Stokab uses Nexans robot to automate optical patch panels

Following a successful year-long field trial in Stockholm, Sweden, municipal operator Stokab has ordered an automated optical distribution frame (AODF) from Nexans.

The AODF will provide remote controlled patching to support and improve Stokab’s service for broadcasters, which enables media companies to transmit high-bandwidth video and sound over optical fibre from almost 30 event locations in Stockholm to their studios.

This service allows TV and radio broadcaster to purchase dark fibre connections for very short periods. The AODF robot speeds up the process of setting up and tearing down temporary connections, allowing Stokab to provide a more efficient service.

Simple but sophisticated software controls the patching of optical connectors and confirms the validity of the link by testing it. The robot can complete this process within minutes – much quicker than sending technicians to sites in the busy Stockholm traffic.

“We constantly try to improve our offerings to our customers. With the AODF-robot from Nexans, we are now able to offer dark fibre connections in a minute to a variety of selected locations,” said Staffan Ingvarsson, Stokab’ chief executive officer.

The AODF has been brought to the market through a partnership between Paris-based cable maker Nexans and Israeli company TeliSwitch Solutions. The product was launched in 2014, but Stokab is first to place an order.

The robot AODF provides secure and reliable cross connections at the physical layer. It eliminates human error, ensuring that the patch-cord connector always installed in the correct socket. Remote operation via a web interface avoids the need for routine site visits by technicians for network reconfiguration, which speeds up service times and reduces costs. Testing can also be carried out remotely during quiet periods, such as at night, and in case of network failure it allows for a shorter mean time-to-repair.

Lars Josefsson, sales and marketing director, distributors and installers, at Nexans said, “Nexans is since 20 years a proud supplier of optical fibre ribbon-slotted core cables and related hardware to Stokab, which owns and operates the largest open and independent dark fibre network in the world. The AODF is yet a new important object in a large dark fibre network.”

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