Easy and Fast Fiber Deployment with the FutureFLEX Air-Blown Fiber Solution

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ISE Podcast, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave, Air-Blown Fiber

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave was the first company to bring Air-Blown Fiber (ABF) technology to the United States over 30 years ago, and since then is the market’s leading company to provide the best ABF solution. Sumitomo’s FutureFLEX® Air-Blown Fiber® provides innovative ways to create a network path with 3 easy steps using 5 components.

Topics of discussion:

  • What are the 5 components of Air-Blown Fiber (ABF) technology? (Also see below for the list.)
  • What are the 3 steps to creating a network path with FutureFLEX? (Also see below for more details.)
  • How is Freeform Ribbon used in ABF?
  • How has ABF been helpful in generating fiber optic technology for businesses/organizations?
  • What is the process of installing ABF technology?
  • Why should people be looking into having ABF installed into their everyday technology use?
  • How do you think ABF is going to change the future of technology?

FutureFLEX’s 5 components:

  1. Tube Cable
  2. Fiber Bundle
  3. Tube Distribution Equipment
  4. Fiber Termination Equipment
  5. Blowing Equipment

3 Steps to creating a network path with FutureFLEX:

Step 1: Create an End-to-End Tube Cable Pathway. Tube cables have their own ratings to use in appropriate spaces such as plenum, riser and regular outdoor. ABF tube cables contain inner tubes of up to 24 tubes and all or some inner tubes will be filled with fiber bundles. Tube Distribution Equipment is the switch point to change tube cable type or re-route the fiber bundle to a different path so that the blown fiber bundle will travel to the designed direction.

Step 2: Install Fiber Bundle. ABF Fiber Bundles are available up to 72f, and all strands of fiber bundles fit to any FutureFLEX tube cables; they are all removable even installed once. By having an ABF system with removable fiber bundle and the ability to replace with any fiber strands, the network owner can save money by not purchasing dark fiber and can upgrade or add more fibers to existing tube cable in the future.

SEL blowing equipment is a portable, electricity-free design that allows blowing activity hassle-free, especially in spaces where it is hard to bring a generator to obtain power. Even without using electricity, the blowing pressure is powerful enough to install 3000 feet of fiber bundle in 30 minutes. In addition to the short installation time, the FutureFLEX ABF only requires two installers: at the start of blowing and the end of the blowing point to catch the fiber. With FutureFLEX, fiber installation in high security areas or highly sanitized areas with restricted access can be accomplished without interrupting the space and obtaining security clearance.

Step 3: Terminate the Fiber Bundles at Fiber Termination Units. Sumitomo Electric Lightwave provides a variety of fiber termination products to terminate blown fiber. During COVID-19, FutureFLEX ABF was installed in many projects around the United States and accomplished with safe installation. Of the many ways to deploy a fiber network, ABF is the one of the cost-effective, flexible, safe, easy and fast solutions to support next generation fiber demand.


With guest Yuko Agano, Product Manager of FutureFLEX Air-Blown Fiber, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave (SEL)

Yuko Agano, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave

Yuko Agano was born and raised in Japan and moved to the United States when she was 19 years old to receive a higher education. Upon completion of her Bachelor of Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University and Master of Business Administration from University of Phoenix, she returned to Japan and worked as a U.S. government contractor and Japanese government employee at a U.S. military installation in Japan for over five years supporting military operations. Yuko returned to the U.S. in 2014 to work for Sumitomo subsidiary Innovation Core SEI in Silicon Valley to research next generation technologies. In 2018, Yuko relocated to North Carolina and joined SEL in her current role.


Sumitomo Electric Lightwave Logo

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave (SEL) is a recognized leader in innovation, design and development of advanced and integrated end-to-end solutions. Sumitomo Electric Lightwave specializes in the manufacturing of these innovations for data centers, enterprise and communication network centers.

Sumitomo Electric Lightwave is the provider for the industry’s fast, most reliable, advanced fiber optic technology and solutions. Catering to today’s most well-known optical fiber outside plant and indoor plant deployments, the company is committed to not only its shareholders, but its customers. Sumitomo Electric Lightwave values providing a high quality customer service experience, designed to meet and tailor to the customer’s desired product solution needs.

Since 1983, Sumitomo Electric Lightwave has been committed to producing the finest high-speed quality of fiber optic technology innovations.


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