Fiber Optic Cable Specification

Many structured cabling installations begin with the preparation of a detailed written specification for each system component. Such specifications may be necessary to ensure the correct product is used for the intended application. Specifications also ensure all products offered are equal in a competitive-bidding situation. Consultants and end users often find that they lack the breadth of knowledge or experience necessary to prepare a complete, detailed specification for optical fiber and fiber optic cable. This fact is not surprising because it takes a significant effort to keep abreast of changing product offerings as well as the most recent product evaluation and measurement technology. However, consultants and end users can use industry standards to specify the necessary products without having to delve into excruciating detail.

Specifications for optical fiber and cable can be, and often are, long and arduous; they address a myriad of technical considerations. These considerations include mechanical, environmental, and dimensional characteristics, not to mention the finished product’s compatibility with building codes and transmission equipment. Consultants and end users frequently prepare lengthy specifications, attempting to cover all pertinent details. This effort requires a thorough knowledge of cable design, optical science, and the details of scores of measurement methods. Panels of industry experts have developed national and international standards for fiber and cable; these standards can be the basis for the desired brief, accurate, detailed specifications.

Cables intended for direct burial underground should, in most cases, incorporate a steel tape armor for protection against gnawing rodents. Metallic armor has proven to be an effective rodent 
protection in controlled tests.

For aerial installations, outdoor fiber optic cable require a messenger wire for lashing. However, some cables have an integrated messenger wire in a figure-eight cross section. Also available today are some all dielectric self-supporting aerial cables, which contain no metallic elements but have sufficient tensile strength to support their own weight and a reasonable ice and wind load.

The most popular loose tube cable includes buffer tubes, each of which contains one to 12 color-coded fibers. Some other cables include ribbons of fiber, rather than loose fibers in buffer tubes. Up to 24 fibers, joined together side-by-side, form a fiber ribbon. Stacks of these ribbons are in buffer tubes, creating a cable with a large number of fibers in a small cross-sectional area. Ribbon cables are popular in telephony and other long-haul applications and useful in crowded ducts where dense packing offers an advantage. Mass-fusion-splicing technology allows installers to splice 12 fibers in a ribbon simultaneously, offering labor savings in high-fiber-count applications. Ribbon cables are not common in premises applications but may become more popular as fiber becomes more prevalent in premises networks.


Indoor outdoor cable incorporate the characteristics necessary for both applications; they are waterblocked for moisture protection and are sunlight-resistant. Indoor/outdoor cables also meet one or more of the code requirements for flame-spread resistance and smoke generation.

They can be useful in eliminating a splice point for a building-to-building run in a campus environment. They resemble outdoor cables more closely than indoor cables in design and appearance 
and usually require a fanout kit for field termination.

Fiber optic cable specification

A detailed cable specification considers all environmental and regulatory factors that concern the installation environment, including temperature, mechanical loading, moisture, sunlight, 
flammability, rodents, and chemicals. Fully specifying each cable also requires a test or measurement method and criteria. Once again, standards are available to simplify this task.

Two sister documents published by the Insulated Cable Engineers Association (ICEA-South Yarmouth, MA) are useful as detailed product specifications. The ANSI/ICEA S-87-640 Standard for Outside Plant Communications Cable and the ANSI/ICEA S-83-596 Standard for Fiber Optic Premises Distribution Cable cover outside- and inside-plant cables, respectively. A third document, which will be designated S-83-696 and is currently in the works, will address indoor/outdoor cables. In addition to detailed references for test method, loading, and failure criteria for finished cable, these documents also include similar details for the optical fiber. ANSI/ICEA S-83-596 includes a summary of the flammability listing requirements from the NEC. Referencing these documents as appropriate for indoor or outdoor cable ensures you have included a full battery of environmental and mechanical testing and failure criteria in your specification.

In the United States, the federal government is another source for a detailed product specification. The Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) has published a document entitled Specification for Filled Fiber Optic Cables, which provides detailed product specifications for singlemode and multimode fiber, as well as OSP loose-tube cable. The RUS specification even outlines requirements for production and type testing as well as data reporting and manufacturers’ recordkeeping. The RUS conducts technical reviews of cable manufacturers’ products and programs and includes compliant companies’ products on an “accepted list.” By specifying that an OSP cable must be RUS-listed, an end user can take advantage of the RUS’s efforts.

The Different Types of Optical Fiber Cable?

There are many types of fiber optic cable used to supply data to mobile phones, computers and TVs, each handling light in a different way, and each made for a different application. There are two main types of optical fiber cable, multimode and single mode, which use either several beams of light or a single beam at once. Simplex cables use only one or two optical fibers and Kevlar protection. Tightpack cables contain many optical fibers, but the fibers are not individually terminated. Loose tube cables include a water blocking gel and are used outdoor or are buried underground.

Multimode and single mode are the two main types of optical fiber cable, though the terms do not refer so much to the cable design as to how the fibers interact with light. The multimode version sends out many different light beams at once, and each is sent at a different angle so the beams cannot interact with each other, eliminating the chance of interference. These types of optical fiber cable can only be used for short distances; otherwise, the light beams begin to interfere with on another. Single mode optical fibers send only one beam of light at a time, making them ideal for long distances, because there are not multiple light beams to cause interference.

While a multi-mode optical fiber is cheaper than a single-mode fiber, it is only effective at supplying power to short distances, around 1,968 feet (600 meters). This is because of the different light rays working at once. If the cable is used for longer distances, the light rays begin either to conflict or disperse, meaning that power is inefficiently transferred or will not reach the target destination.

Simplex cables are simplx fiber optic cables that are used for backplanes and patch cord purposes. The outside is reinforced with Kevlar to keep the optical fibers from wearing down as a result of outside stress. Inside, there are only one or two fibers, which make it good for applications for which limited energy is needed.

Tightpack cables are similar to simplex but include many more fibers. The fibers are paired up and jacketed, as with the simplex cables, but there are many pairs, not just one. A major difference, aside from fiber number, is that the fibers are not individually terminated or protected, so there must be a termination unit connected to these types of optical fiber cable. These cables are used mostly for dry conduit runs over short distances.

Loose-tube cable does not use protection or jacketing for their internal fibers, but have another way of keeping the fibers safe. The insulation is filled with a water-blocking gel that is able to keep water from leaking into the cable and also keeps the fibers safe by adding durability to the inside of the cable. These cables are often used outdoor, either in the air or buried underground.

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Why Fiber Optic Cable More Popular Than Copper Cable?

Today fibre optic cables are used the world over for communications. The improvement in communication is brought by the development in fiber optic cables. Why fiber optic cable more popular than copper cable?

Fiber optic cable is a kind of cable which has more than one fiber optic. These kinds of cables are widely used and are also considered as one of the best options for a lot of people. There are a lot of advantages that one can be able to get when using this type of cable.

One of the advantages is that these cables are lighter, flexible and less bulky as compared to other kind of cables. They are widely used in urban areas where there is a shortage of space such as sewer lines, subways and power lines as well. Since this cable is lighter, it can easily fit in small and crowded placed. Optical cables are also easy to transport in various installation location. There is no doubt that flexibility is an advantage since it can be easily fitted in every corner.

Moreover, fiber optic cable cost is low. You can be able to save a lot on your budget when you replace your old copper wirings with optical fiber cable. As compared to copper wires, it also has a higher carrying capacity. This means that you will be able to have transmissions of many signals at a time without experiencing a lot of intrusion.

There are four advantages of fiber optic cabling, these advantages explain why fiber is becoming the preferred network cabling medium for high bandwidth, long-distance applications:

1. Immunity to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI)

All copper cable network media sharing a common problem: they are susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI), fiber optic cabling is immune to crosstalk because optical fiber does not conduct electricity and uses light signals in a glass fiber, rather than electrical signals along a metallic conductor to transmit data. So it cannot produce a magnetic field and thus is immune to EMI.

2. Higher Possible Data Rates

Because light is immune to interference, can be modulated at very high frequencies, and travels almost instantaneously to its destination, much higher data rates are possible with fiber optic
cabling technologies than with traditional copper systems. Data rates far exceeding the gigabit per second (Gbps) range and higher are possible, and the latest IEEE standards body is working on 100Gbps fiber based applications over much longer distances than copper cabling. Multimode is preferred fiber optic type for 100-550 meters seen in LAN network, and since single mode fiber optic cables are capable of transmitting at these multi-gigabit data rates over very long distances, they are the preferred media for transcontinental and oceanic applications.

3. Longer Maximum Distances

Typical copper media data transmission by the distance limits the maximum length of less than 100 meters. Because they do not suffer from the electromagnetic interference problems of traditional copper cabling and because they do not use electrical signals that can dramatically reduce the long distance, single-mode fiber optic cables can span 75 kilometers (about 46.6 miles) without using signal-boosting repeaters.

4. Better Security

The Copper cable transmission media is susceptible to eavesdropping through taps. A tap (short for wiretap) is a device that punctures through the outer jacket of a copper cable and touches the inner conductor. The tap intercepts signals sent on a LAN and sends them to another (unwanted) location. Electromagnetic (EM) taps are similar devices, but rather than puncturing the cable,they use the cable’s magnetic fields, which are similar to the pattern of electrical signals. Because fiber optic cabling uses light instead of electrical signals, it is immune to most types of eavesdropping. Traditional taps won’t work because any intrusion on the cable will cause the light to be blocked and the connection simply won’t function. EM taps won’t work because no magnetic field is generated. Because of its immunity to traditional eavesdropping tactics, fiber optic cabling is used in networks that must remain secure, such as government and research networks.

If you are looking for high quality communication solution, FiberStore’s fiber optic cable is the best choice. FiberStore provides a wide range of quality optical fiber cables, such as indoor
outdoor cable, loose tube cable, breakout cable fiber, Hybrid cable and so on. Our fiber optic cable specification is very detail and very convenient for you selecting. The optical cable price on the website is per meter price. The more, the cheaper. Customers can also have the flexibility to custom the cable plant to best fit their needs. Only fiber cable that meets or exceeds industry standards is used to ensure quality products with best-in-class performance.

Introduce of Indoor Outdoor Fiber Optic Cables

Indoor/Outdoor Fiber Cable delivers outstanding audio, video, telephony and data signal performance for educational, corporate and government campus applications. With a low bending radius and lightweight feature, this cable is suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations.

Indoor outdoor cable Features:

. Good mechanical and temperature performance
. High strength loose tube that is hydrolysis resistant
. Special tube filling compound ensure a critical protection of fiber
. Filler protect tube optical fiber,with excellent waterproofing performance
. Small cable size, lightweight
. Meet market and user demand

Indoor outdoor cable Applications:

. Indoor&outdoor aerial,pipeline
. Structured (data) wiring systems
. Networks for telecom, cable TV and/or broadcast
. Suitable for direct burial

Indoor fiber cables requires less temperature and mechanical strength than outdoor cables. However they have fire safety concerns; such as fire retardant and emits a very low level of smoke if on fire. It also allows smaller bend radius for installation.

Indoor fiber cables are usually based on tight buffer design so that they can be mounted both horizontally and vertically. The fibre count is usually 4, 6, 8, 12, 24, 32 etc.

Outdoor fiber cables have more applications than indoor fiber cables. They can be used from laying on ocean beds to connecting various cities or any two buildings on a campus.

Outdoor cables have high mechanical strength and can endure high temperature variations. They design of outdoor fiber optic cable is usually loose tube type so that the drawing force are applied on the cable sheath (cable jacket) and strength members without damaging the inside fibers. The loose tube structure also makes the fiber pulling inside ducts, trench, pipes easy.

Indoor/outdoor optic cables are usually used in Local Area Network (LAN) application so the same cable can be used both outdoor (the link between buildings) and indoor (inside the building). They have the same fire rating as standard indoor optic cables.

Typical indoor/outdoor cables are loose tube and tight buffer designs, and we also supply ribbon cables, drop cables, distribution cables and breakout cables. These are available in a variety of configurations and jacket types to cover riser and plenum requirements for indoor cables and the ability to be run in duct, direct buried, or aerial/lashed in the outside plant. Any fiber counts and cable length can be available from FiberStore, and our Indoor/Outdoor Fiber Cables design can simplify your project.

FiberStore designs, manufactures, and sells a broad portfolio of optical communication products, including passive optical network, or PON, subsystems, optical transceivers used in the enterprise, access, and metropolitan segments of the market, as well as other optical components, modules, and subsystems. In particular, FiberStore products include optical subsystems used in fiber-to-the-premise, or FTTP, deployments which many telecommunication service providers are using to deliver video, voice, and data services. Learn more fiber optic cable specification, fiber optic cable cost and loose tube fiber optic cable on FiberStore web site.