STL, a leading optical and digital solutions company, has developed the world’s slimmest fibre for telecommunications – the 160-micron Optical Fibre. This breakthrough technology has the potential to revolutionize deployment, bandwidth capacity, and the environmental impact of networks.
STL’s 160-micron fibre is a significant achievement for India’s R&D capability. Designed and made in India, this innovative fibre was unveiled by Mr. Ashwini Vaishnaw, Union Minister for Communications, Electronics & Information Technology & Railways, at the IMC 2023 event. During the unveiling, the minister demonstrated the splicing process, which involves joining two strands of optical fibre.
Compared to traditional 250-micron fibre, cables made with STL’s 160-micron fibre can pack three times more capacity. This reduction in fibre size is crucial for densely fiberized networks, as it allows for more capacity in limited duct space. By using a smaller diameter cable, STL’s fibre can potentially reduce deployment time and the plastic footprint in the ground.
The development of the slimmest fibre was not without challenges. Reducing fibre size below 250-micron posed difficulties such as increased sensitivity to micro-bending and complexities in the fibre drawing process. However, through highly calibrated processes and material engineering, STL was able to overcome these challenges and achieve micro bend insensitivity.
STL’s 160-micron fibre meets telecom-grade optical performance standards and complies with the ITU G.657A2 standard. This breakthrough comes after a series of innovations by STL’s R&D experts, including India’s first multicore fibre with four times the capacity and 180-micron fibre.
The impact of this innovation on India’s broadband landscape can be immense, especially in large-scale projects like Bharatnet, where deploying 160-micron fibre instead of the standard 250-micron fibre can potentially reduce deployment time by 15% and decrease the plastic footprint in the ground by 30%.
Overall, STL’s slimmest fibre represents a significant development in photonics and materials science. It showcases India’s commitment to innovation and R&D efforts and puts Indian technology on the world map. With this disruptive fibre design, the future of India’s digital networks looks promising.