Fujikura selected by Openreach for supply of Spider Web Ribbon fibre cable and fusion splicers

26 September 2019



Fujikura Ltd is pleased to announce that an Openreach contract has been awarded to the technology company for the supply of a new innovative ribbon fibre cable "Air Blown Wrapping Tube CableTM (AB-WTCTM *3". This is alongside a contract for the supply of Mass Fusion Splicers and associated accessories.

The contract award follows on from an extensive technical trial and subsequent competitive tender process.

AB-WTCTM has been developed by Fujikura utilising its "Spider Web RibbonTM(SWRTM *1"fibre ribbon technology. SWR features an intermittently bonded 12 core optical fibre ribbon that forms a web like pattern and enables significant cable performance advantages over other ribbon technologies and traditional tube-based cable designs.

Combining the ability of the Fujikura Mass Fusion Splicer (70R+) to splice 12 fibres simultaneously with Air Blown Wrapping Tube CableTM significantly reduces cable installation time required for the deployment of the Openreach full fibre or "Fibre to the Premise" (FTTP) network. The SWR ribbon format allows engineers to join up or 'splice' together 12 fibres simultaneously which results in a reduction of up to 80% in the installation time compared with traditional cables that require fibres to be spliced individually.

AB-WTC is specifically designed to be 'blown' into underground ducting and therefore utilises duct space more efficiently. This is where the cable is pushed through on a current of compressed air, instead of a more traditional method of physically pulling it through, which takes longer, causes more disruption and means more work points in the street.

The technology will help Openreach, the UK's digital network business, to make full fibre available to four million homes and businesses across the UK by the end of March 2021. 

Openreach has built full fibre broadband technology to 1.5m premises across the UK and is reaching  20,000 homes and businesses per week.

Toshitane Nakatsuji, Managing Director Fujikura Europe Limited commented "SpiderWeb Ribbon is a truly innovative technology that has already been proven to deliver important efficiencies and savings for our customers around the world. We are very happy that Openreach has decided to take advantage of this technology. Our new AB-WTC cables and our 70R+ splicer are leading edge products that will help Openreach significantly reduce the cost per home of building its FTTP network."


Openreach Chief Engineer, Andy Whale, said "We want to get full fibre broadband to as many homes and businesses across the UK as we can, and as fast as possible.

"To do that we need the right conditions to invest, but we also need to reduce our own costs and cut down the time it takes for our engineers to build the network without compromising quality.

"We can do that using innovative tools, techniques and network components like Spider Web Ribbon fibre cable. Its small compact size makes it perfect for using space that's at a premium in our underground ducts. It's also more flexible and easier to work with - so our engineers can splice multiple fibres at once - saving time and money.

"This technology, along with numerous other innovations we're developing across our network build, will support our plan to reach four million households with full fibre by the end of March 2021."


Additional Information:

Enquiries about this story can be made to the Fujikura PR team on +44 (0) 7391 405 384 or email;

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Mass Fusion Splicers


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In addition to standard ribbon fibre, the 70R+ Mass Fusion Splicer can also splice Spider Web RibbonTM(SWRTM) with a coating diameter of 250um or 200um without any need to exchange components within the splicer.

The Mass Fusion Splicer (70R+), Fibre Cleaver (CT50) and Ribbon fibre Stripper (RS03) are also now enabled with Fujikura's innovative Active Blade Management Technology.  This new technology allows for the 70R+ splicer to actively monitor the CT50 cleaver and wirelessly rotate the blade, ensuring optimum performance.


Air Blown Wrapping Tube Cable (AB-WTC)

-   Loose tube cable is well known as the conventional air blown optical fibre cable in the market. It requires fibres to be spliced individually. AB-WTC reduces splicing time drastically compared to loose tube type cable because it uses 12 fibre SWR and enables the user to splice 12 fibres at one time.

-   AB-WTC uses 200μm fibres resulting in smaller diameter and lighter weight than loose tube cables. The smaller diameter is much more economical on duct space and higher fibre counts can be achieved.

-   AB-WTC is fully compatible with legacy cable designs. The existing mass fusion splicer, jacket stripper and cleaver can be used for splicing AB-WTC with other cable types.

(*1)   Spider Web Ribbon(SWR) is Fujikura's original product name for 12 fibres intermittently bonded optical ribbon fibre.

The structure of intermittency has the feature of both ribbon fibre and single fibre. Its flexibility can contribute to reduce cable diameter and dense fibre packing.

(*2)   Air-Blown is one of the installation methods used to install optical fibre cable. Compressed Air propels Optical Fibre Cable though the duct and it is a well-known approach.

(*3)   Wrapping Tube Cable (WTC) is the name of Ultra High-Density Optical Cable using SWR. Key features of WTC  include a Fully Dry Structure, Stripe Ring-Marking and SZ bunching. These allow users to achieve easy installation and fibre identification 

(*4)   IDATE for FTTH Council EUROPE 2019


About Fujikura

Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujikura boasts 130 years of expertise in the manufacture of telecommunication and electronic products.

Fujikura is recognised as a leading supplier of fibre cable and connectivity solutions to telecommunication companies around the globe.

The company employs more than 57,000 people globally and has invested more than $650m in R&D over the last 5 years.

Fujikura has been active in the European telecommunication sector since 1988 when it established Fujikura Europe Limited based in Chessington, UK

For more information, visit


About Openreach 

Openreach Limited is the UK's digital network business.  

We're 33,000 people, working in every community to connect homes, schools, shops, banks, hospitals, libraries, mobile phone masts, broadcasters, governments and businesses - large and small - to the world. 

Our mission is to build the best possible network, with the highest quality service, making sure that everyone in the UK can be connected.  

We work on behalf of more than 620 communications providers like SKY, TalkTalk, Vodafone, BT and Zen, and our fibre broadband network is the biggest in the UK, passing more than 27.5m UK premises 

Over the last decade we've invested more than £13 billion into our network and, at more than 173 million kilometres - it's now long enough to wrap around the world 4,314 times. 

Today we're building an even faster, more reliable and future-proof broadband network which will be the UK's digital platform for decades to come. We're on track to reach four million premises with this 'full fibre' technology by March 2021 and ultimately, we want to upgrade much of the UK if the conditions are right. We're also hiring around 3,000 trainee engineers this year to help us build that network and deliver better service across the country. 

Openreach is a highly regulated, wholly owned, and independently governed division of the BT Group. More than 90 per cent of our revenues come from services that are regulated by Ofcom and any company can access our products under equivalent prices, terms and conditions. 

For the year ended 31 March 2019, we reported revenues of £5.1bn. 

For more information, visit