One-on-one With Christian Priess

InterGlobix Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Bedi talks to Hexatronic’s Business Development Executive Christian Priess about the company’s products, industry trends and market segments.

Connecting people and places, transferring huge amounts of data at extremely high speeds makes the world go round. Telecommunications cables provide the vital infrastructure to support these networks. Hexatronic has the technology and experience to provide unrivalled solutions both on land and under water.

Hexatronic is well known to our readers from the submarine cable industry, but tell us more about the terrestrial side of the business.

From its start in December 2013, Hexatronic Cables & Interconnect Systems AB has grown from a small supplier to the largest provider of FTTH systems in the Nordics. We have a strong history with fiber networks in Sweden, Norway, Finland, UK and further afield in AsiaPac. Our teams have worked on large fiber infrastructure projects in partnership with numerous key customers such as Telia, Telenor, Chorus New Zealand, CityFibre and we were recently awarded a three-year contract with KCOM for expansion of full fiber broadband network in the United Kingdom. 

We supply passive solutions for the FTTH market and are specialists in air blown installation, in addition, we offer products for metro and transport fiber networks. Our focus is high quality solutions that are easy and quick to deploy in order to reduce installation time, which is the largest part of fiber network investment.  Our terrestrial product range includes numerous types of fiber optic cables including micro and nano cables, blown fiber, microducts, installation tools, etc, all of which we manufacture, provide and install using in-house capabilities.  All our products are part of a complete system designed to minimize the Total Cost of Ownership for customers. We also have developed the world’s first hybrid air blown power and fiber system that provides both communications and energy within the same cable and is capable of being blown long distances.  

Together with Edugrade, a subsidiary within the Hexatronic Group, we offer all types of training related to terrestrial fiber optic installation. In all the markets that we operate in we offer Field Support services, with highly experienced technical teams who are constantly in the field assisting our customers with their deployments.

For both the wet and dry side of the business we develop our offerings to provide more complete system solutions, mainly based on in-house innovations, research and development. We own our own production chain, which enables us to be very responsive and gives us the ability to act on unique customer requests. Hexatronic has manufacturing capabilities in three continents, and local sales and support offices in eight countries, allowing us to engage with customers on a global basis.

Personally, I am extremely proud of our reputation as being easy to do business with.

Does having a portfolio that encompasses wet and dry solutions enables Hexatronic to offer end-to-end solutions between countries?

The subsea market has moved away from pure submarine cable systems that terminate at the beach. The increasing desire for direct optical transmission links between Data Centers means that an ability to provide both submarine and high-quality terrestrial cable is hugely advantageous. Hexatronic can offer a complete package in terms of fiber optic connectivity for projects where unrepeatered subsea cables are required to connect neighbouring regions and countries. 

Our approach to submarine cable supply is also well received by customers. Today’s busy subsea market means that many turnkey suppliers have over-loaded manufacturing lines and limited vessel availability. Hexatronic’s disaggregated supply method means we can offer reduced lead times for cable, plus an ability to enable our customers to select vessels with greater availability, such as ships of opportunity, to install their submarine systems. We are happy to partner with marine installers and equipment vendors alike in order to help our customers achieve an end-to-end solution that best suits their needs. 

This disaggregated approach is fast becoming a popular method of submarine system procurement and in our case it affords Hexatronic the opportunity to focus on what we do best, providing durable and reliable high fiber count cable solutions in a cost efficient and timely manner. 

Christian Priess, Business Development Executive, Hexatronic

What advancements do you see across the cable business?

With innovation, technical know-how, high level of service and complete commitments, we are constantly working to improve our offerings. Hexatronic has invested millions of EUR in recent years, working closely with customers worldwide to develop solutions incorporating new products, lower materials costs, better network design and efficient construction techniques.

To achieve the lowest possible TCO for our customers, we always consider a blend of material costs, construction costs, repair and maintenance costs, product reliability and the flexibility to make changes to the network down track. Hexatronic places a huge emphasis on efficiency and quality. Quality is the single most important feature of Hexatronic products and our technology department works systematically with the Six Sigma methodology to drive quality-related issues out of our processes.  Our submarine team are extremely focused on creating high quality high fiber count unrepeatered cable designs.

Current research is focused on working with smaller fiber diameters, circa 200µm fiber, to enable us to further increase our fiber count. In parallel, investigations into lowering fiber attenuation enabling us to offer longer reach submarine cable solutions is ongoing.

We at Hexatronic also are extremely focused on creating a more sustainable society. To us, contribution to Agenda 2030 and Global Compact is a matter of course. Last year we ranked in the top 5 percent of sustainable listed companies in anti-corruption and in the top 25 percent of sustainable listed companies in Agenda 2030.  We take a holistic approach to sustainable development. This means respecting and protecting the environment, human rights, employee rights and good business ethics. We strive to continuously improve our operation and comply with rules and relevant requirements in all areas.

 All products are designed to minimize the environmental impact, starting from the manufacturing stage and through the whole lifecycle of the products. Total RoHS compliance and halogen-free materials are features of the entire product range. Packing materials are minimized or fully recyclable and our intention is to work with contractors and suppliers who share our values when it comes to sustainability and business ethics. 

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