Which Fiber Optic Cable Will Become Popular Demand as 5G is Coming?

NADDOD Adam Connectivity Solutions Consultant Feb 3, 2023

5G construction will bring huge demand for fiber optics, thus giving rise to a new industry technology competition. As we all know, 5G has the performance of high speed and low latency, which can provide more reliable and solid network connection services. At the same time, due to the use of high-frequency signals, the coverage of 5G base stations is limited, thus the demand for base station construction has increased significantly. It is estimated that the total number of 5G base stations to be built worldwide will reach 6.5 million by 2025, which poses new requirements and challenges to the performance and technology development of fiber optic cables.

Currently, while there is still uncertainty in the choice of network architecture and technology solutions for 5G, the underlying physical layer, 5G fiber optic cables need to meet both current network applications and future development needs. The following are five popular fiber optic wires for 5G networks, which can help solve the practical problems in 5G construction to some extent.

Bend-insensitive Fiber Patch Cords Easily Achieve Indoor Micro-base Station Deployment

The biggest challenge of 5G access network construction is the dense fiber connection between large-scale 5G macro base stations and indoor micro base stations. The complex wiring environment, especially indoor fiber optic cabling, and the narrow and limited space place high demands on fiber bending performance. Optical fibers compliant with ITU G.657.A2/B2/B3 standards have greatly improved bending performance, allowing them to be fixed and bent at the corners of the alignment while maintaining performance.

To address such issues in 5G indoor applications, many fiber manufacturers have introduced low-loss bend-insensitive fiber (BIF).

OM5 Multimode Fiber Patch Cords Can be Used in 5G Core Networks

Second, 5G service providers also need to focus on data center fiber network construction for storing information. Currently, data center network transmission rates are gradually migrating from 10G/25G, 40G/100G to 25G/100G, 200G/400G, which puts new requirements on multimode fiber optic cables used for interconnecting within data centers. Multimode fiber not only needs to be compatible with existing Ethernet standards, meet the future upgrade conditions to 400G/800G and other high-speed networks, support shortwave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) and single-fiber bi-directional (BiDi) and other wavelength division multiplexing technologies, but also needs excellent bending resistance to adapt to the data center high-density cabling scenario.

OM5 application

OM5 fiber allows simultaneous transmission of multiple wavelengths in the 850-950 nm range, and supports 100 Gb/s, 200 Gb/s, 400 Gb/s network transmission within 150 meters using four-stage pulse amplitude modulation (PAM-4) and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technologies. s, 400Gb/s network transmission, to ensure the future of short distance and high speed network transmission capabilities. These capabilities make OM5 multimode fiber optic cable the preferred choice for internal data center connectivity in a 5G environment.

Micron Diameter Fiber Greatly Improves Cable Density

Due to the complexity of the 5G bearer network access and aggregation layer deployment environment, existing cable duct resources are sometimes limited. To ensure that more fiber can be accommodated in limited space, wire manufacturers are working to reduce the diameter of the bundle and optimize the size. Recently, Prysmian Group introduced the BendBright XS 180 micron single-mode fiber to meet the requirements of 5G technology. This innovative fiber product dramatically reduces the size of the cable while still maintaining a 125 micron glass diameter.

Similarly, Corning has introduced a single-mode -28 Super Class 200 fiber that successfully reduces the thickness of the cable coating by 45 microns, from 245 microns to 200 microns, resulting in a smaller overall outside diameter. In addition, Changfei Fiber offers eBay®+ 200 micron small OD bend insensitive singlemode fiber for 5G networks, which reduces the cable diameter by half compared to a typical fiber patch cord, thus greatly increasing the fiber density in the duct.

Ultra-low loss, Large Effective Area Fiber to Extend the Length of 5G Links

5G fiber manufacturers are actively exploring ultra-low loss (ULL) fiber technology to extend the transmission distance as much as possible. g.654.E fiber is one of the most innovative. Unlike conventional G.652.D fibers used in 10G, 25G, and 100G transmission, G.654.E fibers have a larger effective area and ultra-low loss characteristics, which greatly mitigate the nonlinear effects of the fiber media and improve the optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), which is generally susceptible to high-frequency signal modulation in high-speed connections such as 200G and 400G.

As the 5G core network transmission speed and capacity continue to increase, the demand for such fiber optic cables will climb all the way up. E TXF® fiber products are reported to offer high data rate (HDR) performance and excellent coverage to help network operators meet the growing demand for bandwidth while reducing overall network costs. Recently, Infinera and Corning enabled 800G transmission across 800 km with sixth-generation Infinite Capacity Engine (ICE6) technology and TXF® fiber, demonstrating that this fiber is expected to be a premium long-haul transmission solution for 5G network deployments.

New Fiber Optic Cable Speeds up 5G Network Installation

5G network deployments include both indoor and outdoor scenarios with large tasks and complex environments, so installation speed has a great impact on the network construction process. The all-dry fiber uses innovative dry water blocking technology to effectively reduce the time required for fiber installation and termination. In addition, the air-blown micro fiber is compact, lightweight and has high fiber density, maximizing the number of fiber optic cable placements during cabling. Due to the use of air-blown micro-pipe micro-cable wiring technology, this fiber is easy to install in longer, multi-bend, multi-undulating pipes, which saves labor and installation time, improves construction efficiency and reduces laying costs. In addition, in the outdoor fiber optic laying, some anti-rodent and anti-bird fiber optic cable is also favored.

Is Fiber Optic Manufacturing Ready?

Currently, fiber optic cable is the best medium to meet the construction needs of 5G network. 5G network has the characteristics of high bandwidth and low latency, while facing the complex outdoor deployment situation, which brings great challenges to fiber optic manufacturers, but also creates new opportunities for unlimited future development. As a result, fiber optic networks must respond quickly to adapt to new and emerging needs. In addition to the popular fiber optic cable types mentioned above, it is unknown whether 5G fiber manufacturers will be able to launch other revolutionary fiber products soon, so let’s wait and see.