As technology advances, so does the need for increased bandwidth to support streaming video, online gaming and smartphone apps. This list can go on and on. These amazing technological advancements are now driving cable operators to make major changes to their architectures. While their current architectures may be different, they all have one constant theme—push fiber deeper.
Whether it is being done with node splits or fiber-to-the-premise, the common challenge is managing construction costs. I know it is simple to say that, but it can be complex. The cost of building and/or reconstructing a network is what creates the biggest challenge. As construction costs continue to rise, this is driving brainstorming throughout the industry. Operators are challenged to not only answer today’s needs, but also to plan for future needs. One known fact is that bandwidth demands will continue to grow exponentially.
CommScope’s E2O solution is a hybrid solution developed to meet today’s needs while creating a path for growth, mitigating those costly construction costs down the road. Microducts and microcables are key ingredients to this solution. Microducts can be pre-installed with coaxial cable in a single conduit, or simply pushed into existing conduits already in place.
One might ask, why microducts? Why not just pull standard fiber into my current duct space? By pulling standard cables into an existing conduit you may solve today’s needs, but pulling additional cables later may be difficult or in some cases impossible. One microduct allows the operators to deploy up to 144 fibers today, while deploying additional microducts will provide pathways for future expansion. Each microduct can be coupled at various locations, allowing operators to jet cables at distances of thousands of feet in a single operation, while also minimizing splice points.
In addition to the space savings and expansion advantages provided by microducts, utilizing microcables will also provide unforeseen benefits. Microcables enable operators to change the method in which they are installing the cables. The new smaller cables can be jetted at speeds exceeding 200 feet per minute. This methodology saves time, which we all realize equates to money. These smaller cables also allow for smaller enclosures, enabling operators to place them in most existing vaults and pedestals, also saving time and money.
What are your plans to push fiber deeper into your network?