China based optical fiber and cable manufacturer YOFC (Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Co.Ltd) had developed a micro cable that it says has the highest number of optical fibers that is reported in the domestic cable industry so far. The micro cable can be deployed in ducts by using air-blowing installation methods. The single mode fiber cable accommodating up to 432 fibers are targeted for overseas customers. Cable has been designed keeping in mind the blowing parameters that are prevalent in overseas market.
Micro cables are small size cables compared to the conventional multi loose tube cables intended for duct application. Usually micro cables have their reduced size obtained by reducing the dimensions of many cable elements. The loose tubes used in micro cables have reduced diameter. For example, if a 12 fiber loose tube used in conventional loose tube cable has a diameter of 1.9 mm, then the loose tube for micro cable is designed with a diameter of 1.5 or less typically. With the introduction of 200 micrometer fibers, it is possible to go below 1.4 mm in diameter. The reduction in diameter of loose tubes contributes to the reduction of central strength member diameter. Another factor contributing to the reduction of cable diameter is sheath thickness. Typically, micro cables have a sheath thickness of 0.5 mm.
Micro cables help quicker deployment of fiber optic cables through ducts in access network. With the introduction of micro cables, the diameter of the ducts could also be reduced. The overall size reduction allows to achieve lower deployment cost. Since the cables can be blown in to the ducts at a later time, network builders do not necessarily need to install the cables while they prepare the basic telecom infrastructures, such as duct networks. There are special blowing machines available in the market to blow micro cables in to the micro ducts. Such blowing machines are designed to handle the small size cables sensitively.
YOFC says, in order to meet the needs of customers, their optical cable R&D team has worked closely with international sales personnel, and has successfully developed air-blowing micro optical cable. YOFC, through in-depth communication with their customers was able to develop micro cables that have passed various performance tests. YOFC says it has started selling the micro cables overseas high-end markets. The diameter of 432 fiber micro cable is 11 millimeters, just over a centimeter. The fiber density is 4.4 fibers per square millimeters. This 432 fiber micro cable can be installed in duct having an internal diameter of 13.5 mm using air-blown method.
As the worldwide communication services demand for increasingly higher network bandwidths, optical fiber communication networks also need to respond with high fiber count cables in available duct space. Use of existing duct space reduces deployment cost. Micro has been widely used as the fastest way of communication with the best transmission quality. Also, with respect to network construction, due to reduced space in ducts, customers have put forward requirements for space utilization, construction efficiency, and maintenance convenience of ducts. The air-blowing installation method, micro ducts and micro cables together offer an excellent solution to solve the bottleneck of duct-space shortage faced by the operators.
YOFC has been aggressive in optical fiber and cable manufacturing at a time when the world faces shortage of optical fibers, primarily attributed to the higher demand from China. YOFC’s high count micro cables would help to build efficient optical networks, the company believes.