What is an OSP Fiber Optic Cable?
OSP (outside plant) refers to all of the equipment, cables, and infrastructure that are located outside of a building, and hence OSP fiber optic or Outside Plant fiber optic cable is fiber optic cables that are installed outside the plant, they are different than the normal fiber optic cables as they are designed to withstand the installation and stresses inherent in cables exposed to the external environment. As these serve a purpose outside the plant they are subjected to such harsh conditions like extreme climates and situations like animals walking over it, waste dumped over it, and water flowing over it, all these conditions demand different built than the normal fiber optic cables, to make it much stronger by adding layers of security.
Types of OSP fiber optic cables
There are two types of fiber optic cables:
- Singlemode or Central tube fiber cable
- Multimode or Layer stranded cable
Singlemode fiber optic cables:
Singlemode or central tube fiber cable as the name suggests has a single layer or is simply just a single wire. As it is just one layer, the reinforcement material is wrapped around the wire, i.e., the wire is in the middle and the reinforcement material around it. Reinforcement materials are used to ensure the durability and strength of the fiber optic cable.
For a fiber optic cable to be single-mode it is required to have less than or equal to 24 cores. The core is the innermost part of the fiber cable and it guides the light, this is the place where internal reflection takes place and the light travels to its destination.
An example of single-mode fiber optic can be GYXTW which had 12 cores earlier but is now upgraded to 24 cores.
Multimode fiber optic cables:
Fiber cables that have more than 24 cores lie under this category. They do not just have a single wire but rather they have many tubes and each tube is made up of many cores. The tubes are coupled together and the supporting or reinforcement material surrounds them. Multimode fibers can have as many as 144 cores or even more.
Examples: GYTS, GYTA53