Augmentation of existing duct spaces
  • Service Segregation
    • Multi-way ducts
    • Reduced risk to service continuity
  • Challenges
    • MLT designs – longer splice time
    • Specialized equipment

Denser – 4x more fibre

Generally, full-size underground cables have been installed inside polyethylene subducts called inner ducts. These 25-51mm diameter sized inner ducts are located inside the telecommunication duct system. For installing micro cables, a matching micro duct has to be placed first, and then micro cables are inserted using blow installation. These micro ducts allow denser micro cables to be installed based on current demands and have sufficient left-over space for future installations based on future demands.

micro cable thickness

Why is the Micro-LITE 200μm next-gen micro solution?

The following features make STL’s Micro-LITE 200μm the next-generation micro cable solution:

  • High fibre density
    • 432 fibres can be stacked in an 8.8 diameter cable
  • Greater duct capacity
    • Existing 2” duct retrofit option #1 – (864f + 2 x 432f) = 1,728 fibers
    • Existing 2” duct retrofit option #2 – (5 x 432f) = 2,160 fibers
    • Greenfield ~ 2” 7-way micro-duct (7 x 432f) = 3,024 fibers
  • Greater blow distance
    • 1.5 km for greenfield duct (14/18 mm)
  • Smaller Diameter
    • Ease of future capacity expansion
  • Sub-unitized design
    • Individual fibres are more accessible when adding new customers or services
  • Easy to repair
    • F1 – F2 separation
    • Troubleshooting/Isolation
    • Easier segregation of services

432 Micro cable blow test results

Micro cable blow test

Faster – blow vs. pull installation

Pull installation is a method to place ducts and cables for short-length runs. It is popular for placing large diameter conventional cables and ducts. On the other hand, blow installation is an equipment-driven installation method for placing micro ducts and micro cables. When we compare both methods, blow installation appears to be far superior and much faster than the pull installation method.

blow vs. pull installation

The combination of micro cables, 7-way micro duct, and blow installation method will help network operators to place denser fibres at 16x speed than traditional cable deployment.

blow vs. pull installation

STL’s success stories of using micro cable technology in the field

slimmest micro cables

NextGen blowing methods resulting in 3X faster blowing

The latest blowing methods adopted by STL in installing micro cables are capable of 3 times faster deployment than conventional deployment.

NextGen blowing methods resulting in 3X faster blowing


As we move forward with 5G and other next-generation technology and Capex shifts, the demand for data will skyrocket, needing faster and denser optical fibre deployment. If we don’t adapt to changing requirements and continue to follow the traditional cable and pulling method, then there is no chance of meeting future demands. Hence micro cable technology is the only optimal solution with all the necessary attributes to fulfil current and future data and bandwidth requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Our Latest Blogs

Enterprise Infrastructure Networks

5 Effects of Fibre Optic Cabling on Enterprise Infrastructure Networks

If you intend on building a campus network that requires high speeds, optimal bandwidth, and high-speed connections, then fibre optic cabling can...
Read More
Optical Fiber

Interesting Facts on Optical Fibre and Optical Fibre Cable

The era of internet connection has now been revolutionised with the introduction of optical fibre technology. With the incorporation of...
Read More
IOT(Internet Of Things)

How do Telcos contribute to utilities that utilize IoT technology?

Today, more than 13 billion IoT devices are connected across the globe. The industry is expected to surpass 25.4 billion...
Read More
Managed Service

Driving Value with Managed Services

Technology is evolving at a consistent and rapid pace. Technology specialists are incorporating cutting-edge practices to boost the efficiency of...
Read More
Digital Network

Bridging the Digital Divide in the UK

The Digital Divide in the UK The "digital divide" is a growing concern in the UK, where access to technology...
Read More
Optical Fiber

Debunking the Common Myths about Optical Fibre

As data-intensive applications like video streaming, online gaming, and cloud computing become more common, the need for increased bandwidth has...
Read More
Fiber Optic Testing Tools

How Robotic Tools are Revolutionizing the Detection of Optical Fiber Failures

The fiber optic communication industry has revolutionized the entire Telecommunication industry by providing higher performance, more reliable telecommunication links with...
Read More
Fiber Optic Technology

Recent Advances in Optical Networking Technology: A Look at the Future of Data Transmission

Since several decades ago, optical networking technology has been developing quickly. Fiber optics is becoming a key component of the...
Read More
Optical Interconnect Technology

Optical Interconnect Vs. Electrical Interconnect: All You Need to Know

Interconnectedness is increasingly becoming the backbone of a modern, progressive world. It is what is driving the escalation of digital...
Read More
Network Running

Keep The Network Running in The Remotest Locations: Here’s How STL Can Help

The pandemic has unravelled the importance of reliable connectivity. From smart classes to online groceries, the internet is everywhere. Yet,...
Read More
Managed Service

5 Benefits of Using a Managed Security Services Provider

Investing in cybersecurity is the need of the hour as the cyber threat landscape evolves. But as cyber threats continue...
Read More
Optical Interconnect Technology

An Overview of Optical Interconnects: How They Work and Their Advantages

Optical interconnects are a crucial component of modern electronic systems. They are used to transmit data and power between different...
Read More
Network System Integration

Network System Integration: A Guide to Choosing the Right Optical Fiber Manufacturing Company

One of the crucial factors of a network system integration project is choosing an appropriate fiber cable; they determine the...
Read More
Optical Fiber

10 Ways Optical Fibre Has Changed the World

Optical fiber has revolutionized the way we communicate and access information. From high-speed internet to advanced medical procedures, the benefits...
Read More
Data Center Design

Designing Data Centre Networks: Strategies for Maximum Efficiency and Performance

Data centre design and the data network that supports it are critical components of any organization's IT infrastructure. The way...
Read More
Network Modernization

Accelerating Your Network Modernization Process

Network modernization is crucial for businesses to stay competitive in today's digital economy. However, the process can be time-consuming and...
Read More
Network services

Understanding Network Services and How They Enhance Your Business

A robust network is a must for any type of company in the twenty-first century because most products are digital...
Read More
Data centre

The Rise of Data Centers in India

With data consumption on the rise, cloud adoption accelerating, and technology demand soaring higher than ever before - Indian corporations...
Read More
RAN Services

Building a Faster, More Connected Healthcare Network with Radio Networks

In recent years, the category of linked medical devices has expanded to encompass Internet of Things (IoT) gadgets and a...
Read More
Network services

The Role of Network Integration in Telecom Companies

Network services integration and management are a significant deal. The richness of new telecom technology, whether on-premise or cloud-based, makes...
Read More

Our Services

Network services

The digital ecosystem and landscape is rapidly to mirror the continuous evolution of communication infrastructure, connectivity, and next gen use cases...
Read More

Fiber Roll out Services

We offer a dependable fiber-based backhaul solution that promises seamless high-speed connectivity and increased reliability for a better network experience...
Read More

Managed Services

We encourage customers to seize business opportunities by simplifying network management and maintenance, which standardized SLAs govern...
Read More

Data Centre Network

Future use cases will require cloud-native infrastructure. With our network transformation services, we out-innovate the current constraints in the data center space...
Read More

RAN Services

The approach of RAN network disaggregation comes at the expense of increased integration touch-points and engineering efforts...
Read More