We discuss the following topics in this blog:
- How to Enable Connectivity at the Speed of Light?
- How STL is Providing Cutting Edge Solutions?
- Superior Quality Assurance for Customer Satisfaction
In addition to these topics, we shall also be answering the following FAQs:
- What is WiFi?
- What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
How to Enable Connectivity at the Speed of Light?
Everyone remembers the 1985 classic, “Back to the future” don’t we? In the movie, the flux capacitor powered the DMC delorean (the magical car, in case you have forgotten) to travel within the framework of time and space. A quick fast forward and the capacitor today, is the high speed, flexible, reliable, and totally upgradeable optical fibre that provide connectivity at the speed of light. We connect, download, upload, transfer and experience both emotions and technology with utmost ease.
In the current scenario, telecom companies and other leading communication service providers are constantly trying to upgrade and improve. With stiff competition, the need to provide a better data network- 5G network- at reduced deployment time and cost has become paramount. We are looking for a fast and cost-effective way to increase fibre counts in the existing infrastructure and thus, improve last-mile networks to support high bandwidth services and keep end consumers happy. STL, with its global manufacturing capabilities and superior micro cables solutions, gives you an edge over the rest when it comes to innovating fibre cable solutions.
How STL is Providing Cutting Edge Solutions?
STL’s BulletTM Series micro cables are installed using a widely accepted and used technique called cable blowing that places the optical fiber cable into a pre-installed duct. After a few hundred metres of cable being pushed into the duct, compressed air at high speed is injected into the duct inlet. A pushing device is used to push the compressed air further in, along the cable. Here’s a fun fact. Did you know it is possible to install micro duct cable in continuous lengths of more than 1000 meters using the blowing method?
STL has become the first company in India that has an in-house micro cable installation testing track built to IEC standard IEC 60794 – 1-21. The testing track is like a real-life simulation of cable performance allowing the cables to be checked for physical parameters such as diameter and strength, in a real-life blowing environment. This exercise helps to understand and provide, an accurate estimate of the required manpower, speed and time required to complete the cable installation.
Superior Quality Assurance for Customer Satisfaction
Our testing parameters are stringent. From confirming whether the cable is perfect for air jetting or blowing application in a particular micro duct size to checking for cable flexibility, stiffness, weight and cable to duct fill ratio, the testing parameters match international standards for cable quality and durability.
The tests happen in 2 phases. At first, the duct track itself is tested for load fill ratio. A route verification test is done by passing a test object, such as a sphere, approximately equal to the diameter of the cable in size, or 1 m of the actual cable to be installed, through the route to be populated. The purpose is to check for any obstructions that might block the cable route. This is followed by a feasibility test which is designed to evaluate the blowing performance of a micro duct optical cabling into a protected micro duct. The test conditions match those in actual practical installations and are performed under ambient conditions, with temperatures above 0°C (to avoid blocking with ice) and below +40°C (above which temperature blowing performance has been observed to rapidly degrade)
The next phase of testing includes the process of actual installation and testing of the cable and duct for all necessary parameters. We promise our customers a product that helps save time and money. The proof of our ingenuity and promise is the detailed report which we share with our customers highlighting the simulated performance of the cable on 17 parameters directly or indirectly affecting the installation process.
What is WiFi?
Put simply, WiFi is a technology that uses radio waves to create a wireless network through which devices like mobile phones, computers, printers, etc., connect to the internet. A wireless router is needed to establish a WiFi hotspot that people in its vicinity may use to access internet services. You’re sure to have encountered such a WiFi hotspot in houses, offices, restaurants, etc.
To get a little more technical, WiFi works by enabling a Wireless Local Area Network or WLAN that allows devices connected to it to exchange signals with the internet via a router. The frequencies of these signals are either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz bandwidths. These frequencies are much higher than those transmitted to or by radios, mobile phones, and televisions since WiFi signals need to carry significantly higher amounts of data. The networking standards are variants of 802.11, of which there are several (802.11a, 802.11b, 801.11g, etc.).
What is an Optical Fibre Cable?
An optical fibre cable is a cable type that has a few to hundreds of optical fibres bundled together within a protective plastic coating. They help carry digital data in the form of light pulses across large distances at faster speeds. For this, they need to be installed or deployed either underground or aerially. Standalone fibres cannot be buried or hanged so fibres are bunched together as cables for the transmission of data.
This is done to protect the fibre from stress, moisture, temperature changes and other externalities. There are three main components of a optical fibre cable, core (It carries the light and is made of pure silicon dioxide (SiO2) with dopants such as germania, phosphorous pentoxide, or alumina to raise the refractive index; Typical glass cores range from as small as 3.7um up to 200um), Cladding (Cladding surrounds the core and has a lower refractive index than the core, it is also made from the same material as the core; 1% refractive index difference is maintained between the core and cladding; Two commonly used diameters are 125µm and 140µm) and Coating (Protective layer that absorbs shocks, physical damage and moisture; The outside diameter of the coating is typically either 250µm or 500µm; Commonly used material for coatings are acrylate,Silicone, carbon, and polyimide).
An optical fibre cable is made up of the following components: Optical fibres – ranging from one to many. Buffer tubes (with different settings), for protection and cushioning of the fibre. Water protection in the tubes – wet or dry. A central strength member (CSM) is the backbone of all cables. Armoured tapes for stranding to bunch the buffer tubes and strength members together. Sheathing or final covering to provide further protection.
The five main reasons that make this technology innovation disruptive are fast communication speed, infinite bandwidth & capacity, low interference, high tensile strength and secure communication. The major usescases of optical fibre cables include intenet connectivity, computer networking, surgery & dentistry, automotive industry, telephony, lighting & decorations, mechanical inspections, cable television, military applications and space.