Leoni-Hengtong JV to Start Single-Mode Fiber Production in Germany

Germany’s Leoni and China-based Hengtong groups have signed a Joint-Venture agreement for mass-production of single-mode optical fibers in Jena, Germany. Leoni’s subsidiary j-Fiber has production facilities in Jena for optical fibers that are used for telecommunication and special applications. The JV will utilize this plant to start production and serve the cable makers not only in Europe but to the whole world.

Leoni and Hengtong officials signed a frame investment agreement, which is the first step towards their goal to establish production, maintenance and testing facilities for single-mode optical fibers. The new establishment will create technical and well as administrative jobs. The team has submitted the framework agreement for approval to the antitrust authorities.

Leoni-Hengtong JV to Start Single-Mode Fiber Production in Germany 1Leoni is already into the market of optical fiber manufacturing through its subsidiary j-Fiber, which is a popular brand known especially for Multimode fibers. j-Fiber’s Multimode brands such as j-BendAble, OptiGrade are available in OM2, OM3, and OM4 versions while the GigaGrade fibers are available in OM1 and OM2 versions. j-Fiber also produces Single-mode optical fibers to serve the telecommunications industry. The maker’s IG-09/125 complies with ITU-T G.652.B recommendations while the j-WP SMF+ complies with the ITU-T G.652.D recommendations and meets low water peak attenuation requirements.

j-Fiber also makes 500-micrometer diameter single-mode fibers and radiation-resistant optical fibers. Leoni in a press release stated that their fibers reliably support 1 Gb/s to 10 Gb/s serial transmission in challenging structure cabling concepts as well as future-safe data transmission performance of up to 100 Gb/s Ethernet.

Leoni also serves to the cable clients, the benefit from various customized service offerings, such as fiber coloring, ring marking, setting and buffering as well as j-fiber FiberUnit products and services as an outsource option to the cable maker to support productivity in cable manufacturing.

Telecommunication business as a whole is excited to welcome the 5G technology that will reshape the way we live. Feeder cables to the 5G transmission points shall be robust and possess the capability to transmit high-capacity high-speed signals. Optical fibers are the only medium available in the market to support this demand.

Together with 5G that will support IoT, the consumer broadband market in Europe has also been witnessing a sudden growth perspective with the fiber deployment project announcements from Deutsche Telekom and BT.

The expansion of broadband in Germany and surrounding European countries and the growing demand for data centers require high-performance single-mode fibers as a key element in optical cables.

Leoni officials stated that by expanding the manufacturing competence in collaboration with Hengtong, they expect to strengthen their Fiber Optics business to serve the increasing European demand for single-mode fibers. For Hengtong, the establishment of the joint venture in Germany and the accompanying expansion of the business activities in Europe are a perfect fit for its ‘5-5-5’ internationalization strategy.

Advantages of the JV

j-fiber GmbH in Jena is already an established player and leading producer of multimode fibers in Europe and other countries. Leoni can leverage from its subsidiary’s experience in manufacturing optical fibers. j-fiber will provide the joint venture with the necessary infrastructure to commence its operations rapidly. Hengtong Optic-Electronic is one of the world’s biggest suppliers of single-mode fibers with a strong presence in the Asian region, in particular. The two companies will address the European market for single-mode fibers using their combined resources.

The joint venture will operate under the name of j-fiber Hengtong GmbH. Established in 1993, Hengtong provides integrated solutions of telecom and energy network, including optical communication. It has a consolidated sales of EUR 3.26 billion in 2017 and ranks in the top 5 of the global cable & systems players, copper communication, power transmission, marine engineering, and new materials

Author: Thomas Mathew

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