No future without innovation
Van den Berg is an established player on the telecommunication market, particularly in the field of glass fibre, coax and data cabling. The focus at the moment is on the realisation of FTTH-projects.
As of 1 January 2013, a number of companies within the Royal BAM Group have been merged. Van den Berg and Ravensteyn were merged into BAM Infratechniek Telecom. We spoke with Harry van Gunst, commercial manager at BAM Infratechniek Telecom.
“The cooperation between BAM Infratechniek Telecom and Attema goes a long way back. We came into contact through the products that Attema supplies for the telecommunication market. We started thinking together about innovative products for glass fibre projects. We must continue to innovate and need good partners to do so. The same applies to Attema. One of the first product developments that we created together was the distribution sleeve, a new glass fibre closure, which up to now is considered the standard on the FTTH market. When innovating, it is very important that forces are joined in the right way. We contribute know-how from the day-to-day practice whereas Attema has a lot of know-how in developing and manufacturing new solutions. When you bring these two qualities together, you can come up with some very fine products. Developing innovative products always requires many brainstorming sessions in which we discuss what is and what isn’t feasible. In the next stage, we perform a number of practical tests. You can come up with really fantastic things that work excellently on the drawing table, but when turning these into practice, you’re always faced with ‘teething troubles’. To filter these out, we perform realistic practical tests.”
“At a given time, you’ve conducted all theoretical and practical tests that you can think of and the product concerned is approved of and can be installed. We were one of the first to use the distribution sleeve in a project. To us, it is very important to look for new products that in the end will result in less work and, as a result, lower costs. In the FTTH industry in which the sleeve is used, capital expenditures (CAPEX) are under pressure. We must continue to look for smart solutions to be able to execute works at a lower price by decreasing the work that is required for it. That’s where we need suppliers such as Attema who are willing to think along with us for solutions that generate less work. The distribution sleeve is a good example of this.”
“The FTTH market changes continuously, at the moment the industry is already looking for different installation methods than a couple of years ago. We are, for instance, working on a plug and play method requiring less working hours and for this we will also need other closures. We are cooperating with Attema to try and find suited solutions. This may be an adjustment to the existing sleeve or a completely new product. We discuss this with Attema in innovation meetings. It ensures proper feedback about actual market developments. It is, in fact, a never-ending circle, which requires a lot of mutual consultation. We don’t proceed this way with Attema only, we do so with several partners. We try to bring partners together.”
“Of course, we’re not only discussing underground solutions but also solutions for in-house connections such as the FTU. Attema is also specialised in cable ducts. We are discussing cable duct systems for connecting high-rise buildings. This is always a very time-consuming part when installing area-wide FTTH. The biggest challenge here is to connect as efficiently as possible, preferably without having to disturb customers. For every partner in the telecommunication industry, innovation is crucial because without innovation there is no future.”