Factory-terminated or Field-terminated? 5 Reasons to Use Pre-terminated Fiber Cables

Factory-terminated or Field-terminated? 5 Reasons to Use Pre-terminated Fiber Cables

Since the demand for high bandwidth and scalability for future expansion never ends, fiber optic cables are gaining increasing popularity in many data centers and high-density networks to guarantee maximum uptime. Fiber optic cables provide a cost-effective solution to help end-users and SMBs set up a broadband network with ease, but the question is: which type of fiber cable is best for your network?

Factory-termination VS Field-termination

There are two ways of fiber termination: field termination and factory/pre-termination. Field termination is finished on the job site, in which you can customize the cable length with very little up-front planning time. Factory termination requires special tools and the quality largely depends on skill, experience, and components. In the factory termination, the fiber optic cable is 100% factory-terminated and is relatively cheaper. And there will be lower chances of breakage and contamination on the fiber connectors, thereby reducing signal loss.

What is a Pre-terminated Fiber Cable?

The pre-terminated fiber cable arrives on-site with the connector attached and ready to install. It’s normally made at pre-defined lengths, ready for immediate use. When compared to field-terminated cabling, there are many reasons why you should consider pre-terminated fibers in network deployments:

High Performance: The pre-terminated fiber cable is manufactured and assembled in a well-controlled environment to ensure the best possible network performance, and signal loss can be highly restrained with thorough inspections, so it’s undeniable of higher quality. The pre-terminated cable can be used in mission-critical applications that demand the highest level of accuracy, like video surveillance systems.

Reduced costs: The pre-terminated fiber cable offers you a hassle-free and reliable solution for realizing fiber termination in a budget-friendly way. No further processing is required, which means you don’t need to invest extra in termination. There’ll be no connectors or tool kits or testers needed. But in the field termination, you may have to spend at least $15,000 on a good fiber splicer. And normally, the lifespan of a fiber optic cable could last 10 years.

Time Saving: Field termination is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process in which professional practice is often required, while the pre-terminated fiber cable arrives with the connectors already terminated, and properly polished. The pre-terminated cable comes in a plug-and-play design, cutting off the deployment time by at least 70%, which helps eliminate rework, signal testing, etc., ideal for applications that call for short deadlines in particular.

Less Downtime: Network downtime can be greatly minimized using the pre-terminated fiber cables. You can make changes easily based on network growth. And since the pre-terminated cables feature a plug-and-play design, in disaster recovery situations, the network connection can be quickly resumed. And it can be disassembled easily when the situation eases.

Project Efficiency: Pre-terminated cabling provides more consistent data transmission with the least possible loss budget. The pulling eye design of the pre-terminated fiber cable helps you save lots of time when installing fiber cables through conduits, ducts or risers. It also prevents the cables from twisting during the installation.

How to Run the Pre-terminated Fiber Cables?

There are two ways to run the fiber cables: aerial and underground. For aerial building, you’ll need to wire the cables between poles by being lashed to a wire rope messenger strand with a small gauge wire. But building new poles is costly and geographically challenging, which is only recommended for professional, large-scale network deployments. The common way is to run the pre-terminated fiber cables through conduits. But please note if you’re gonna run the power cord along with the fiber cables, they should be arranged in different conduits.

How to Manage and Distribute the Pre-terminated Fiber Cables?

You can use the fiber cable caddy when securing, routing, and organizing connections. The cable caddy also prevents the cables from tangling on the job site. As the number of PDs increases, the distribution and management of fiber cables will become more difficult. So you can use a fiber termination box to manage the incoming and outgoing cables. And since fiber cables are susceptible to bending, folding or pinching, extra protection is needed.