Fibre to the home (FTTH) is spreading at breakneck speed. Telecommunications companies have a lot to do in the final mile to customers. They have to connect and manage large quantities of optical fibres in the distributors of the access networks. This can be complicated and the distributor room is often cramped. This is why R&M, the globally active developer and provider of cabling systems for high-quality network infrastructures based in Wetzikon, Switzerland, wants to further simplify and increase the density of FTTH cabling. To this end, R&M is now, expanding the PRIME family with two modules for single fibre management on network level 3.
These modules are compact fibre inserts for the various PRIME sub-racks and distribution frames, each with twelve FMTS compact splice trays with optionally 4x shrink (HS) or crimp (ANT) splice contactors. The inserts support the two- and four-fibre concept for FTTH networks. At least two fibres are required to connect a subscriber or a house to the broadband network. The four-fibre concept opens up the access network to more offers and more competition among Internet service providers.
Connecting up to 48 fibres in one compartment
The new distribution modules from R&M are called the PRIME single termination unit (STU) and the PRIME single splice unit (SSU). They are used to provide as many fibres as possible for subscribers in a PRIME rack and to administer them securely. The STU fibre unit accommodates plug connectors for up to 48 fibre terminations. R&M uses the connector types LC-D, SC and E-2000.
The SSU fibre unit is used to connect 48 fibres per splice. The sub-racks occupy a 3/4 height unit and can be retrofitted into existing 1U or 3U sub-racks. Together with the inserts, R&M developed compact FMTS splice trays for fibre management. The splice trays, which can be mounted tool-free, work like index cards. Incoming and outgoing fibres are crossover-free in the guides. This allows technicians to assign and easily document the subscribers without any confusion. They can also carry out inspections and maintenance work quickly. A snap-in mechanism fixes the PRIME fibre units for splice, patch and maintenance work.
Modular distributors for FTTH networks
R&M introduced the PRIME family to the FTTH market two years ago. The compacted racks and modules meet the current cabling requirements of broadband providers, who install the PRIME ODF (ODF = Optical Distribution Frame) in cramped distribution sites such as PoP stations, street cabinets and building basements.
With PRIME, R&M implements the principle of modularity. The distributors can be assembled, adapted and extended like separate blocks. This approach makes it possible to plan with manageable investment costs. Network operators only order the components they need at any given time. They will later be able to react quickly to the increasing demand for FTTH or technical advances. Up to 14 3U modules and 5,376 fibre-optic connections fit into a PRIME rack with a height of 2.2 m.