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How do pre-terminated optical fibre and category-rated copper cabling stack up against field-terminated versions?

How do pre-terminated optical fibre and category-rated copper cabling stack up against field-terminated versions?

Posted On July 24, 2019

When choosing the ideal cabling solutions for your project, indeed, there are two widely used options available today, pre-terminated and field terminated. As the name indicates, the pre-terminated cable comes with factory-connected terminals and field terminated cables are connected at the field, manually. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.
Considering the material, there are optical fibre cables and category rated-copper cables are available. Both optical fibre and copper cables come in two varieties, namely, pre-terminated and field terminated. Let us briefly see the differences between these two modes of cable termination.

1.Performance

Pre-terminated optical fibre cables perform better than field terminated fibre. Pre-termination is done under factory standards, thus offer better joints and minimal signal loss. While in field termination, the quality of joints depends on many factors like expertise of the technician, quality of tools used etc…

2.Ease of use

Pre-terminated cables are easy to fix. No technical expertise is required to connect it. While, field termination is a time consuming hard job, which needs trained technicians and advanced tools. If you want the cabling to be completed within a little time-frame, then pre-terminated cables are the right choice.

3.Custom requirements

Length of the cable can be an issue if you have custom requirements. Pre-terminated fibre cable comes in fixed lengths. Thus it is less suitable for custom requirements. Field terminated cables are available in any length, thus it can be terminated at your exact requirement. When you need to pull the cable out, field terminated cables can be easily pulled from both the sides.

4.Cost and time

Filed terminated cables are cost-effective compared to pre-terminated cables. Pre-terminated cables pass through a factory-process of termination, thus it becomes costly than field terminated fibre cable. But fixing field terminated cable is costly as it requires expert manpower and time. Also, consider the future costs which are required for maintenance and re-works.

5. Termination flows

Termination perfection is not guaranteed in field termination, as it fully depends on the technician who works on it. Based on the skill level of technicians, the termination quality differs. Any termination flow will reduce the data transmission speed and cost you high.

6.No downtime

Pre-terminated fibre cables assure less downtime as it gives factory-precision and a higher level of transmission. In a highly populated transmission environment, pre-terminated cables are the finest option than field terminated optical fibre.

7.Maintenance-free

With field terminated cables, the issue of maintenance can pop up. Depending on the quality of joints used and the perfection in which the termination is completed, fragmentation can appear. But with pre-terminated fibre cables, maintenance is almost zero. It comes with quality-checked termination points, thus remains perfect for long.

Which one to choose?

Choosing between field terminated or pre-terminated optical fibre cables is purely subjective as it depends on the actual requirement of the user. Consider all the factors like cost, manpower, tools, labour-requirements etc. Before choosing your optical fibre cable. Both pre-terminated and field terminated cables have advantageous and disadvantageous.