Convergence with Fiber Brings Broadband Reality


When did you notice the change? Get on a commuter train, for example and look at what people are doing. You'd expect some to be reading a newspaper, talking to a neighbor, or just looking about. Rather, people are captive to a mobile device. Indeed, we are undergoing a major behavioral change that's putting the turbo on FTTx deployment.

The leap to mobile

Digital content is limitless and far reaching. Streaming videos and breaking news, both significant as well as insignificant, are available to hundreds of millions within seconds. And within seconds the numbers respond. They are influential too. Social networks have become decisive battlegrounds even for presidential elections.

Certain analysts report that mobile usage has more than doubled its lead over the desktop machine in just the last three years. And the trend continues. Understand that for a growing population, sitting in front of a living room TV is relegated to the past, much like listening to a radio around the kitchen table was.


Broadband wins overwhelmingly

Underlying the way we consume Internet are a series of converging technologies. Enlarged bandwidths carry heavy loads of digital video, voice and data. High-performance algorithms compress the content into small packages. Complex computations are executed by blazingly fast processors. Mobile and wireless networks have attained transfer rates well into the Gigabit/s range.

Larger capacity brings larger appetites. High resolution video equipment, like Ultra HD and 4K, is out there. Advertising largely occupies digital territories with personalized messages. Marketing analytics serve to tailor the individual's Internet experience. The number of interconnections reaches new dimensions with the Internet of Things or smart buildings. As usage increases, it is driving the growth for reliable high-performance networks. The final surge is on to bring broadband to the end user.

The last mile breached

Considering the traditional wired network, we see the last mile retreating. It is under attack by service providers of all sorts. Though traditional copper still benefits from innovative strategies to hold its ground, it is on the defensive. Fiber optics is positioned to break the bottleneck by simply bridging over to wireless without a glitch. The boom in fiber optics, announced decades ago, is really here.

The latest figures from the Fiber to the Home Council Americas (The Latest Research; October 27, 2016) are revealing. It states:

  • North America has experienced record growth in fiber to homes for the last 3 years with 2016 year over year growth totaling 16%. In fact, 2016 saw 4.2 million homes passed, roughly tying with the previous record set in 2008.
  • During 2004–2013, large telco’s (Verizon, AT&T, CenturyLink and Frontier) accounted for about 83% of the FTTH build, while other providers added just 17% of the annual additions. But in the last three years, the large telcos only accounted for about 52% of the build while the “other 1000” FTTH providers added 48% in aggregate.
  • Homes connected to fiber networks in the U.S. rose to 13.7 million. Although aggregated take rates have fallen slightly to 45%, this decline is common during periods of aggressive build?—?as backbone builds occur faster than connections.

Getting fibers to destination

As fiber optic cable approaches final destinations (home, building, office, etc.) it faces specific challenges, in spite of its low fiber count and small format. For a roomy install, cables can be pulled through dedicated conduits that respect bend ratios and are installed for that purpose. But one doesn't always have that luxury. Buildings that have ducts or pipes serving other purposes (e.g. power, sewer) offer a reasonable option for carrying cable.

Are you ready?

As a manufacturer serving the FO industry, are you equipped to respond? Maillefer can help, like by doubling production speeds in loose tube cable production, with a particular focus on secondary coating.

Customers have since proven the claim, thanks to our recently introduced ultra-high speed Secondary Coating Line OEL 40 ///Explore. The new line design makes it possible to double previously known line speeds while maintaining loose tube quality within very accurate tolerances. In practice, excess fiber length and post shrinkage are kept under control with different plastic materials and with both dry and gel filled cable designs.

Cut 50% of your lead time

We give you the ability to react fast to market demand. The Plus Value Package is a complete production concept that increases your capacity quickly and easily. For the first time, fiber optic cable manufacturers now also have the means to get on the fast track to deliver.

Microduct offers a ready response

Blown fiber microduct is an alternative that is becoming popular with civil engineers and building contractors. Future requirements are anticipated by installing empty microduct bundles in new buildings. This reserve capacity lays in wait, ready to receive fibers that are blown (jetted) in according to need.

Maillefer delivered its first microduct lines to pioneers in the industry in the early '90s. With today's booming market, other major manufacturers are following the lead. We have delivered several complete extrusion systems to them for the production of microducts and microduct bundles. Our solutions are single sourced, and able to produce the longest lengths possible.

Converge to meet demand

Fiber is bringing broadband reality to an evergrowing ever-mobile audience, where each individual possesses a multitude of devices. Technology has converged to meet demand. It's time to join us in doing the same.

Jari Nykänen
Product Manager, Fiber Optic Cable Solutions

Philippe Giovangrandi
Technical Sales Director, Pipe (microduct) Solutions

Topics: Wire & cable manufacturing, Pipe & tube manufacturing

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