Pre-terminated Fiber Optic Cable VS. Field Terminated: A Comprehensive Guide

Pre-terminated Fiber Optic Cable VS. Field Terminated: A Comprehensive Guide

As an IT expert, you realize the importance of fiber optic cords in guaranteeing fast data transmission across various CPUs. When it comes to the execution of such technology, you have a choice of employing pre-terminated fiber optic cable assemblies or field-terminated optical fibers.

The present article will give a detailed guide on the two mentioned types, support the decision based on the advantages and disadvantages list, and select the better lead for one's own needs.

Pre-terminated Optic fiber Cables

Pre-terminated optic cables, also sometimes called pre-connectorized fiber cables, are cables installed with connectors on either end in a controlled factory setting. Meaning that no cable termination needs to be done at the site. Thus, the cable comes ready for installation, making it highly convenient.

Pros of Pre-terminated Fiber Optic Cables

  1. Faster Installation: Pre-terminated cables greatly save time, as the connectors are already installed, and you will spend less time terminating the connectors. With this method, the installation of the fiber optic network takes place as soon as possible.
  2. Consistent Quality: cables with factory-treated connectors comply with high-quality standards, which guarantees a reliable installed solution due to a reduced risk of installation errors.
  3. Reduced Labor Costs: Since you do not need highly qualified specialists to install connectors on building premises, skilled workers will spend less time in low-visibility harsh weather conditions and during work at elevated heights.
  4. Testing and Certification: the factory tests and certifies the performance of each cable delivered with a definite piece of mind.

Cons of Pre-terminated Fiber Optic Cables

  • Material costs more: An inherent cost of the factory termination process, pre-terminated cables are more expensive than field-terminated ones.
  • Lack of flexibility: Pre-terminated cables are only available in already set measurements, something you may not need depending on your particular project. As a result, you may have leftover excessive cable.

Understanding Field Terminated Fiber Optic Cables

Field-terminated fiber optic cables require technicians to attach connectors to the cable ends on-site during installation. This method offers more flexibility but also comes with its own set of challenges.

Supremacy of Field Terminated Fiber Optic Cables

  • Length Customization: Field termination enables cables to be cut to the specific length of each run, which results in eliminating excess waste and, thus the necessity of more splicing.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Since there is no factory termination fee, field-terminated cables are often more affordable for end-users to set up compared to pre-terminated cables.
  • Flexibility: Flexibility is in the sense that installers can quickly react to unplanned contingencies or variations in plans, pushing for more versatility.

Drawbacks of Field-Terminated Fiber Optic Cables

  • Increased Installation Time -installation of connectors on-site will take longer. Consequently, the extended time may increase the overall installation duration.
  • Labor Cost Increase – field termination will need specialist technicians, and the engineers will have to pay more money for the installation project.
  • Quality Control Problems- on-site termination is exposed to humans, and any error made during the operation will reduce the quality and reliability of the connections.

Which One Should You Buy?

There are some major factors that should be kept in mind when you are in the market deciding between pre and field-terminated fiber optic cables. These factors are listed below:

  1. Project Timeline: If the length of the project is imperative, pre-terminated cables can drastically cut installation time.
  2. Budget: Evaluate both material and labor costs to determine which option fits within your project budget.
  3. Installation Environment: If your installation involves challenging or unpredictable conditions, field termination may offer the necessary flexibility.
  4. Quality and Reliability: Pre-terminated cables provide consistent, factory-tested quality, which can be crucial for mission-critical applications.


Thus, to most IT professionals and those planning to purchase pre-terminated fiber optic cables, the time savings, high quality of components, and lower labor costs are enough reasons over field-terminated ones. By rightfully investing in pre-terminated cables, you will have a high-performing fiber optic network moving forward that is in line with your institute’s or company’s requirements.

To sum up, before deciding to use which type of product, you should first clarify what you should consider; these are the project necessities, the budget, and finally, what is more important now. Eventually, whether pre-terminated or field-terminated, a high-quality product today is a good investment for a lot of savings and a good network system later.