We regularly receive questions about the difference between bulk SSF™ fiber, armored fiber and economy fiber. Specifically, integrators are curious as to the pros and cons of each, as well as which cable is best for the project.
Unfortunately, there's no simple answer and it really depends on the application and constraints. They're all different and we've summarized these differences in a white paper.
That said, it's always easiest to pull bulk SSF™ fiber due to the lack of connectors and superior durability (220 lb. pull rating / 3mm bend radius), but you need to terminate the cable. Whereas, economy and armored premades arrive pre-terminated and ready for installation. In many configurations, premades also cost less money than bulk fiber plus connectors.
There are two common myths we can dispel to help make the choice easier:
- Bulk SSF™ fiber is very easy to work with. Connectors can be terminated in less than 2 minutes. Don't be afraid of integrating bulk fiber.
Modern armored fiber is not bulky and cumbersome. In fact, the cable diameter is actual the same as SSF™ bulk fiber, as shown by the image above.
Regardless, several considerations should go into choosing a cable format and our white paper can help narrow into a solution.