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platforms. Optical fibres in an access network are typically routed into a central office or switch centre, so such a dramatic increase in network fibre capacity naturally necessitates an increase in the required number of central office connections. Point-to-point (P2P)

Urban central office space can cost as much as €10,000/m² to purchase

architectures will require a like-for-like increase in the number of connection points, while passive optical networks (PON) will see an increase in line with their fibre split ratios. Given that a typical switch centre frame for fibre routing requires 8m² of floor space for every 25,000 port connections, the benefits of micro cables could be dwarfed by incremental real estate costs if new space is required to physically house the extra fibre connections. Urban central office space can cost as much as €10,000/m² to purchase, so for this reason

the industry is developing optical distribution frames that offer higher density in fibre port connection management. Corning’s Centrix platform supports 4,320 LC or 2,880 SC ports per frame, reduces floor space requirements by at least 50 per cent compared to previous products. If four frames are placed back-to- back (1.08m² footprint), the system offers 17,280 LC or 11,520 SC connections per square metre. Moreover, any two of these ports can be cross-connected by a 4m jumper cable meaning a single jumper length can be used ubiquitously in a clear cable routing scheme, without running cable over long distances in overhead trays or coiling slack inside cabinets for shorter connections. Tis allows an operator to deploy more ports per square metre, easily route more fibre through the same central office without needing to acquire more real estate space and stay ahead of the cyber traffic jam whilst cost-effectively scaling their operations.

Conclusion Remorseless bandwidth demand is changing the landscape in metro and access networks as unprecedented levels of fibre being driven

deeper into the network, leading to critical levels of congestion in carrier ducts. With expensive civil works costs deterring some operators from deploying new infrastructure, the key to beating this ‘cyber traffic jam’ cost-effectively lies in maximising fibre density by packing the maximum number of fibres into the smallest space possible. Recognising this, the industry is developing products that truly redefine fibre density. Micro-cables offer fibre counts of up to 288

fibres and are up to 60 per cent smaller, 70 per cent lighter than traditional loose tube cables. High-density micro-cables also feature next-generation 200µm optical fibres that combine low loss and G.657.A1 bend performance with a 9.2µm mode-field diameter for total compatibility with legacy G.652.D networks. Finally, the latest fibre distribution platforms offer the ultimate in central office or switching centre density and fibre management, allowing network operators to deal with all of this excess fibre simply and, most importantly, cost-effectively.l

Matthew Guinan is a market development analyst for Corning Optical Communications

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