FTTx Access Networks

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EXFO provides network operations with the expert testing knowledge, tools and environment they need to bridge the OPEX gap created by the increased bandwidth demand. With field-proven methodes and procedures, smart and integrated test solutions and cloud-based data management, FTTH networks can now be deployed reliability and cost-effectively.ftth general

Figure 1 General FTTH Architecture

Figure 1 illustrates the general architecture of a typical FTTH network. At the CO (also referred to as the headend), the public-switched telephone network (PSTN) and Internet services are interfaced with the optical distribution network (ODN) via the optical line terminal (OLT). The downstream 1490 nm and upstream 1310 nm wavelengths are used to transmit data and voice. Analog RF video services are converted to optical format at the 1550 nm wavelength by the optical video transmitter. The 1550 nm and 1490 nm wavelengths are combined by the WDM coupler and transmitted downstream together. IPTV is now transmitted over 1490 nm.

One of the most important factors in ensuring proper transmission is controlling the power losses in the network against the link’s loss-budget specifications from the ITU-T recommendation and standard, which is done by establishing a total end-to-end loss budget with enough of a buffer, while reducing backreflections to a minimum.

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In the stone age of cellular phones, back when voice communication was the only offering, network design focused on coverage, not capacity. Today’s phones have morphed into portable, application-oriented, internet-enabled computers, greatly increasing the strain on network capacity. Unfortunately, adding new macro sites, microcells and picocells simply won’t cut it. A better way to augment the macro layer is by adding low-power nodes like femtocells, remote radio heads/units (RRHs/RRUs) and distributed antenna systems (DAS).

By bringing high data rate to the radio/antenna, fiber-optic links deliver the promises made by mobile broadband. Increasing broadband capacity means growing the wireless network, which decreases the cell radius. Therefore, feeding bandwidth to the entire wireless infrastructure means increasing fiber connectivity and penetration. Essentially, more wireless means better and deeper wireline.

The purpose of any fiber-optic network is to perform high-speed, error-free data transmission. Adequate testing during each phase of the network deployment guarantees that products meet specifications, in addition to minimizing costly and time-consuming troubleshooting efforts, including locating dirty/damaged connectors, questionable splices and other faulty components before they disrupt service.ftta

Typical FTTA Scenario

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DSL still remains the most widely deployed broadband access technology across the globe to bring triple play services to bussiness and residential customers. For many, the copper plants is the only economical way to deliver high value, broadband service and remain competitive.


The recent explosion of the over the top sevice as well as rising demand for faster, higher quality video content is pushing operators to make the most of their existing legacy infrastructure. However, increasing the avaliable speed of the xDSL services running over the copper last mile also has it challenges.

Network-TopologyNetwork Topology

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Following the FTTH trend to deliver more bandwidth to the consumers, a new technology is rising to provide more bandwidth, more services and future-proof networks to the enterprises: passive optical LAN (POL).

Also called OLAN or fiber-to-the-desktop, this GPON-based technology creates a very cost-effective local area network (LAN) with virtually unlimited capabilities.

Singlemode fibers all the way to the desktop and optical splitters replace the traditional CAT5/6 cables and active Ethernet switches providing considerable benefits to the network owners:

  • CAPEX saving for cables and equipment
  • OPEX saving from lower energy and cooling (Green technology)
  • Space saving with fewer racks of equipment and no remote hubs
  • Secure and reliable communications over fiber-optic cables


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