When it comes to Fiber Optics, cables tend to come off as the most important piece of equipment. At the end of the day, this item is what makes connections happen. Nonetheless, Fiber Connectors are actually what makes those cables useful. They represent their beginning and their end -and everything in between.
There is a plethora of Fiber Connectors, to the point that it could certainly get daunting for any Telecom professional to decide on a particular connector for FTTH. Even when a Technician can already know what he needs exactly for his installation, there are just so many manufacturers and alternatives worldwide, that getting to that decision gets significantly harder.
Amongst that wide variety of options, the ST Connectors definitely stands out because of its versatility and the importance of its use in some of the main applications in Telecom.
The Context: The Other Fiber Connectors
FC Connectors: this connector has a ceramic ferrule and its endface features an alignment piece for a proper connection. This certainly makes its construction complex and expensive, yet it is the preferred option for measuring equipment that demands a high level of precision like OTDR’s.
In order to properly gain consciousness about the relevance of the ST Connector, we need to set up the context, which consists mainly of the rest of Fiber Connectors:
LC Connectors: This connector has often been considered as a recent substitute for the SC connector. The LC Connector employs a latch that includes a ferrule that is usually referred to as a small form factor connector. This configuration makes the LC Connector the go-to choice in datacoms and other installations with a high number of patches, so it is usually seen in racks that host lots of connections.
SC Connectors: this connector has an end-face in the shape of a square, which is why it is often referred to as “the square connector”. Its ferrule is built with ceramic, and it is actually one of the first connectors to be made with this material. The reduction over time of its production costs and its significant improvements in performance have made it one of the most popular connectors in the market.
MTP/MPO Connectors: This connector is the largest one of the bunch because it can host up to 24 fibers in a single ferrule. These connectors are peculiar in the sense that they must be terminated in lab facilities. However, they are being massively used in data centers. While having many fibers at once can be beneficial for certain purposes, the attenuation loss is higher than other ceramic connectors. The other quirk of these connectors is that they must also be matched to an opposing male or female connectors. This could explain why some experts have been vocal about the imminent disappearance of this connector in the long term.
The Preponderance of The ST Connector
Now that we have set up the context straight, we can expand on the ST Connector. Firstly, ST stands for Straight Tip. Secondly, the ST Connector has definitely become one of the most important Fiber Connectors in Telecom.
By definition, the ST Connector is a Fiber Connector that consists of round ceramic ferrules, and a plug and a socket that are locked with a half-twist bayonet lock. One of its main features is their ability to function extremely well in both applications with small distances and systems that ask for larger distances.
Due to the nature of their configuration, ST Connectors must be correctly plugged. Lots of technicians have complained about a high rate of light loss using these devices, but most of them are due to a negligent installation. Once you make sure to install them properly, then you can relax and enjoy its many advantages
AS to the versions of ST Connectors, they are divided in two types: ST and ST-II. The ST version is keyed (push-in) and the ST-II version is spring-loaded (twist).
The ST Connector: The Connector for Powerful Applications
Generally speaking, ST Connectors are more frequently used than SC Connectors, which for many years prior was considered to play the main role in Telecom. As we have previously stated, the versatility of these connectors may account for this predominance, since ST connectors come very handy in limited space settings due to their range of 90 degrees in flexibility.
When used in Fiber Patch Cables, ST Connectors can provide almost unlimited bandwidth at high speeds over distances -both short and long. These cables are also ideal for connections that take place in fiber patch panels, hubs, switches, media converters and routers, among many others.
Ceramic made connectors like the ST can also guarantee low signal loss and high effectiveness. They can also offer high immunity to interference -electrical and/or electromagnetic-, especially in rooms filled and cramped with other electronic equipment. In that sense, ST Connectors constitute excellent choices in dense settings, both in terms of physical volume and amounts of data to be transmitted.
Due to these qualities, ST Connectors are ubiquitous in Local Area Networks, Data Processing Networks, Premises Distribution Applications.
The U.S. fiber optic connector market by product, 2014 - 2025, (USD Million)
Contrary to what many people may think, ST Connector are here to stay. Their versatility and high-level performance make them one of the most trusted and robust pieces of equipment any Telecom professional can dispose of, We even find out a report called Fiber Optic Connector Market Analysis By Product (SC Connector, LC Connector, FC Connector, ST Connector, MTP/MPO Connector), By Application, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2018 - 2025 from Grand View Research, Inc, that shows this information and a forecast for year 2025 from now.
At Beyondtech, we offer many diverse solutions that include ST Connectors, so if you happen to need one of them do not hesitate to let us know. We would be happy to assist you!