Green, local and secure delivery is key when choosing a technical partner

Security of supply and quality are crucial to Fibia's choice of fibre ducts. With local production of Hans Følsgaard's HFiberDUCT®, Fibia has been able to perform tests in real-life setups. The plastic mixtures for the ducts ensure easy blowing of the fibres and high UV resistance when storing drums outdoors.

It sounds like a fairytale that a Danish manufacturer of fibre optic conduits can beat Far Eastern competitors and win contracts for one of Denmark's largest telecommunications companies. But that is exactly what Hans Følsgaard and Lynddahl Telecom have achieved in their collaboration with Fibia.

There is a gradual shift in consumer awareness. Where the price of a given product used to be of paramount importance, ethics - and many practical matters - dictate a slightly different mindset today. This is especially true in telecom. Where many once scrambled for pennies, the increasing use of home offices and much more extensive streaming services have shifted consumer demand towards robust and consistent telecom solutions. Today's internet connection must be stable, fast and secure, which means that price is also falling from its former throne as the most important parameter. And then there is the green aspect: Sustainability is becoming a buzzword - and used correctly, it can also be a positive economic factor.

- Of course, our customers still look at the prices, but it is a big plus to be able to demonstrate an environmentally friendly approach to the way we work. The capital costs constitute a very large part when we provide fibre optic high-speed solutions to hundreds of thousands of households in Denmark. If we can make the work performance more rational in practice with efficient logistics - and installation products that do not fail - then the cost per unit will also drop. This strengthens our competitiveness without loss of quality, and we have a full overview of our suppliers' production and logistics," says Michael Bauer, supply chain manager at Fibia, who is deeply involved in the validation and procurement of Fibia's very large quantities of materials.

"Quality" is a multi-headed monster, and for a company like Fibia, which is heavily dependent on the planning of work meeting well-functioning supply logistics, locally produced components make sense - especially when it comes to ducts for blowing fibre all the way to the consumers. It is no use having installers and customers standing by if the drums of tube are in the Suez Canal.

- By sourcing locally, we also do not pay large sums of money to ship air, which is the largest part of the drums with fiberducts in terms of volume. At the same time, we can test the products in the development phase and continuously check that the specifications live up to the agreed specifications defined by the product manager at Fibia, Jess Kjeldsen. And it is a great help to do business with a company such as the Danish company Hans Følsgaard. The agreement is part of our dual-source supply of ducts, where we use both German and Danish products, but we prefer the Danish ones, says Michael Bauer. In terms of daily operations and planning, it is also preferable to have a local production that prioritises Fibia and can deliver from day to day from our agreed buffer stock," adds Sandie Benn Petersen, Supply Chain Planner at Fibia.


Quality, stability and green credentials come into play

It is actually possible to apply data to the quality of the ducts that Fibia receives from Hans Følsgaard. The HFiberDUCT® tubes in this case are 7mm of outer diameter and 4mm of inner diameter. The perfect roundness of the tubes plays a major role in the blow-in work, as any ovality limits the possible blow-in length. Fibia has specified +/-0.2mm on the tubes, which is maintained by the manufacturer.

- Throughout 2021, we have connected between 300 and 350 households daily to our fibre network, so we are talking very large volumes. Especially in rural areas, the ducts can be quite long, so it is very important that we can work with blowing lengths of up to 1,200 metres, which we can with Hans Følsgaard's HFiberDUCT®," Michael Bauer explains.

Hans Følsgaard A/S acts as developer and technology partner of Fibia, while the actual production takes place at Lynddahl Telecom. This is due to Følsgaard's early focus on the fibre market and its extensive know-how and experience with innovative fibre solutions.

- As a technology partner, we work continuously to be able to deliver all types of components to the extent that our customers find necessary. It also gives us the opportunity to sometimes break new ground. For Fibia, security of supply and a green profile are of crucial importance, and by choosing Lynddahl as a manufacturer, we have been able to deliver a solution for the production and distribution of fibre ducts that is completely in line with Fibia's requirements, says Teddy Tofte Hansen, Key Account Manager at Hans Følsgaard A/S.


New company with decades of experience

- Lynddahl Telecom A/S is in fact quite a new company on the Danish market. As a company, we originate from Lynddahl, a well-known manufacturer of garden hoses and plastic profiles. But there is a big market for fibre ducts, and it is a related technology. In October 2020, together with "Telecom" we formed a joint company specialising in communication products under the ownership of Rasmus Lynddahl, Jakob U. Petersen and myself," says the third owner of Lynddahl Telecom A/S, Jens Erik Kristensen.

The connection between Hans Følsgaard A/S and Lynddahl Telecom goes way back - at least in terms of personal contacts, and therefore Teddy Tofte Hansen can also say that Følsgaard has worked with Jens Erik Kristensen for decades. He is of course pleased to be able to continue the collaboration in a new constellation, where Jens Erik Kristensen's knowledge of the technologies is effectively utilised.


HFiberDUCT®- Secret innovation increases functionality

The production of the ducts is based on three components, with the silicone-based inner part of the fibre duct in particular being a deep secret. A completely smooth duct interior is essential for the fibres to be blown easily - and far through the ducts. This is crucial in the field, where any downtime is costly and should be avoided - if not at all costs, then almost...
- It has been important for Fibia that during the development of Hans Følsgaard's fibre ducts, we have been able to test the products in real life. We have been able to stand at the factory and test the blowing capabilities, and we have also been able to see for ourselves that the ducts do not spiral when rolled off the drums. It is a big plus that the ducts lie straight in their excavated paths. We have also been able to check that the materials fulfil, among other things, the requirements for UV resistance, which is certainly important," concludes Fibia's Michael Bauer.

Finally, with the duct deliveries from Lynddahl Telecom A/S, Fibia can document green production to end customers. The Lynddahl Group only purchases energy from sustainable production, and this fits well with the strategy that Fibia stands for.


Fibia dominant player in the market

Fibia is owned by the two energy and fibre network groups, NRGi and Andel. As part of the groups' strategies, Fibia is committed to delivering well-functioning high-speed internet under the WAOO platform to all co-operative members of the two owner companies by the end of 2023.

By the end of Q3 2021, Fibia was able to deliver fibre network connections to a total of 325,000 addresses in Region Zealand, 80,000 addresses in North Zealand and Greater Copenhagen and 175,000 addresses in East Jutland. This makes Fibia one of the country's largest providers of fibre-based internet.


With its early involvement in fibre technology, Hans Følsgaard A/S has managed to position itself at the forefront of product development and innovations in the fibre area. Lynddahl Telecom A/S is a new player in the market for fibre optic cable ducts. The company, with Hans Følsgaard A/S as its technology partner, supplies large quantities of the Danish-made fibres to the Danish fibre infrastructure.


From left: Mikkel Steinmetz - Hans Følsgaard, Teddy Tofte Hansen - Hans Følsgaard, Michael Bauer - Fibia, Sandie Benn Petersen - Fibia, Jens Kristensen - Lynddahl

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