There was a time, not so long ago, when copper cabling was the only method we used to transmit data and telecommunications. However, copper cabling is slowly but surely becoming obsolete as fibre optics (Fibre Cabling) has become the go-to solution for faster data transmission, long distance data transfer and signal transmission.
Fibre Optics is nothing more than tiny strands of plastic or glass which carries light along its thin fibres, trapping it within its core by using scientific principles of reflection. The light in the fibre optic cabling hits at a specific angle, which is then reflected at such an angle that no light escapes the fibre stream.
When it comes to networking, communication of vast distances and bulky data transfer, fibre optic cables are dynamic in getting the communication delivered at lightning speed when compared to old copper cables.
Fibre optics even makes use of laser light to ramp up the speed over long distances. The laser light has no degradation at all, so the light can travel through the minute glass tubes at speed and arrive without interference.
Fibre optic cabling is resilient too. It doesn’t matter whether it’s exposed to exterior elements like rain, snow, frost, wind or even next to other electrical cables. Copper cabling often fails when affected by environmental disturbances, which can result in a degraded signal – fibre optic cabling is protected against these disruptive elements.
Types of Fibre Cabling
Although there are many variants of cable available, there are 2 main types of Fibre in the industry; Multi-Mode or Single-Mode:
Most commonly used within internal buildings or short fibre runs, this type of cable is capable of up to 100GB/s speeds at 150 meters. The most common types of Multi-Mode cable is OM3 or OM4 cable, both of which have a core size of 62.5 micron and 50 microns. The cladding layer for both types of core sizes is 125 microns.
Multi-Mode cable is good for approximately 1KM, any longer cable runs the option of Single-Mode should be considered. Typical wavelengths for Multi-Mode fibre is 850nm and 1300nm.
Single-Mode fibre is installed for larger bandwidth or long distance connectivity. Single Mode cable is capable of 100Gb/s at a distance of 40 kilometers! The two different types of Single-Mode cable is OS1 and OS2, both of which have a core size of 9 microns and a cladding layer of 125 microns.
Typical wavelengths for Single-Mode fibre is 1310nm and 1550nm. Single-Mode fiber features only one transmission mode. Compared with multi-mode fiber, it can carry higher bandwidths.
Our Fibre Services
Our fibre services range from basic splicing, cable jointing, branch outs and OTDR testing. Our engineers have successfully carried out work for BT and Virgin networks in the UK, sub stations, industrial units and more. We are able to plan and design communication networks as well as implementation. We understand the importance of how using the right equipment and cabling can be. Below are some of the services we offer:
Fibre Survey / Rod & Roping – We can carry out a comprehensive Fibre survey, which includes our team coming out and planning out a suitable fibre route for cabling to be installed. We will also discuss quantity and network speed requirements. If installing internally, we would measure distances and see floor plans to understand the most efficient way of installing. If the cable require underground routing, if ducting exists we are able to ensure routes are clear for the installation of fibre. If ducting does not exist we can also provide a competitive quotation for ducting and man hole installations.
Cable Routing / Pulling – Cable routes are decided depending on the most convenient routes and accessible routes. If routes do not exist we can look into creating routes for cables to be installed. We make use of winching systems to pull through larger lengths of cabling.
Fusion Splicing – Fusion Splicing is the process of joining or welding two optic fibres using heat, using an electric arc to melt the fibres together. The process of fusion splicing starts by stripping the fibre to remove the polymer coating around the fibre, then cleaning the fibre end, cleaving the fibre (which is a score and break method) to ensure the end is flat and finally splicing using a fusion splicer to join the fibres together. The fusion splicer will then indicate how much of a loss the join has created, if it is a perfect splice then it will display 0.00db loss. It is important to have a good splice, this ensures that light is not scatted or reflected back down the fibre.
Cable Termination – Fibre Termination refers to a cable that is ready to be inserted into network equipment. It is at the final stage of the fibre cable install process. The termination usually consists of connectors or these days the industry tends to use pigtails which are pre-terminated cables. These pigtails are short in length, single and tight-buffered. Pigtails come in both male and female connectors. The traditional way of installing termination connectors meant that each termination has to be done perfectly or you could face high amounts of light loss – hence why people tend to use cables with connectors already terminated onto them.
Fibre Testing – Fibre Testing can be carried out in a number of ways. Depending on your requirements, we are able to carry out the following types of testing: OTDR, ILM and Visual Light Testing. OTDR short for Optical Time-Domain Reflectometer is a tool used to map out the optical fibre cable. The OTDR sends pulses into the fibre strand, it can detect if the splices and connectors using reflection or scattering of light. A graph is plotted on the OTDR which allows easy identification of losses. ILM Testing allows us to measure the loss or attenuation of the fibre cable. We carry out ILM Testing using a light source and a power meter. After fibre installations we carry out a comprehensive test and provide you with a full report for your records.
Fibre Repairs – We offer fibre repairs on all types of cables in any location. If a cable has been accidentally damaged and you require an emergency fibre repair then please do not hesitate to give us a call. On quite a few occasions we have had the cable repaired and network back up and running within 1.5 hours of the initial phone call! We have a large stock of Fibre equipment for eventualities like this and can have an engineer on the way to your site within 30 minutes of making contact with us. We carried out repairs ranging from construction damages to rodent damage. Once repairs are complete, we will test the cable to ensure the repairs are performing correctly. If you are unsure of where the damage is, we can use our OTDR testing machine to identify the location of the damage and then carry out the repairs.
Blown Fibre – Fibre blowing is a process of blowing a cable into a duct using compressed air. A blowing machine inserts compressed air into the pipe and pushes the cable through. This is currently the most effective way of installing fibre over long distances and we have successfully carried out many blown fibre installs.
Cable Containment – We can also provide cable containment services, whether that’s trunking, conduits, cable trays or data/network cabinets. We would obviously like to hide all cabling for aesthetic reasons but in some cases this is not possible. We can provide all types of trunking for your needs, whether that’s mini trunking, maxi trunking or dado trunking. We are also able to supply and install all types of cable trays. We can also supply and fit comms cabinets (or data cabinets), which help with the containment of all of your cables. We can provide and fit wall mounted 3U cabinet up to floor standing 42U cabinets.
Areas we cover
We have been fortunate enough to carry out cabling works throughout Europe. We cover ALL areas within the UK and Europe, majority of our work is in the following areas: Coventry (Warwickshire), Nuneaton (Warwickshire), Leicester (Leicestershire), Rugby (Warwickshire), Leamington (Warwickshire), Solihull (West Midlands), Birmingham (West Midlands), Redditch (Worcestershire), Worcester (Worcestershire), Tamworth (Staffordshire).
The first step would be to get in touch with us so we can then assess your requirements. Depending on what work needs to be carried we can then arrange a survey or meeting and provide you with a competitive quotation. After acceptance, we will carry out the following:
After a full onsite survey, we will be able to determine the most efficient route for your Fibre. Containment will depend on where it is being installed. For below ground installations, containment will be single or bundles of ducting. Above ground installations; we use cable trays, catenary wiring and external trunking. Internally we can mount cabling on ceilings, walls, suspended ceilings and purpose mounted poles. We will ensure the cables are ran neatly as with any equipment that is mounted. We use Cable Trays, Cable Baskets and Trunking.
After a survey has been carried out we can determine the exact length and requirement of the cable. After an install date has been decided – we will ensure our engineers are on site first thing to begin works, ensuring all health and safety procedures are adhered to during the install. The installs can be in a number of forms; internal, external or underground. Depending on where the install will take place, we will provide and install containment to suit.
After install, we will go ahead and terminate cabling. Depending on the requirements, Fibre terminations maybe differ. Some will be terminated in man hole chambers, comms rooms or even at desks. Before we complete, we will carry out comprehensive testing – this could include OTDR, ILM and Visual Light Testing.