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This article is an introduction to Pre-term.


A previous article covered off MTP (Multi Termination Push-on), Trunk Cables, and Cassettes. We showed MTP as being a pre-made, pre-tested, 'plug and play' fibre product that allows someone with barely any experience in fibre installations to implement a full end-to-end fibre network. It has multiple benefits and saves the end-user money in the short and long term. We briefly mentioned when first discussing MTP that it was only one of the pre-terminated fibre optic solutions available in Australia. Most of you would have heard of it by now and a good portion of you are quoting it on a regular basis. So the question here is:

What is Pre-term?


Pre-term is exactly as the name suggests. Pre-terminated Fibre - a length of fibre cable with the connectors terminated on each end. This type of product is usually made-to-order depending on the length, core count, mode, connectors, and sheath type - all the variables we check on for any fibre enquiry anyway. This enables the flexibility to be used in any type of installation from a small 2 metre run between servers in a data centre to kilometre-long runs in underground, rugged, industrial environments. In saying this, there is one small drawback: it is never available off the shelf. When you compare the Pre-Term lead times to the number of hours and days it will take for a contractor to splice and terminate the same number of cores however, nine times out of ten, even with a 3 day lead time, Pre-term will be quicker.


Conventional fibre installation comparison:

Pre-term has many benefits, just like MTP, the main one being of course: costings. This kind of product is a far sight cheaper than MTP, a little more labour intensive but overall a more cost effective solution in most circumstances. When comparing to a conventional fibre network for example; A 50m 12 core LC-LC OM3 indoor/outdoor Pre-term can cost around $600 excluding GST (depending on various factors). When you look at the conventional methods of installing this product you take into account materials and labour which include:

  • 50m of OM3 12 core ($3-4/m) = $150.00
  • 24 x  LC pigtails ( $4-14 each depending on brand) = $96.00
  • Splice Tray ($7-15)
  • Splice protectors ($20 a bag)
  • Technician to splice the pigtails (Usually around $12 per splice including testing for a small job) = $288.00

So at a glance, the conventional method of installation costs roughly $560. When you look at Pre-term and realise the pricing is roughly the same as conventional fibre installation, it's almost silly not to use it. By using pre-term you also avoid things like excess time on-site installing and terminating fibre, wastage of failed splices and faulty splicing of inexperienced technicians.

There are five factors that come into play when choosing what type of Pre-term is perfect for your customer. The questions you need to ask are:

  1. What length does it need to be? This is usually the distance the fibre needs to go PLUS 10%.
  2. What mode of fibre do they need? OM1, OM3 or OS1?
  3. What type of connectors do they need on each end? LC, SC, ST, MTRJ?
  4. Does the fibre need to be indoor/outdoor or loosetube?
  5. Do the connectors need a pulling sock installed? This is a small bag with a hook for the Pre-term to safely be pulled through the conduit.

Where do I get pre-term fibre?

There are a lot of fibre manufacturers and some are better priced, more reliable, and provide a higher quality product than others. The best way to source a pre-term quotation is to ask Stronglink for a P&A. Feel free to email or call us at any time.


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