Fibre-optic duct and cable manufacturer Emtelle has signed an exclusive agreement with Ridgemount Technologies for the supply of blowable fibre-optic ferrules and associated connectors to Emtelle.
Bicester, England-based Ridgemount Technologies is a specialist design and engineering company that creates products for optimising optical fibre performance.
The company has designed a ferrule – the part of the connector that grips and aligns the tip of the fibre – that is small enough to be passed along a 5mm micro-duct. The connector body is then clicked into position to create a standard duplex LC connector with no need for on-site tooling.
An effective alternative to fusion splicing or field-installable connectors, the design combines the reliability of factory termination with the speed and ease of installation of field-installable products.
Emtelle recently released a range of pre-connectorised and pre-ducted fibres based on the blowable ferrule design, under the brand names QWKlink and QWKconnect.
Emtelle says the pre-connectorised cables have already been trialled and deployed around the world, including in Africa where the emerging market for fibre demands simple and user-friendly installation procedures.
“In many countries there is a shortage of skilled labour and fibre blowing equipment, so having the ability to supply pre-connectorised fibres gives these countries access to fibre technology without the high cost of training, splicing and test equipment,” explained Colin Kirkpatrick, business development manager at Emtelle.
By combining the skills of Ridgemount Technologies with the market presence of Emtelle, the partners plan to make these pre-connectorised fibre cables available globally, and become the leading supplier of such products.
The deal also includes access to the skills and experience of Ridgemount Technologies, to further develop the blowable ferrule technology.
Commenting on the announcement, Chris Peters, managing director, Ridgemount Technologies, said: “Ridgemount Technologies welcome the commitment and investment made by Emtelle in perfecting a pre-terminated solution for FTTx applications and selecting our ferrule technology for their solutions. We are convinced that pre-terminated, high-performance factory terminations offer the operator a real advantage in terms of deployment times and costs as well as flexibility in on-going network expansion.”
The agreement strengthens a relationship that stretches back more than 10 years. Emtelle and Ridgemount Technologies previously worked together to provide materials and support for the fibre-optic systems supplied into the Royal Navy's Type 45 destroyer ships.