Friday, September 14, 2018

We've Got the Drop For You

Updates on Drop Cable

With construction season winding down, many of us had our heads in the sand just trying to cover the day-to-day needs. I wanted to take a quick moment to highlight new options in drop cable that were released this year. Whether you're deploying full FTTP or fiber deep, these are products you'll want to know about.

24 Fiber Flat Drop

You've asked for it, and it's here. Commscope now provides 24 count flat drop cable! This will double your density on running laterals using standard service drop clamps. As the access network extends capacity for 5G, higher fiber counts to the edge are critical. Reduced permitting with flat drop cable is a potential option to increase time to market for small cell and other FTTx applications.

You may be wondering, if all 24 fibers are in one tube, how do you tell them apart? The second set of 12 in Commscope's cable have a black band intermittently on the 250µm fiber coating. What about fiber 20 (the second black fiber)? It has a clear coating with black bands. Other suppliers will use a blue yard wrapped around the second 12, but those can become unraveled or lost in a midspan application. You can request a quote on 24 fiber flat drop cable here.

Commscope Pushable Drop Cable

Pushable Drop

Commscope also released a Pushable Drop solution in 2018. Initially available as single fiber in assemblies and bulk, this fluted design offers a uniquely flexible and stiff product for fast installations. The cable is designed with a 3mm OD and 1.5mm fiberglass subunit with 900µm tight buffer to be used in ducts ranging from 6mm to 10mm.

The cable can be pushed up to 500ft by hand, and jetted up to 1970ft with air. As with any pushed or jetted product, duct integrity is critical for optimal results. The strippable fiberglass GRP rod subunit gives the Commscope Pushable Drop an unparalleled rugged design, while maintaining a cable with non-preferential bending properties.

Assemblies of the Pushable Drop can be built using a rugged pushable SC-APC connector, DLX Hardened and Hardened Full Size. Multiple bulk fiber cable designs are also planned for release in the future.

2-Fiber Hardened Drop Terminals and Assemblies

While 12 Fiber Hardened Multifiber Optical Connectors (HMFOCs) have been around for a few years, 2 Fiber HMFOC are new to the marketplace. While FTTP requires a single fiber drop, each wireless radio requires at least 2 fibers for transmit and receive paths. Small cell and C-RAN mobile networks require densification in often rugged environments as well as areas where overbuilding the existing network is challenging. Commscope took a rapid deployment solution from the FTTP playbook using hardened terminals and drop cables.

Commscope MHT Terminal with 2-Fiber HMFOC Ports
You can now find 2-fiber hardened designs in the Commscope MHT and DFJ Optitip® compatible product lines. Strand mount small cells can especially benefit from the compact and flexible form factor, used for fast and efficient fronthaul or backhaul deployments. Additional configurations and designs are planned for 2 fiber HMFOC, so stay tuned!

DFJ Optitip® Compatible HMFOC 2 Fiber Assembly

4-Fiber Drop Breakout Assemblies

Realflex 4 Fiber Hardened Drop Assembly
While these assemblies are broken out into single fiber connectors at each end, you can simplify large FTTP deployments by running these Commscope Realflex 4 Fiber assemblies. These assemblies are another plug and play solution for durable and reliable service connections. They maximize line crew and splicing resources in high density FTTH installations.

Fiber access networks are getting more complex as we move toward an increasingly mobile environment. If you're not dropping off a single fiber to a home, you could be dropping eight fibers at a small cell site, or two fibers to a radio head. All of these drops need to be easy and fast to deploy with hopefully a reduced impact to permitting, labor and cost. Traditional cable designs and deployment methods struggle to fit that mold, and Commscope is clearly ahead of the curve when it comes to solutions for FTTx. Contact our sales team for more information on any of these products today.

Optitip® is a registered trademark of Corning Incorporated