Fiber Optic Cabinets, Cables, Pedestals and Terminals

With faster upload and download speeds, seamless connectivity across cities and in the workplace, 5G was intended to be the answer. It was to usher in a new wave of 5G-enabled IoT applications and services, a new day, promising sunshine and rainbows and unlimited seamless mobile connectivity that rivals wired networks. Years later, we’re still waiting for dawn to break, living in a perpetual gloom of the twilight before the sun peaks above the horizon.

By and large, the market can wait. Let’s be honest, we’ve become conditioned to mobile service and connectivity challenges. We all experience dead spots, over every network spectrum options - 3G, 4G, LTE and of course 5G, which admittedly is still in its infancy. Part of the issue is that hype outpaced innovation, and while that has frustrated some, it’s also allowed the technology to mature, and the requirements needed to support a truly immersive 5G network to change.

A big part of what’s happened relates to spectrum. There is now a wider range of spectrum available to support 5G networks. The federal government allocated mid-band spectrum that enabled 5G to be deployed on macro cell towers without small cells (millimeter wave), which gave operators a better set of characteristics to speed propagation – and push 5G further. Some operators banked on high bandwidth frequencies with millimeter wave spectrum as the delivery medium, and this expansion of spectrum options meant new technologies were required.

For Clearfield customers, we’re here to support 5G deployments no matter how they take shape. One of the commonalities is that all 5G deployments require fiber to backhaul traffic from the mobile network. For instance, our FiberFlex active cabinets equipped with our Clearview Cassettes can serve as an aggregation point for 5G traffic coming from the antennas; cell sites can be fed from our FiberFirst pedestal leveraging FieldShield drop cables and FieldShield microduct. These craft-friendly products, built to be deployed throughout the footprint, in a wide variety of conditions and environments, share a universally common installation process, meaning that field technicians can leverage the same training and knowledge across the network.

5G is coming but not yet, at least not everywhere, and not with the bells and whistles originally touted. 3G radio was only recently turned off and 4G LTE networks remain, and will continue to remain, the dominate mobile network technology. 5G is like that glimmer on the horizon, you can tell there is light ahead, but it’s still this technology’s dawn. The day will come though and I’m sure 6G, which is already creating buzz, will steal some of 5G’s time in the sun, because the market will, as always, hype what’s coming next before its time has come.

Kevin leads the marketing efforts for Clearfield as Chief Marketing Officer. He joined the fiber company in 2016, leveraging his extensive experience in advanced communications technology, fiber optic systems, and business product marketing. Prior to joining Clearfield, he spent two decades serving in various senior marketing positions at ADTRAN. Before that, he spent a decade at telephone operating company BellSouth, now a part of AT&T, where he worked as the lead broadband product evaluations resource in the Science & Technology department.

Morgan currently serves on the Fiber Broadband Association Senior Council Committee and has also held various leadership positions at the Fiber Broadband Association, including Board of Directors Chair for 2015, 2019, and 2022. Morgan holds an Electrical Engineering degree from Auburn University and an MBA from the University of Alabama.