Retractable Cable & Its Role in FTTx Deployment

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Over the last 2 decades, global data consumption has grown at an amazing rate. As per some estimates, global internet traffic has increased from 100 GB per day in 1992 to 46,600 GB per second in 2017. By 2022, it is expected to triple. In the same 5-year period, average broadband speed is expected to grow almost two-fold, from 39 Mbps to 75 Mbps.

This growth in internet traffic can be attributed to the increase in the number of connected devices per capita and usage of applications powered with high-speed internet like 4K television sets. COVID-19 pandemic has given us a sneak peek into the future, and it is evident that the bandwidth offered by various service providers, even in developed countries, falls short of customer expectations.

Way to the Future with Fibre to the Home (FTTH)

While deploying FTTH network, every network planner focuses on increasing 3 major factors, namely throughput, resilience, and reach. This is difficult to achieve with conventional FTTH cabling solutions, where 2-3 type of cables are required from Point of Presence (POP) to Optical Terminal Outlet (OTO). These solutions require a skilled technician, expensive fibre splicing machines, and other accessories for a standard FTTH roll-out. Also, due to the absence of provision for safe and secure storage of cable slack, excess fibre bending leads to unexpected increase in bend losses.

Indicium Lite™ Retractable Solution, For Faster FTTH Roll-Out

To make Fibre to the Home services available and affordable to everybody, operators need to adopt some innovative and sophisticated products, which ease the installation process. STL’s Indicium Lite ™ Retractable solution is one such product. It has up to 96 optical fibres bunched inside 24 Micromodule units, which can be deployed in two different types of deployment scenarios as mentioned below:

Ideal FTTH Network in Point to Point Configuration

Multi-Dwelling Unit (MDU)

To provide an internet connection to geographical areas with flats and a large number of complexes, operators need to deploy high-count fibre cable, starting from Street Cabinet, which passes through a micro duct and gets terminated at the basement distribution box. From the distribution box, the drop cable goes to each floor and gets terminated at floor access terminals. Further, the drop cable can be extended from the floor access terminal to individual houses. With retractable cables, operators do not need to connect every home, and leverage the provision of extending the connection on a subscription basis.

Single- Dwelling Unit (SDU)

Provision for Window Cuts and Easy Premise Drop

To build network infrastructure in areas with a lot of houses spread across geography, operators need to dig a micro trench on the street outside all the houses. Subsequently, they need to provide a tapping box outside each house. To connect any of the houses, by making a window cut in the retractable cable, a module carrying 4 optical fibres is routed through a micro duct, which terminates at the boundary box. It helps connect various customer-premise equipment to this boundary box.

Indicium Lite™ Retractable Cable Structure

Indicium Lite™ is an innovative optical fibre solution, which helps operators pass connectivity to homes at a much faster rate. The innovative design with Thermoplastic Tubes and Colour Coded Retractable Fibre units results in 20%-30% Faster Rollouts.

It is an economically optimized option, which helps reduce the expenses in multiple ways, and reduces the overall cost by 30-35%.

  • It can be laid in a trench with 80 cm depth as compared to the conventional trench with a depth of 120 cm
  • Due to ease of splicing, there is a huge cost saving by eliminating the need for expensive splicing tools and expenses incurred for highly skilled technicians

The STL’s Indicium Lite™ Retractable Cable Solution is specially designed to be laid along with the FTTH network, passing fibres to the terminal points across Buildings, Dwellings and Houses. This allows the operator to develop a Fibre-ready Network infrastructure.

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