Fiber Optic Outdoor Cables

Fiber Optic Cables for Outdoor Applications

Fiber Optic Cables for Outdoor Applications

Fiber optic cables for outdoor applications are engineered to withstand the more demanding conditions seen outside, from environmental extremes to mechanical forces. These are the outdoor fiber optic cables you see strung along telephone poles (aerial), installed inside an underground duct, or even buried directly below ground. Outdoor  cables therefore feature rugged constructions to resist ultra-violet light and temperature fluctuations and may include features to withstand the requirements of being installed outdoors.


Outdoor Cable Frequently Asked Questions

Outdoor Cable Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have questions about our outdoor cables? Use our answers below to help you determine which type of outdoor cable may suit your needs.

  • What fiber count?

    The fiber count you deploy on day one depends on the number of connections you need to make or will expect to make in the future. It is always recommended to install the maximum number of fibers in the space you have available, to avoid costly upgrade work. Corning offers a comprehensive portfolio of outdoor cables with fiber counts ranging from a single fiber to 1,728 fibers.

  • What optical fiber type?

    From the desktop to the ocean, Corning optical fiber is enabling voice, data, and video communications to meet the demands of many network applications. Whether you need ultra-low loss for long-haul transmission, or bend-resistance for indoor cabling, the Corning Optical Fiber portfolio offers a full range of products optimized a diverse array of challenges faced throughout the network. 

  • Loose tube or ribbon cable?

    Loose tube cables are the most commonly deployed outdoor cable design, featuring a central strength member, stranded buffer tubes containing loose optical fibers, and fiber counts up to 432 F. This construction ensures installer familiarity and optimum splice performance.

    In a ribbon cable, typically 12 fibers are encapsulated in an array (or ribbon) and multiple ribbons can then be stacked to achieve the required fiber count. Ribbon cables offer higher fiber counts and greater fiber density than any other outdoor cable in Corning’s portfolio and enable mass fusion splicing for faster cable installation and restoration.

  • What is a micro cable?

    Micro cables are miniaturized stranded loose tube cables which offer a 50% reduction in size, 40% reduction in weight, and 33% greater per-cable fiber density versus traditional loose tube cables. Micro cables are installed in microducts and enable reutilization of congested duct space; flexible, scalable capacity upgrades; and innovative, cost-effective deployment techniques. Corning now also offers high-density micro cables featuring reduced-diameter optical fiber, which are up to 60% smaller and 70% lighter than traditional loose tube cables.

  • Do I need an armored or dielectric cable?

    Armor can be applied to a loose tube or ribbon cable for increased mechanical robustness and protection against rodents. It is a prerequisite requirement when a cable is to be buried directly into the ground. A dielectric (metal-free) cable should be selected when it is deployed on or near high-voltage power lines, though dielectric armor options are available. 

  • Do I need a gel-filled or gel-free (dry) cable?

    Traditionally, gel was used inside buffer tubes to protect fibers from moisture, but thanks to advances in cable water-blocking technology, this messy element can now be eliminated. With no need to clean gel from fibers before splicing, gel-free cables enable fast and efficient splicing preparation and drive cost savings through the elimination of cleaning consumables.