Press Release: When times are tough, Prysmian get tougher

The first Australian made Flexible Ribbon is installed in Sydney

The year 2020 will be remembered as a difficult year, a year of challenges and adaptation. However, for Prysmian, leader in optical fibre manufacturing, the spirit to innovate never pauses, not even during a pandemic.

Prysmian Australia has developed and industrialised an 864F MassLink™ cable with FlexRibbon™ Technology which will be used by Nexthop, a Telco challenger based in Sydney, to provide diversity to Global Switch DC.

Prysmian’s MassLink™ range presents the next stage in ribbon fibre optic cable development. By using the advanced FlexRibbon™ technology, Prysmian provides a  high fibre count ultra-compact lightweight outside plant cable, manufactured using bend insensitive fibres. The small overall diameter means the 864f cable can fit in a 28/32mm subduct.

Prysmian has been at the forefront of flat ribbon technology since the early 2000 and the company has been manufacturing flat ribbon cables in Australia since 2012.

Having a manufacturing plant based in Sydney has enabled Prysmian to design and develop the new pliable ribbon, being the only cable manufacturer in Australia that can ribbonise fibres locally.

The FlexRibbon™ technology combines single fibres with a matrix bond applied in a zig zag pattern. This application allows the fibres to be spliced like a ribbon but at the same time offers the size and flexibilityadvantages of single fibre as well. FlexRibbon™ structure is compact and the cabled configuration is perfect to be used for mass fusion splicing.

“One of the main benefits of Prysmian’s Masslink designs are that they have a central strength member making the Flexribbon™ cables easier to install and secure into the Connectivity equipment” says Brad Hunt, Fibre Operation Manager at Nexthop. “The central strength member also enables the cable to bend in all directions and makes coiling easy”.

Prysmian Flexribbon™ is manufactured with routing tubes that segregate the ribbons into groups, making them easier to manage from the routing point of view as well as making fibre identification easier. The tubes also reduce the risk of fibre and ribbon damage during cable preparation and joint installation as the fibres are fully protected in the tube.

“Nexthop has traditionally used single strand fibre cables in its network, and has been reluctant in using pliable ribbon. When we looked at the Prysmian Masslink design, however, we decided to adopt this new technology. Having buffer tubes reduces the cable preparation time as oversleeving the fibre bundles is not mandatory, like it is in taped ribbon bundles” continues Brad Hunt “ It is also easier to route fibres in joints and racks as the ribbons are bundled together in tubes as opposed to the taped ribbon bundles used in alternative cable designs”.

FlexRibbon™ in MassLink™ combines the benefits of ribbon mass fusion splicing with smaller diameter cables offered by single stranded fibre cables.  The design is the perfect addition to Prysmian’s wide range of cable technologies.

Find out more about the FlexRibbon range here.