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Field Terminated vs Pre-terminated Fiber Optic Assemblies

Optical Fiber
(Last Updated On: April 25, 2023)


Fiber optic cables are vital to a variety of industries and applications around the world. Unlike traditional copper cables, they can transmit large amounts of data at high speeds. In addition, their light weight and flexibility make them easier to install, maintain and repair, making them the first choice for countless data transmission applications.

With the recent surge of fiber optics within the market in the past few years, The pre-termination fiber cabling system has become increasingly popular. The right fiber optic cables, components, and best termination methods are necessary for any upcoming project. While there are many options for fiber optic cables and connectors, only two major termination solutions are field and pre-terminated.


What are Field Terminated Fiber Optic Assemblies?

Field termination describes the fiber optic cable termination in the field or after the installation. When these types of cables are terminated, they need to be pulled between two points, then connectors will need to be attached and connected to a patch panel. In addition, before they can be attached to a panel, connectors need to be attached to each strand, and various tools will be needed.

What are Field Terminated Fiber Optic Assemblies


  1. Precision Lengths: Because these cables are cut to length before adding connectors, having these cables pre-determined for length is unnecessary.
  1. Easy Pull System: Fiber optic bulk cable is easy to pull from either end of the installation circuit.


  1. Higher Labor Costs: Cost increases when fiber optic cables are terminated in the field. Various other tools are required, many steps are needed, and field technicians must be trained appropriately.
  1. Slower installation: Installation will take longer due to terminating the connectors and ensuring the fiber optic cables and components work correctly in the test.
  1. Potential Termination Issues: Termination issues can occur depending on the skill level of each technician and knowledge of fiber optic cables and assemblies. Field-terminated fiber optic cables can be inexpensive to purchase. However, by terminating the cost of any project, additional costs may be encountered on-site.

What are Pre-Terminated Fiber Optic Assemblies?

These cables are identical to field-terminated fiber optic cables; the only difference is that the manufacturer terminates these cables and components before shipment.



  1. Lower costs and time savings:  Since these cables arrive in the field, there is no need for cable termination preparation, connectors, or tool kits, and no testers are required. These fiber optic cables require minimal time and effort for any installer to implement.
  1. Project Efficiency: These cables are manufactured and shipped to the job site with connector terminations and proper polishing. The entire cable assembly is tested on both ends for ease of installation.


  1. Need for Accuracy: For these cables to function, they need to take accurate measurements. Users must usually plan length and lead time to avoid extra cable length.
  1. Associated Costs: Miscalculations in measurements can lead to additional charges that increase the material cost of your project.

As mentioned above, patch cables may be field terminated or pre-terminated. Field-terminated cables are terminated on the installation side. Pre-terminated cables are terminated at the factory.

When Should I use Pre-Terminated Fiber Assemblies?

Pre-terminated fiber optic cables offer several advantages over field-terminated fiber optic cables. Since they are field ready (i.e., require no preparation or testing), they are quicker and easier to install. Therefore, they reduce labor costs and reduce the risk of installation errors. Pre-terminated fiber optic cables are the perfect solution if you are looking to reduce project costs, reduce installation time, or reduce termination issues.

When Should I use Pre Terminated Fiber Assemblies

When Should I use Field-Terminated Fiber Assemblies?

While pre-terminated cables are suitable for many applications, they are not suitable for all applications. Because they are pre-cut before arriving at the field, their lengths may not be as accurate or precise as field-terminated fiber optic cables. If high precision and accuracy are critical to the application, it is best to use field-terminated cables to reduce the risk of measurement miscalculations.

What are the 6 Benefits of Pre-Terminated Fiber Cables?

1. Lower Total Cost

Our research shows that pre-terminated fiber optic assemblies can reduce installation costs by nearly 50% (or more) for (1) 12-strand pre-terminated fiber optic assemblies. Pre-terminated fiber can significantly reduce overall installation costs by eliminating rework, achieving termination efficiency, eliminating transmission testing, and eliminating the need for termination equipment and consumables.

2. Save Time

Rapid Manufacturing provides pre-terminated fiber optic assemblies in two to four days. Pre-terminated fiber can help shorten project deadlines and increase overall deployment speed. You no longer have to wait a week, two, or even three weeks for a custom fiber optic assembly.

3. Faster Deployment

Designed for rapid deployment, pre-terminated fiber optic cabling requires no field termination. This reduces the labor necessary so you can get the job done faster. You’ll need to do some pre-planning, but once you receive the cables, you’re good to go.

4. Proven Performance

Mission-critical fiber optic networks require the highest level of attention in cable assembly. Due to poor air quality, low end-face polish efficiency, and poor cleaning and testing protocols, field termination often affects the overall quality of the cable. Pre-terminated fiber optic assemblies should be manufactured in a clean room and undergo a series of inspections, including multiple end-face inspections and certification for specific insertion loss/return loss thresholds.

5. Reduce Waste

In many cases, installers still have to pay for their Waste to remove from the site on many projects, mainly if they include cable reels, and more importantly, installers buy a more accurate amount of cable that they pass through the meter instead Not a drum buy, how many installers mix up their installations, boxes full of oddly long cables, wish there was a project that would use them.

6. Complete Larger Installations without the Need to Hire Contractors

By using pre-terminated fiber, large projects can be installed with an equivalent reduction in labor because the Time to install the link is greatly reduced. This means reducing or eliminating the need to recruit additional labor. This will help your trusted and trained engineers do all the work.


Pre-terminated fiber is not a fad, it is an increasingly popular way to deliver fiber optic cabling in a more timely and cost-effective manner. It should not be limited to major projects delivered by large integrators; this approach can benefit projects of all sizes. If you plan to upgrade your data center, please consider pre-terminated optical fiber from HOLIGHT Fiber Optic. With our quick feedback, you can get a quote and place an order within an hour.

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