Top Promising Innovations – FACT ODF Platform

Diederik_Houben_thumbnail Diederik Houben March 1, 2017

Top Promising Innovation_FactNote: Last year, we unveiled our top 40 innovations made by CommScope or one of its acquired companies. This recognition was part of our 40th anniversary celebration. We are proud of all our innovations—past and present. Now, we look to new innovations that we hope will become the essential building blocks for the networks of the future. In a series of blogs, we will introduce you to our Top Promising Innovations in the world of wireless and fiber optics. We believe these innovations have the potential to have significant impact on the industry, much like some of the others from our past.


FACT ODF Platform

Definition: The FACT Optical Distribution Frame (ODF) platform is a fiber shelf/drawer platform that secures cables so they don’t move when the drawer is fitted into the fiber distribution frame. This eliminates the need to use cable ties, cable channels or lacing cords -- otherwise known as cable dressing -- to ensure safe and easy shelf movement. In addition, FACT ODF helped redefine the term modularity because with the new platform, individual FACT ODF trays can be combined to form shelf blocks that can be customized to each customer’s cables and applications.

Year of Innovation: 2016

What is the innovation that CommScope was first in creating?
The FACT ODF solution is a high-density, shelf/drawer-based ODF that eliminates the need for proper entry and exit patch cord/cable dressing over spools to guarantee correct shelf/drawer movement. FACT ODF shelves are designed so that cables entering and exiting the shelves do not move, eliminating the need for correct cable dressing over spools. FACT ODF shelves enable installers to do cable preparation and installation on a termination bracket outside of the ODF frame prior to loading it onto the shelves, and installation of the shelves into the fiber frame requires no tools. These features significantly enhance ease and speed of installation.

What was happening in the market that this innovation was needed?
Data center and central office operators need higher-density fiber solutions to keep up with demands for higher bandwidth, and they also want to use less-skilled technicians to reduce operational costs. The FACT ODF solution allows tool-less installation of the shelf into the fiber frame which eliminates the need for cable dressing, allowing less-skilled technicians to deploy fiber. Each FACT ODF offers more connections and is more compact in design, which is 30 percent denser than the standard ODF.

How does this innovation benefit customers and the industry?
The FACT ODF solution reduces data center and central office costs by enabling less-skilled technicians to deploy fiber. In addition, FACT ODF shelves are fully compatible with CommScope’s legacy FIST ODF solutions, allowing operators to migrate easily to the dense FACT platform and achieve 30 percent higher fiber density.

What makes this a promising innovation for future networks and customer applications?
Fiber networks are converging and requiring higher density solutions. In addition, operators are adding new functionalities to central offices and data centers which require a physical implementation into a live network. By supporting ease of installation and new types of connectivity, the FACT ODF solution will enable operators to rapidly build out new, converged fiber networks of the future.

What are some of the early marketplace successes for this innovation?
Central office and data center operators are adopting FACT ODF solutions to create denser and more functional converged fiber networks.

What is the significance of the innovation for CommScope?
FACT ODF continues CommScope’s leadership in central office and data center fiber connectivity. In regions with a dispersed customer landscape, the modularity and future readiness of the FACT ODF system puts CommScope in a leading position to deliver on the evolving needs of service providers and data centers.

Does innovation follow any established industry standards or do you believe it might set a precedent for its own?
FACT ODF complies with all existing fiber standards.

How do you see this innovation evolving?
Over time, FACT ODF is expected to evolve and include new fiber building blocks that support the latest connectivity innovations.

About the Author


Diederik Houben

Diederik Houben is director of product line management, Optical Distribution Frames and Devices, for CommScope. He manages a global team that oversees passive optical devices within the inside plant fiber group. Based in Kessel-Lo, Belgium, his duties include directing the product portfolio’s lifecycles and roadmaps. He joined the industry in 2008 working for Tyco Electronics and held numerous positions in business development and regional product line management. Diederik holds a master degree in Applied Physics and postgraduate in Business Administration.