When you are upgrading your telecommunications system to take advantage of the very best products on the market, you may be entering an area that is constantly evolving and as a consequence, somewhat confusing to understand. It's certainly true to say that the use of optical fibre has revolutionised the communications industry and as new applications are discovered, different types of data cabling have emerged to meet various needs. What do you need to know, so that you make the right choice between these different types for your application?
Broadly speaking, cutting-edge fibre optic cables can be broken down into two larger categories, known within the industry as OS1 and OS2. These all refer to "single mode" cabling, but there are very different applications for one versus the other and linked to the anticipated stress levels.
Primarily, OS1 is suitable for indoor applications, where the cable is tightly jacketed with PVC or nylon and contains a specific number of fibres within. It has a relatively high attenuation compared to the other solution.
On the other hand, OS2 is intended for outdoor applications, where the enclosed fibres themselves are relatively loose within the outer structure. This is far more suitable when the cabling process needs to be applied through varying terrain, as it brings no stress to the fibres within. In other words, the conduit is free to move to a certain extent without failure.
Offices and Universities
If you require cabling within an indoor network application, such as a university campus or a large office complex, then you would likely choose the OS1-cabled optical fibre, with tightly buffered construction. This is also frequently used within data centres across the country.
However, if you are kitting out a more industrial location (such as a plant with many different buildings across a wide area) , then you would choose the OS2 option, with universal "loose" tubing solutions.
Focusing on Your Specific Needs
While these are broad generalisations, this summary should nevertheless allow you to narrow down your choice of cabling to achieve the best result. Within each category you may well need to choose a specific hybrid, or a solution that more readily satisfies your actual requirement.
Have a word with your cabling suppliers and specialist electricians to figure out what capacity and specification you need, so that you can take advantage of the very latest in communications technology.