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PPC blog

Half year report - the 2014 global FTTH and pushable fiber market

Posted by Tom Carpenter

As we approach the halfway mark of 2014, I thought it worthwhile to share my views on the trends we are seeing in the FTTH and pushable fiber market globally.

Firstly, the market is growing compared to 2013, a view which is backed up by several industry market research papers. For example CRU's report found that global fiber installations are up 13% for the first quarter of the year. I can’t comment on whether this is happening across the board. However what I do know is that our shipments of Miniflex fiber cable and our pushable QuikPush range are up significantly everywhere we sell globally.

Topics: Fiber to the home, Pushable Fiber, Market trends

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Making municipal FTTH deployments economic

Posted by Larry Malone

Fiber networks are a key driver of economic growth and consequently are becoming critical to cities and communities across the world. High speed FTTH and FTTP networks encourage new businesses to an area, make it an attractive place to live and also enable greater efficiency and new services from government.

To access these benefits, many municipalities across the United States are rolling out their own fiber networks in order to ensure they remain competitive in a tough environment. But achieving this cost-effectively can be a struggle. How can cities make deployments quicker, easier and less expensive?

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Fiber to the home, Costs/ROI

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Russia – the current state of play with FTTX

Posted by Colin Dennison

I’ve just come back from sunny Moscow, where I attended a very busy Sviaz-Expocomm show. Officially titled the 26th International Exhibition for Telecommunications, Control Systems, IT and Communication Services, it covered the entire telecoms market, with a major focus on fiber networks. We took a stand as part of our push eastwards, building on m2fx’s existing presence in Eastern Europe, where our fiber protection technology has been deployed in more than 40% of countries in the region.

One thing that stood out was the strength and prospects for growth in the Russian market. Recent figures from the Broadband Forum put Russia ahead of France when it comes to broadband penetration, with over 25.3 million subscribers in Q4 2013. Importantly, the vast majority of FTTX connections are Fiber to the Home/Building (FTTH/B), rather than the Fiber to the Cabinet (FTTC) deployments we’re seeing across much of Western Europe. FTTH/B dominates in Russia (with around 60% of new retail subscribers), according to analysts Analysys Mason, with carriers currently migrating customers from DSL to fiber.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Fiber to the home, Market trends

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Why not every fiber cable is created equal

Posted by John Dawson

As the prodigious growth of fiber optics continues across the globe, it is moving into more and more sectors with increasingly diverse and demanding requirements. This is unquestionably driving the need for tougher fiber optic cables. But how do you achieve the right balance between strength, flexibility and lifetime costs?

The importance of fiber protection

No-one disputes bare fiber is very fragile – after all, it is made of extremely pure optical glass. There are very few examples of where fiber has been successfully deployed in its raw state for this reason.

Topics: Fiber innovations

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Making MDU Fiber to the Home (FTTH) implementations cost-effective

Posted by Simon Roberts

Finding the ideal fiber installation solution for Multi Dwelling Units (MDU), normally apartment blocks or hotels, is a major obstacle that carriers face as the pace of Fiber to the Home (FTTH) deployments increases to meet the ever increasing consumer demand for bandwidth.

Carriers have to be able to offer the same capacity and high speeds to consumers living in MDUs as they provide to those within Single Dwelling Units (SDU). However the longer deployment time and higher cost of implementing fiber to the MDU are putting a brake on the growth for in-building connections.

Topics: MDU

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Fiber Protection Withstands the Big Truck Test

Posted by Shaun Trezise

Fiber has to survive and operate in the toughest conditions. Whether it is during installation or ongoing operation it is vital it continues to function reliably when dropped, hit with a hammer, crushed or generally maltreated.

We’ve carried out extensive crush resistance and impact testing of our fiber, and calculated that our Miniflex cable and protective duct can withstand a force of 4000 Newtons over 100 mm without any damage to the fiber itself. And because of its advanced polymer engineering it springs back and regains its shape over a relatively quick time, ensuring the fiber inside is not pinched or squashed.

Topics: Design and Install

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FTTH in Africa is NOT just for the elite!

Posted by Joe Byrne

The recent article in The Engineer ‘is Fiber to the Home (FTTH) in Africa just for the elite?’ – got me thinking of the progression I have seen in Africa since 2006 and my experience of internet accessibility in the continent. I also looked at the advantages that high speed, widely available (and in this I mean price as well as physical availability), internet connections will bring to Africa.

The benefits of FTTH to everyone

Firstly, it is worth looking at the benefits. Obviously faster broadband enables people to receive services such as IPTV, widening their entertainment choices, while also allowing them to download data and information faster than before. However it goes further, empowering them. It makes it easier to work from home and communicate nationally and internationally using voice and video at no extra cost through VoIP services such as Skype, enabling people to start and expand their own businesses. They can sign up for content rich educational courses, particularly those including video lectures and real-time tutorials, learning vital skills to improve their lives. And government services, from healthcare to registering for benefits, can be applied for and accessed online, reducing the bureaucracy and increasing efficiency for both citizens and civil servants.  

Topics: Fiber to the home, Costs/ROI

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Coping with cable congestion - with pushable fiber and PPC Microduct

Posted by Larry Malone

Cost-effectively rolling out new cellular infrastructure is critical for carriers looking to compete in increasingly demanding markets. Technologies such as 4G are crucial to providing the robust, high bandwidth data networks that subscribers want, but deploying them, particularly in complex urban areas, can be difficult. Existing infrastructure, such as around cellular towers, has been built up over years and cannot be removed or replaced. This can make it hard to add new equipment, leading to a headache for both network planners and installers.

Planning a 4G cell tower rollout

To solve this problem a tier 1 US cellular operator used the unique strengths of PPC’s Miniflex microduct and fiber cable to connect a key cell tower to 4G and its existing backhaul network.

Located on the roof of a ten floor hotel, in a busy urban area, the existing internal riser was full of cable, meaning the telco’s options were limited – it could install a whole new riser system (too expensive) or expose the new fiber on the side of the building (likely to be vetoed by the hotel owners).

Topics: Design and Install

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Speeding FTTP deployments with Dura-Line and Miniflex Pushable Fiber

Posted by Larry Malone
With its products used in thousands of fiber deployments across the globe, Dura-Line is one of the world’s leading suppliers of conduit duct. Installers know and rely on Dura-Line when it comes to ease of deployment, effectiveness and reliability.

Given its market leading position, we wanted to test how the combination of PPC's patented Miniflex fiber cable and Dura-Line’s duct performed together. To do this we worked with Dura-Line and a major local telephone company in the US on out a joint Fiber to the Premises (FTTP) installation to a strip mall in Louisiana. The aim was to measure the compatibility of the two products and to see if the combination improved deployment performance for the installation crew.

Topics: Fiber to the premises, Design and Install

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Solving the FTTH rollout problem in multiple dwelling units

Posted by Shaun Trezise

Recently PPC was asked to investigate solutions to the problem of a FTTH rollout with no space for microduct. The customer faced the challenge of deploying fiber to 10 high-rise apartment blocks, each containing 180 dwellings, within 2 years. Sounds easy, but factor into the equation that there is no option to add infrastructure and the fiber must be installed through the pre-existing, pre-populated PVC conduits hidden in the voids and screeds. Also add in that no machinery or cable blowing equipment is allowed on site. Then you really have a problem.

Unfortunately for network designers and installation engineers across the world, this scenario is all too common. A lack of foresight when future proofing network infrastructure has resulted in a critical need for fiber cable that can be retrofitted into existing conduit and ducting, often when this conduit is already populated with cables.

Topics: Design and Install, Fiber to the home

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