Ribbon Fiber Cable is preferred where high fiber counts and small diameter cables are needed. This cable has the highest packing density, since all the fibers are laid out in rows in ribbons, typically of 12 fibers, and the ribbons are laid on top of each other. Not only is this the smallest cable for the most number of fibers, it’s usually the lowest cost. Typically 144 fibers in ribbons only has a cross section of about 1/4 inch or 6 mm and the jacket is only 13 mm or 1/2 inch diameter! Some cable designs use a “slotted core” with up to 6 of these 144 fiber ribbon assemblies for 864 fibers in one cable. Since it’s outside plant cable, it’s gel-filled for water blocking or dry water-blocked. These cables are common used in LAN backbones and data centers.
There are some advantages of ribbon fiber cable. One of the obvious advantages is saving. You must be thinking about the price of a ribbon cable is higher than a loose tube cable when you read here. In a certain extent, the savings from mass fusion splicing more than makes up for the incremental cable cost. A ribbon fiber cable allows 12 fibers to be spliced together at one time so that it reduce labour time and saving money. In addition, a ribbon cable allows for more fiber to be placed in a smaller cable diameter which satisfy the demands of higher fiber counts in a fiber cable. Moreover, restoration time is much quicker with a ribbon cable when a cable cut occur.