Nexans, a worldwide expert in the cable industry, has been awarded a major, three-year, contract by Portugal’s DST Telecom Group to supply an aerial extractable cable system to deploy high-speed broadband fibre to the home (FTTH) in rural areas of the country.
The DST contract, for which Nexans will initially supply 1,000 km of aerial extractable cable starting from February 2013, is the first order for the innovative concept that is making its debut at this year’s FTTH Conference in London.
The new cable has been developed to help operators first to minimize their financial risk at initial stage, second to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) of their FTTH deployments in low to medium-density subscriber areas typical of rural regions. By reducing in-place costs by up to around 20 percent for the CAPEX and OPEX (capital expenditures and operating expenses), compared with traditional aerial cables, such as ADSS (All Dielectric Self Supported Cable), the Nexans solution can help operators to address the ‘digital divide’ by bringing ultra high speed broad band services to remote parts of the world.
Nexans’ approach to extractable FTTH cable technology is well proven in underground ducted installations in metropolitan environments, for example, a considerable amount of the cable has been deployed in Paris. This latest development is adapted to provide a flexible and cost-approach for aerial installations in rural areas where ducting is unavailable and the take up of subscribers is unpredictable.
The key advantage of the extractable design is that the aerial cable can pass subscribers on its initial installation, but still allows the flexibility for future connections without the need to install unsightly cable loops. Furthermore, the additional connections can be made with no risk of disruption to existing live services.
Nexans’ aerial extractable cable system is intended for installation on existing pole infrastructure, such as for overhead power lines in rural areas.
The new cable comprises two elements. The primary/core element consists of an ADSS cable design and the secondary element contains the extractable distribution fibres – the fiber density and modularity can be adjusted depending on site configuration.
The system also features a common connection box which can be configured for two functions: a transition box to re feed from the cable primary core the secondary element; a subscriber connection box for fibre extraction and connection to drop cables.
The solution, therefore, gives the operator the flexibility to adjust where along the cable route a connection box and subsequent drop cables will be installed, and it also reduces the amount of cable used when deploying the entire solution.
The connection box only needs to be installed when a new subscriber wants a connection. An important benefit of the extractable fibres is that the new connection can be created with no risk of disturbance to the main cable, ensuring the perfect network integrity vital for critical information services.
To make a new subscriber connection the cable’s secondary/peripheral element is cut open in two positions: at the location of the connection box and at a suitable location a short distance along the cable.
The appropriate number of fibres to connect the subscribers are then extracted and spliced to a drop cable, potentially preconnectorized that provides the service to the subscriber. The part of the secondary element that is exposed is then sealed.
A key factor that makes the aerial extractable cable solution appealing is that, unlike conventional ADSS installations, there is no need to provide obtrusive ‘loops’ at the pole tops or unsightly and costly double layings of drop cables along the main cable to allow for future subscriber connections.