Miniflex to demo fast FTTH installation at ECOC 2007

Sept. 7, 2007
September 7, 2007 -- Miniflex will be demonstrating its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) installation system, dubbed MF2C, at the ECOC 2007 tradeshow.

September 7, 2007 -- Miniflex will be demonstrating its fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) installation system, dubbed MF2C [Miniflex's-Fiber-to-Customer-Connection], at the ECOC 2007 tradeshow. Visitors to the company's booth will see live demonstrations of optical fiber installations using the system, which the company says incorporates specific, patented manufacturing technology to enable faster, more efficient fiber installation.

According to a press release, the MF2C system consists of three core elements:

The company's DVC Microduct is produced specifically to meet the need for a tough but flexible mini conduit. In terms of pushing or pulling fiber through this product, the product's low friction Dynamic Velocity Conservation lining provides a hard, low friction surface with static discharge that the company says has been demonstrated to produce a 24% reduction in installation time over similar products for the same distance. The product's inherent bend limiting and crush resistant characteristics make it a superior duct or conduit for FTTH use, since it is much less susceptible to kinking when being installed, says the company.

The company's TuffNut cable is an optical fiber cable made using the Miniflex optical fiber protection tube (OFPT). The product comprises fiber and the 3-mm OFPT as sheathing. The company says the TuffNut cable has better physical performance than existing cables and permits fast installation by pushing due to its rigid flexibility and low friction. This product has recently been developed specifically for the FTTP market but has application in other markets including automotive, industrial automation, defense and aerospace, notes the company.

The company's WAM is an blown-fiber type installation device developed to maximize the benefits of the DVC Microduct and TuffNut Cable. The machine has passed initial concept trials in the USA with a major RBOC (Regional Bell Operating Company) and awaits final beta testing before progressing to full production.

The company notes that it is common for fiber in the "last mile" or for premises installations to use a number of microduct technologies; however, these microducts commonly have poor bend limiting capability (i.e. they kink), and cannot cope with tight bends. The company claims its DVC Microduct has none of these problems, as it features a patented hard lining, bend limitation, and higher crush resistance, while being able to negotiate bends of half the diameter typically specified. The DVC Microduct is designed to allow existing fiber cable to be installed via the company's WAM installation system. Using the WAM, the company says its TuffNut cable can be installed more rapidly over twice the typical distance encountered during installation in MDUs and residential buildings.

By utilizing a patented combination of materials and manufacturing technology, the company says its cable products have both high crush resistance and bend limiting protection. These performance characteristics make the TuffNut cable particularly beneficial for the provision of bend insensitive fiber cables that utilize standard singlemode fibers. It also provides for a cost-effective cable design that does not need additional high strength filaments, contends the company. However, such strength filaments can be added to produce very tough cables for outside overhead drops.

Another benefit of its manufacturing technique, notes the company, is a low surface friction and bend-limiting construction that has a high resistance to longitudinal compression and buckling. This allows the TuffNut cable to be pushed long distances through complex routes of microduct and conduits. This capability provides for a simple high speed installation and eliminates the risk of high tensile loads occasioned when pulling cables through ducting and conduits.

"ECOC poses an excellent opportunity for us to demonstrate the unique benefits that provide a competitive edge for our customers," comments Paul Ekpenyong, sales and marketing director for Miniflex. "Miniflex has effectively addressed many of the concerns and issues surrounding the installation of fiber to MDUs and we will continue to develop solutions that deliver business and technical advantages for our customers."

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