Network Expansion with Ribbon Fiber Cables
Ribbon fiber cables are taking the market by storm. They help network operators to multiply the number of fibers in existing ducts in a surprising way. Ribbon fiber cables are suitable for campus cabling, data centers, large buildings, and broadband networks.
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Tried and tested ribbon cables – a new benefit
Ribbon fiber cables have been around since the 1980s. They tended to be seen as special products for telco carriers. The demand for more bandwidth and limited duct space has created an unprecedented demand for the use of ribbon fiber technology.
Ribbon cables consist of several fibers lying next to each other in the shape of a ribbon in an adhesive matrix. This reduces the cable diameter in comparison to single-fiber cables. The glass fiber still has a diameter of 125 μm. However, it is constructed with just a 200 μm buffer. This allows cables to be constructed with 30-40 % more fiber with the same cable outside diameter. Further advantages:
- A larger number of cables can be inserted into existing ducts.
- Four, six or twelve fibers can be spliced at the same time. And that speeds up work.
- Fiber reserves and splices require less space in the splice tray.
- Rollable ribbon technology allows fiber cables to be densely packed.
The splicing of modern flat ribbons can still often cause problems. R&M recommends using the same size fibers throughout – either 250 μm or 200 μm. This simplifies splicing device handling. A two-person splicing team can mass fusion splice an 864 fiber ribbon cable in four hours.
For example, the R&M ST-08 splice tray will accept 32 x 12 ribbon fiber splices (384 fiber splices) or 48 single fiber splices. This represents an increase by a factor of 8.