High-speed internet has become a necessity for people today, especially at the workplace and home where internet access is provided through a fiber optic system. However, a large number of consumers often encounter problems such as slow speeds or frequent disconnections. Did you know that one reason for such problems is the sub-standard fiber optic cables?
The Thai Industrial Standards Institute (TISI) of the Ministry of Industry has set the TIS 2050*, TIS2051* and TIS2052* standards, which conform to the IEC 60794 standard for controlling the standard of optic fiber cables. These standards focus on mechanical applicable test and signal transmission of the fiber optic cables, but it does not test the properties of the material used to insulate the fiber optic cables (jacketing) which is as important. This is because if the jacketing material is of poor quality and cannot withstand the environment and climate, it will lead to damage of the cable which will result in unstable signal transmission and eventually require maintenance and repair or even new installation expenditures.
As the existing standard does not cover the quality of jacketing materials used in the fiber optic cable, there is a loophole that allows fiber optic cable distributors to import products with substandard jackets from overseas and sell them to network providers in Thailand at a much lower price than that offered by producers in Thailand. In allowing this loophole, we may have overlooked the long-term effects on the efficiency of service provided by the telecommunication network service providers and the quality of service to the consumers, and may ultimately result in loss of a large amount of money.
In order to raise the quality of communication network system level in Thailand, a collaboration has been initiated with an academic conference titled “Collaborative Management to Raise the Telecommunication System Standard in Thailand”. Hosted by SCG Chemicals, the event was the first of its kind in Thailand and all parties concerned with the fiber optic cable system network in the country were invited, including representatives from the public sector, producers of fiber optic cables, and telecommunication network providers in Thailand namely TOT, AIS, True, along with SCG Chemicals in its capacity as manufacturer of plastic resins for fiber optic cable jacketing.
The atmosphere was full of collaboration from all parties. Representatives from the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) shared knowledge about the office’s guidelines and policies on the burial of fiber optic cables which made the participants aware of the importance of the quality of fiber optic cables being up to the standard and more resistant to the environment. In addition, representatives from government agencies enforcing fiber optic cable standards, producers of fiber optic cables, and telecommunication network providers in Thailand had the opportunity to ask questions and exchange opinions related to the problems of the optic fiber cables currently in use that are often found to be damaged. And in this event, SCG Chemicals, as a leading innovator in high quality plastics, took to the stage and presented methods used to test the jacketing and H2001WC, Black High Density Polyethylene Compound—high grade plastic resins used in jacketing manufacturing. Unlike the material used in the imported and widely-used fiber optic cable jacketing found in Thailand these days, the quality of H2001WC is up to international standard, resistant to environment and suitable for use in fiber optic cable production.
What can be concluded from this conference is that all parties agree that Thailand needs to make changes and raise the standard of fiber optic cable jacketing. In terms of investment, the collaboration among all concerned will benefit the optic fiber cable manufacturers and telecommunication network service providers alike, while the consumers will also benefit from more effective telecommunication services. All in all, as organizer, SCG Chemicals is now more aware of the problems faced by users and this knowledge will lead to development of materials whose properties are better suited to the fiber optic cable application. This will ultimately raise the standard of optic fiber cables to an international level which will result in consumers’ satisfaction.
SCG Chemicals’ H2001WC (Black High Density Polyethylene Compound)’s special properties include:
- Plastic resin structure, which is composed of two types of molecules, namely small and large molecules. Small molecules enable flowability in its melting state which leads to easy processing, while large molecules give its good mechanical properties.
- Heat resistance, which makes the forming process easier for cable manufacturers
- Long-life, which is due to the molecular structure that has been specially designed with additives to help make it resistant to heat and ultraviolet rays, extending the life of the cable to over 20 years
The industrial standards for fiber optic cables are
– TIS 2050-2000 General specifications of fiber optic cables
– TIS2051-2013 General specifications of fiber optic cables—fundamental fiber optic cable testing procedures
– TIS2052-2005 Specific specifications of fiber optic cables,–outdoor cables
Mr. Pipat Jongrakvit
Manager, Cable & Equipment Standard Division Outside Plant and Terminal Equipment System Standard Sector
“If we have quality cables, the first thing we get is stability and durability. Secondly, with their long life, the investment is more worthwhile. This is the viewpoint of a service provider. As for the consumers, they will be satisfied as well because they won’t encounter problems with their use.”
Mr. Sathit Tabpech
Siam Fiber Optics Co., Ltd.
“If we can raise the standards of cables, those low standard cables which are in the market now will eventually disappear as the consumers can tell the difference between the high quality and low quality products
Associate Professor Dr. Athikom Roeksabutr
Vice President, Mahanakorn University of Technology
Lecturer of the Faculty of Engineering
“The existing standards may not be able to cover new cables. If that is the case, then when some service providers use imported products which are not up to the standard because of their low prices, it will affect the consumers. So to say “to upgrade” is to ensure that the standards are more stringent and cover all the cables used in Thailand to make sure they are long-lasting and work according to the specifications. This way the adverse effects to the consumers will be minimal.”
Mr. Sakchai Patiparnpreechavud
Managing Director, SCG Plastics Co., Ltd. and SCG Performance Chemicals Co., Ltd.
“If our country has a good network that lasts long, it will help cut the overall cost for the business operators. And the people will not only benefit from efficient access to internet data or data communication, they will also benefit from lower costs in the long term.”