Experience shows that a large project such as the Mall of Switzerland results in lots of new ideas. That is not only true for architects and designers, but also for technicians and electrical planners. In the case of the Mall of Switzerland, the partners developed a surprising solution for connecting business tenants to the Swisscom FO network.

«In a project of this magnitude, we always have to ask ourselves how the many subscribers can be connected as efficiently as possible», says René Imholz, describing the initial situation. He is a technical consultant at Swisscom for the inhouse area and the person who had the idea of finding an optimized connection solution. Because as he says: «It is important for Swisscom to support projects such as the Mall of Switzerland. With this project, Central Switzerland is gaining a unique destination that will appeal to various customer segments».

For Swisscom, R&M is an innovative and extremely reliable partner. One idea resulted in an optimized solution for Swisscom, but also for installers.

René Imholz, Technical Consultant Inhouse, Swisscom

Pilot project started

The solution was to be simple, efficient and future-oriented. And in this case that meant providing fiber optics as far into the building as possible. The conventional strict separation between the building entry point and structured building cabling was to be broken down. Each individual lot in the complex was to be reached with fiber throughout, from the network operator’s head office to the individual floors.

The crux was that Swisscom required a platform that would merge the advanced, decentral building entry points (BEP) and optical termination outlets (OTO) to minimize installation. R&M was given the unique opportunity of starting a pilot project with Swisscom as an innovative and forward-looking partner.

Within just a few weeks, a concept, a prototype and a product had been developed: the OTO@BEP. In a wall rack, it unites newly developed patch inserts, which act as OTOs, and a distribution module for fiber, splice and splitter management that works as a BEP.

Getting simpler for everyone

The decisive progress: From the OTO@ BEP, subscribers can determine the subsequent installation path and the position of the final connections for themselves. For business customers within the Mall, Swisscom will be able to provide bandwidth of up to 100 gigabits per second in future. Redundant fibers are available everywhere in order to enable access for other network operators and service providers. This is in line with the Swiss Open Access Model.

From the OTO@BEP, the fibers lead either directly to the network elements or routers of the customers or to a freely positionable OTO outlet on the tenants’ premises. In addition, a minimum of copper wire was laid to be able to serve customers with older hardware components. The aim was to provide as many subscribers as possible with fiber optics, new digital communication standards and Gigabit speed.

The OTO@BEP minimizes the network operator’s internal efforts considerably, explains René Imholz: «Since we are already providing a sufficient number of OTO outlets at a defined location before tenants move into the business premises, we don’t need the specification and realization process per customer. The proximity of the outlet at the end customer optimizes availability. The ordering process is massively reduced for the end customer».

At the same time this solution facilitates an installer’s work. «The effort involved in splicing the fibers in a regular BEP is minimized,» says René Imholz. The installers in the rented areas can now start with the final assembly of the cables from an outlet installed and activated in advance. Furthermore, pre-terminated or field-terminable cables and outlets can be used. This results in more favorably priced and more flexible solutions for end users.

Benefit for future projects

The concept can be transferred to large projects with similar characteristics, e.g. in smart cities and smart buildings. The new product, initially introduced as a prototype and then approved by Swisscom, can be used universally. R&M has included the OTO@BEP in its range.

R&M sees the successful Mall of Switzerland project as a step on the road to developing further fiber-optic solutions with Swisscom which have the potential of unfurling a wide range of uses for an expanding market.

OTO and BEP united

OTO@BEP: This acronym stands for an innovation which was developed to provide fiber optics to the Mall of Switzerland where it was successfully implemented. In a simplification of the Swiss OFCOM reference model, the optical termination outlet is integrated in the building entry point. And now a customized solution has become a product: OTO@BEP.

The new development is based on the successful Optical Distribution Frame (ODF), the CombiMODULE with its modular inserts and the Single Circuit Management (SCM) family from R&M.