Is Splice Better Than Connector for FTTH Drop Cable Installations?

Is Splice Better Than Connector for FTTH Drop Cable Installations?

Posted on by FS.COM

When designing FTTH network, engineers have to choose the right interconnection solutions for FTTH drop cable. Both splice and connector are widely used for FTTH deployment. To select splices or connectors, it’s crucial to the network reliability, operational flexibility and the FTTH project costs. So which solution is more suitable for your FTTH drop cable installation? Continue to read this article.

Splice

Splice is a permanent joint, or a connector, which can be easily mated or un-mated by hand. The advantage is that splice can provide excellent optical performance. It can well protect the interconnection point from being damaged or dirty so as to avoid high optical loss and ensure signal integrity. And splice enables the transition from 250µm drop cable to jacketed cable. However, splice has some disadvantages. If FTTH subscribers change, engineers should make splicing for that. In that way, fibers are easily to be bent and will cause high optical loss. Thus, the network performance will be influenced. Besides, the splice can increase the ONT size and cost since splice used at ONT needs a tray to hold and protect it.

Splice Types

As to splicing, there are fusion splicing and mechanical splicing. So consider which kind of splicing is more suitable for your applications.

Fusion Splicing

Fusion splicing is often applied in distribution construction networks. When talk to fusion splicing, we have to talk about fusion splicer. It’s a good tool for FTTH drop cable splicing because it can provide high quality splice with low insertion loss and reflection. But not everything is perfect. Before you buy a fusion splicer, you should concern the following points.

  • Fusion splicers are quite expensive, usually several thousand USD.
  • Fusion splicers require specially trained technicians to operate them.
  • Fusion slicers cause additional labor costs mainly showing in the aspects of operation preparation and ending for fusion splicing.
  • Fusion slicers increase installation time because the sleeves in the machine need to be warmed up.
fiber-fusion-splicingMechanical Splicing

Mechanical splicing is also employed in FTTH installations by most eastern nations. It’s not so popular in America since many users think the index matching gel inside the splices are likely to yellow or dry out, causing network failures. So you need to buy from some reliable vendor for high quality index matching gel like Fiberstore. A high quality index matching gel bring you low insertion loss. Tests show that mechanical splices can also perform well in indoor and outdoor locations.

Connector

Connectors are flexible because they can be mated or unmated repeatedly without any tools. They are reusable. The connector provide an access point for network testing. Compared with splice, the connector price is more expensive. So engineers should weigh the cost and the its benefits to decide whether to use connectors.

fiber-connector

Connector Categories

For connector, factory-terminated or field-terminated types can be found in the market.

Factory-terminated

Factory-terminated drop cable can provide high performance and reliable connections with low optical loss. What’s more, it can save installation time and labor costs. But one thing you need to notice is that it costs more than field-terminated connectors. And the cable length is pre-set so that engineers should buy cables with different lengths for the installation job. That leads to more costs.

Field-terminated connector include fuse-on connector and mechanical connector. Fuse-on connector applies the same technology as fusion splicing to provide high optical performance. By incorporating the fusion splice inside the connector, there is no need for a separate splice tray. However, it has the shortage similar to fusion splicing, such as high equipment cost and much installation time. Mechanical connectors are alternative to fuse-on connectors for field installation of drop cables. They require no electrical power source and no special training. You can finish a fiber termination in an easy and fast way.

Conclusion

Choosing the right solution for FTTH drop cable installation is helpful for saving time and cost for service providers. Splices are typically used in a greenfield, new construction unit where all of the drop cables can be easily installed and no future fiber rearrangement is needed. While connectors are appropriate for the curb and home applications because of the flexibility of easy plug-in and out. FS.COM offers high quality but cost-effective fusion splicers and various types of connectors for FTTH drop cable installation. For more details, please visit our site www.fs.com or contact us via sales@fs.com.

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