As the price of copper remains at historically high levels, CommScope,
Inc., a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communication
networks, offers copper alternative solutions for various industries to
deter damaging and dangerous thefts that are increasingly occurring in
communications and utility networks while keeping maintenance costs to a
Copper theft is growing problem across many industries. According to a 2009
survey published by the Electrical
Safety Foundation International about copper theft, utilities in the
United States reported approximately $60 million in losses and 450,000
minutes of outage time annually because of theft. Additionally,
utilities report 35 to 50 deaths or injuries associated with copper
theft every year. While the wireless industry does not have any official
copper theft statistics, there have been reports
stating copper theft is costly and only getting worse.
“The dramatic increase in thefts and damage has led to industry-wide
efforts to find effective solutions at preventing this disruptive and
expensive criminal activity,” said Ted Hally, chief commercial officer,
CommScope. “We fully understand the costs and service issues associated
with copper theft and are committed to supporting our customers with
effective product alternatives that can deter theft.”
One such copper alternative is HELIAX®
FXL Smoothwall Cable from CommScope’s Andrew Solutions. HELIAX FXL
is a RF (radio frequency) transmission line cable designed to optimize
performance and reliability while lowering network deployment cost.
Compared to copper cabling, FXL delivers lower attenuation, higher crush
strength and minimal copper content, therefore thieves are less likely
to steal it. Andrew Solutions also offers tin-plated grounding bars and
grounding kits that have the appearance of containing no valuable
copper, despite performing just as well as products with visible copper
in their construction.
“Wireless operators around the world are seeing the benefits of HELIAX
FXL, and it has been accepted by many operators and original equipment
manufacturers (OEM),” said Stan Catey, senior vice president and general
manager, Cable Products, Andrew Solutions. “HELIAX FXL provides equal
performance without the risk of theft and has become a strategic choice
for ensuring superior network performance.”
Similarly, CommScope’s GroundSmart™
Copper Clad Steel (CCS) provides a safe, highly reliable alternative
to the use of solid and stranded copper for grounding applications. CCS
is specifically designed to disperse fault currents and lightning
strikes at a lower total cost of ownership compared to pure copper.
Copper Clad Steel (CCS) is an electrical conductor that has an outer
sleeve of copper metallurgically bonded to a solid steel core.
Clad Aluminum (CCA), available in both 10 and 15 percent copper, is
an electrical conductor that has an outer sleeve of copper
metallurgically bonded to a solid aluminum core. The combination of
these two metals make it uniquely suited for many electrical
applications where weight-to-conductivity issues are important.
“Our customers are pleased with how CCS has reduced copper theft at
their plants,” said Ricardo La Guardia, vice president, CommScope
BiMetals® and Energy Worldwide Sales and Product Management, CommScope.
“CCS is a solution that has been proven for decades. Now that the price
of copper has skyrocketed, utilities face increasing theft issues and
must replace stolen copper ground wire on a regular basis. GroundSmart
offers customers a cost effective solution to a growing problem.”
Some utilities and wireless carriers have attempted to dissuade thieves
from attacking their sites with locks, fences and signs indicating that
their copper has no scrap value, but that approach has not stopped the
problem. One utility that is fighting back against copper thieves is Socorro
Electric Cooperative in Socorro, NM. The company replaced copper
ground wires with CommScope’s CCS solution in areas where copper thieves
stole the copper grounding wire.
“In this remote location of the country, it seemed best to use a
theft-deterrent material,” said Richard Lopez, acting general manager,
Socorro. “After having more than 100 pole grounds stolen and then
replacing them with CCS, we believe we taught the thieves that there is
no value in stealing our ground wire anymore.”
GroundSmart solutions benefits from a unique CommScope BiMetals
technology and manufacturing process. The products are created by
bonding two different metals into a single conductor, resulting in a
low-cost and light-weight alternative to using solid copper. GroundSmart
solutions are produced at the CommScope facility in Statesville, NC,
that is ISO 9001 and ISO 14000 registered.
To learn more about CommScope’s copper alternative solutions, visit the
CommScope booth at Tech
Advantage 2011, March 8-11 and at CTIA
WIRELESS 2011, March 22-24. Both shows will be held in Orlando,
HELIAX and CommScope BiMetals are registered trademarks and
GroundSmart is a trademark of CommScope, Inc.
Inc. provides essential infrastructure that makes communication
possible. We empower people to connect and communicate seamlessly where,
when, and how they choose. Our solutions and services for wired and
wireless networks enable high-bandwidth data, video, and voice
applications everywhere—at home, at work, and on the go. Through every
wave of technology, CommScope helps the world connect and evolve. Backed
by numerous respected brands such as Andrew®,
CommScope supports customers in more than 100 countries around the world
through its focus on integrity, ethics, quality and technical innovation.
This press release includes forward-looking statements that are based on
information currently available to management, management’s beliefs, as
well as on a number of assumptions concerning future events.
Forward-looking statements are not a guarantee of performance and are
subject to a number of uncertainties and other factors, which could
cause the actual results to differ materially from those currently
expected. For a more detailed description of the factors that could
cause such a difference, please see CommScope’s filings with the
Securities and Exchange Commission. In providing forward-looking
statements, the company does not intend, and is not undertaking any
obligation or duty, to update these statements as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
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