Do you know why it is so costly to install the optical fiber to the home? Bell why reluctant to deploy fiber optic network directly to consumers in a large sacle?
This is not the cost of materials. It’s the labor! The introduction of fiber into the subscriber loop has increased the installation of short cable lengths with large number of splices. The cable speeds can be placed, splicing, access, and reconfigure the becomes very important.
So the need for new technologies that promise to reduce the fiber deployment cost are very high. Bell company is anxious in the acquisition of these new technologies and products, in order to reduce their costs and promoting broadband fiber optic network installation.
That is where the high fiber count ribbon cables come to play. These compact, UV bonded epoxy cable is composed of high precision optical fiber, can centralized fusion splicing with minimal losses. These products have been proved to be an excellent platform for deployment of optical fiber to the home.
Massive fusion splicing machine from Japanese companies are a integrated part of this process. These fusion splicers using optical fiber installation technicians 24 fibers splicing in the time and very low couping loss.
Ribbion Fiber Design: The most basic requirement for any fiber optical cable design is to protect the glass fiber from the harsh environment. But for ribbon fiber, there is the other vital requirements: best space efficiency and easy to mass organization fiber fusion splicing and processing. And at the same, they must also be able to keep the optical performance and mechanical reliability.
This means that ribbon fiber optic cable must pack high count of glass fibers, organize fibers precisely for mass fusion splicing, provide individual fiber identification, can be divided into single fibers or subunits, mechanically reliable and can be easily accessed from the end or midspan.
These requirements must all be met at the same time which makes the manufacturing of high quality ribbon fibers a tough task.
So fiber optic cable experts concluded that an excellent design. A color coded array of fibers bonded in a line with fiber coating material. Based on this fundamental structure, two designed emerged: edge bonded or encapsulated.
Edge Bonded Design: The Edge bonded design basically bonds the fibers together with only materials in between of each fiber. This design is more popular in the United States. This design is 40% less than the encapsulated design.
Encapsulate Design: In packaging design, bonding material is more than the gaps between the fibers, it encapsulates all the fibers in a rectangular tube look. This design is more used in Japan.
Ribbon Fiber Mass Fusion Splicing
The time saving for ribbon fiber mass fusion splicing are so big that sometimes in the field individual fibers are ribbonlized to make mass fusion splicings.
However, the success of mass ribbon fiber splicing relies critically on the fiber geometry, the ribbon and the mass fusion splicer. High quality and consistent mass fusion splices can only be produced with ribbons that are made from fibers having stringent geometric tolerances.
These high quality fibers and ribbons are already commercially available. And they make the fiber deployment in FTTH projects a joy for the installers.