Prysmian intros world first bend-insensitive 180 µm fibre 

Created December 19, 2019
Technologies and Products

Telecoms and energy cable systems specialist Prysmian Group has introduced a bend- insensitive single-mode optical fibre with a 180 µm outer diameter. The BendBrightXS-180µm is designed to enable an unprecedented level of cable miniaturisation and support the evolution of high-density optical networks.

Prysmian notes that, as new technologies like 5G, IoT and augmented reality evolve, optical networks must quickly adapt to meet new demands for increased capacity, higher density and lower latency. It reckons that bend-insensitive fibre optic cables are a crucial part of the world’s shift towards flexible and reliable connectivity, and with their extreme fibre count and reduced diameter, they also make installation faster and more cost effective.

The dimensional reduction of 180 µm fibre achieved by the new fibre corresponds to half of the cross-section area of legacy 250 µm single-mode fibre, while preserving a 125 µm glass diameter. BBXS-180µm is fully compliant with G.652 and G.657.A2 global standards, and it can be spliced with any legacy standard single-mode fibre. It uses the ColorLock-XS coating system for improved bending performance and mechanical reliability.

BBXS-180µm diameter fibre will enable the deployment of new broadband cable systems with extreme fibre density and smaller diameter. In 2009, Prysmian introduced BendBrightXS 200µm, the first-ever commercialised bend insensitive single-mode optical fibre, especially designed for high density access networks. Since then, reduced diameter fibres have opened an innovative gateway for many new cable systems applicable to a variety of network configurations.

“Leveraging its proprietary BendBrightXS technology, Prysmian is reaching a new milestone in fibre miniaturisation,” said Philippe Vanhille, executive vice president Telecom Business at Prysmian Group. “BBXS-180µm will enable cable designers to offer strongly reduced cable dimensions and yield industry record cable density.”

Last month, Prysmian’s BendBrightXS technology, along with its Flextube and MINISM@RT mini loose tube cables, featured in a partnership project with Australian ISP telco TPG to realise the ‘Ten Gigabit Adelaide’ project. ‘Ten Gigabit Adelaide’ is a programme to connect the city with a grid of fibre optic cable, giving every business the ability to access 10 Gbits/s connectivity. It will also underpin the operation of the smartest transport systems in Australia, interconnecting traffic lights, sensors, cameras and LED street lights and, ultimately, autonomous vehicles and a central traffic management hub.

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This article was written
by John Williamson

John Williamson is a freelance telecommunications, IT and military communications journalist. He has also written for national and international media, and been a telecoms advisor to the World Bank.