A Germany Utility service company Stadtwerke Landau A.d. Isar has deployed the world’s first fiber optic cable incorporating 180µm optical fibers supplied by Prysmian Group. This is a historical moment for all working in the field of fiber optics as this would set a new trend in the industry and new norms for the production and manufacturing of cables, components, connectivity devices, standardization, test, and measurement.
Prysmian delivered the Sirocco Extreme optical fiber cable for deployment inside the micro-ducts. This is the first project of its kind utilizing the smallest diameter optical fiber inside the cable. 180µm optical fiber cable will allow a large number of households and companies in Landau to benefit from a high-performance FTTx and 5G network. Prysmian, in a press release, said that Sirocco Extreme is the first commercially available 180µm optical fiber cable on the market.
Prysmian’s new product range boasts the smallest diameter currently available as well as the highest fiber density for micro-cables. Compared with conventional cable solutions, Sirocco Extreme enables faster, more cost-effective, and eco-friendlier installations. Prysmian’s 180µm optical fiber is fully compatible for splicing with any standard fibers, the company stated in the press release. Installation of 180 µm fiber cable was performed by NETTec GmbH.
Benefits of 180µm Optical Fiber Cables
Reduced diameter fiber cables are beneficial to make reduced diameter cables and would help faster and easy deployment. Faster deployment of fiber optic networks is necessary to meet the current surge in demand for bandwidth. Home office, online schooling, and increased levels of video streaming during the Covid-19 pandemic have led to a significant rise in internet data traffic. Increased digitalization means data volumes will continue to rise even after the pandemic.
Data bottlenecks can be addressed by deploying high-performance, reliable fiber cable networks. At the same time, the cost of the fiber network shall also be taken into consideration. The breaking point for many cities and communities when expanding their networks is cost. Existing duct infrastructure may be congested with existing cables and may not have much space left for more new fiber cables. New duct deployment would be a burden for network builders. Also, extensive civil works mean an increase in costs and disruptions. In order to address these problems, the deployment of reduced diameter cables is necessary. Prysmian said they offer the extremely compact and bendable Sirocco Extreme product range to solve the deployment problems.
Conventional optical fiber cables may not be suitable for the tightly packed ducting. As stated above, new duct building infrastructure needs money and time. Prysmian’s Sirocco Extreme cables with BendBrightXS 180µm fiber and Pico-Tube technology, are up to 40 percent smaller than the previous Sirocco micro-cables. The space-saving design allows for efficient integration of the fiber cable into existing infrastructures. A blowing speed of 130 meters per minute was achieved. This reduced size and speed of installation enable project managers to significantly reduce the overall cost of network expansion. Avoiding extensive groundwork also consumes less raw material, making it eco-friendlier.
Prysmian’s Sirocco Extreme combines BendBrightXS bend-insensitive fiber technology with Pico-tube technology. The Sirocco Extreme micro-cable used in Landau A.d Isar has 288 fibers with an outer diameter of 6.5 millimeters, resulting in a fiber packing density of 8.7 fibers per square millimeter. This cable can be installed in a micro duct having an 8-millimeter inner diameter.
Sirocco Extreme cables are available in fiber counts of 96 to 522 fibers and with an external diameter of 4.5 to 7.5 millimeters. The products comply with international standards for optical and mechanical performance. The flexible BendBrightXS technology also provides manufacturers with the ability to design cabling solutions that were not previously possible, but nevertheless demanded by the rapidly changing circumstances.
What is 180µm Optical Fiber?
Standard optical fibers that are being used for telecommunication cables have 250µm outer diameter. This figure is 1/4 of 1 millimeter. Optical fiber manufacturers have introduced 200µm diameter fiber in order to reduce the cable diameter by increasing the fiber packing density. Now, this outer diameter of the optical fiber has reduced to 180µm.