cablex AG | Tannackerstrasse 7 | 3073 Gümligen |

20/04/2020  /  Carolin Primerova

Network expansion – Yes, we can!

You can't have enough speed when it comes to surfing, gaming or streaming via the Internet. cablex is therefore connecting all communities in Switzerland to the fast optical fibre network, which is replacing the "old" copper cable infrastructure. The communities of Ober- and Unterentfelden are also being upgraded with optical fibre but where does the cable come from and how does it get into the shaft?


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A five-man team is responsible for laying the optical fibre cable in Oberentfelden. Two men are responsible for preparing the cable. They ensure it is correctly attached to the bobbin or cable reel.  

In order to distribute the optical fibre cable to several shafts, buildings or residential units later on, a large main cable (main feeder cable) is pulled through the underground cable routes first of all. The main cable being fed into the shaft here has 192 fibres.

Before the main cable is fed into the shaft, the preliminary work must be completed. The preliminary work includes converting the shaft and - if necessary - laying new cable conduits.

When converting the shafts, which will later contain the mCAN, the shaft openings are enlarged or provided with a new entry area.

This is what happens in the mCAN: The optical signal (light signal), which arrives in the shaft via the optical fibre, is converted into an electrical impulse by the mCAN. The electrical impulse is transmitted via the copper cable and forwarded to the flat Connection. This is how switching works

If the cable route, into which the new optical fibre cable is to be laid, is already full, new cable conduits must be laid as part of the preliminary work.

In the cablex photo story on traditional civil work, cablex shows and explains what happens on a construction site.

Preliminary work (AVOR) prior to laying the cable.

Gzim Rudaj, Construction Project Manager, is responsible for civil engineering and cable laying at the Unterentfelden site. Before feeding the cable into the shaft, important preliminary measures have to be completed: "I order the cable using the cable routing plan. I need to know the cable designation or name to do this. What's more, the labels must be prepared for labelling the cables later on so that the splicers can assign the cables when the mCAN is installed," explains Rudaj. Together with his foreman, the plans for cable routing are discussed. This also includes determining whether shafts have to be opened while feeding through the cable, and if so, which ones.

Laying the cable.

The starting point when laying the main optical fibre cable is always the local exchange. A five-man team is responsible for laying the optical fibre cable in Oberentfelden. Two men are responsible for preparing the cable. They ensure it is correctly attached to the bobbin or cable reel. The third man prepares the motorised cable rod, which is used to feed the cable through the conduit.

Step 1: The motorised cable rod is inserted into the cable conduit via a shaft and fed through to the exchange. As the conduit already contains other cables, a ball can be attached to the tip of the motorised cable rod to protect these cables. This ensures the motorised cable rod (and therefore also the optical fibre cable later on) slides over the other cables and does not get entwined. 

Step 2: A length of cord is attached to the motorised cable rod in the exchange. The motorised cable rod and the cord attached to it are then pulled back towards the entry shaft. 

Step 3: The optical fibre cable is attached to the cord and pulled into the cable conduit. It is important to ensure there is sufficient spare cable in the exchange and in each shaft, and also that the cable labels are attached correctly. 

Step 4: The last step of the civil engineering and cable installation work involves the documentation. The work carried out in the shaft is recorded with photographs, in order to verify that everything is in the correct condition as prescribed. In addition, the cable laying plan is completed. This includes details of the distance markers, cable route, cable type and possible also information on who carried out the work. This information is important for maintenance or fault repairs.

Safety at work.

As the shafts are generally located on roads, the safety of the employees must be guaranteed. This means securing the construction site also plays a very important role.

It must be ensured that traffic flows smoothly – in order to ensure the safety of the cable installation team as well as the drivers.

Traffic controllers are deployed to maintain an overview of the traffic situation and ensure safety on the construction site and in road traffic. 


If the motorised cable rod encounters an obstacle, a camera rod can be inserted into the pipe. This enables the team to determine whether, for example, debris or a stone is blocking the pipe. The camera rod transmits the exact position of the obstacle so that it can be removed in a targeted manner. 

The next step in the expansion of the network.

As soon as the civil engineering and cable installation work has been completed by the team from Unterentfelden, the splicing team can start work. They assemble and install the mCANs and take care of the splicing. This requires regular communication between the two departments to ensure everything functions smoothly. Regular meetings and the maintenance of a cable plan ensure information on the current status of the work is exchanged appropriately. The professional and committed attitude and great working atmosphere between colleagues in different teams make cablex the number 1 in network construction.

Click here for the article about shaft construction and conversions.

Click here for the photo story about traditional civil work.

cablex AG | Tannackerstrasse 7 | 3073 Gümligen | Phone 0848 222 539 | cablex.info@cablex.ch