Next-gen servicing of fiber optic cables

Wang Shizhang
20 Jan 2015
00:00

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The number of global optical broadband end users reached more than 300 million by the end of 2014. With the massive development of FTTH market, this number will continue to increase.

Faults in the optical fiber cable are quite difficult to locate. In most situations the network diagnosis and trouble shooting for optical cable and passive equipment could only be done manually. This spells low efficiency and high OPEX for operators.

In 2012, FiberHome announced the plan and roadmap to release the Entire ODN Resource Management Solution, an integrated solution consisting of Optical Link Monitoring (OLM) system and Smart ODN system. It is capable of on-line monitoring, proactive fault discovery, automatic trouble locating, resource management, and implementation guidance and OAM assistance for optical fiber cable and ODN passive network.

Currently, operators do not have an effective way to do real-time monitoring of optical fiber cables. What they can do is to dispatch engineers with test gear to the fault site after a subscriber complaint is received.

China Unicom commits “3.6.9” service to broadband subscribers, which means finishing fault recovery within three hours, service provisioning within six hours, and start to provide internet service within nine hours. This commitment works well for copper access network. But for FTTH, the fault recovery time usually takes more than five hours.

On the other hand, the traditional way to do troubleshooting on optical fiber cables depends too much on personnel. And different technical levels directly determine how long the fault recovery work will take.

FiberHome’s OLM system uses on-line OTDR signal mode to monitor optical link performance. It merges the test signal from OTDR and service signal from OLT then transmit to splitter and FTTH terminals. If there is a fault in any section of the end-to-end optical link (like fiber cut, aging, or link down), corresponding alarms will be immediately showed in FiberHome Network Management System UNM2000 or even be sent to engineer’s mobile phone by email and SMS.

During daily OAM work, the OLM system can help operators test the fiber route at any time to ensure fast service provisioning and network normally functioning. Moreover, by integrating with the Geographic Information System (GIS), the OLM can help to accurately locate the fault position on a satellite map in a few seconds.

This new maintenance mode will entirely change the OAM method and its processes. Human resources could be economized and fault recovery time could be minimized, reducing the OPEX significantly.

In order to solve massive fiber resource management problems especially for FTTH networks, FiberHome released smart ODN solution in 2013. This uses entire network information management mode, and realizes automatic input and routing inspection of fiber resources.

The smart fiber connector allows perceivable and visual management for optical fiber ports. Smart ODN devices can monitor the fiber connector’s location and port status. The accuracy of resource information and efficiency of OAM could be highly improved.

We can use smart ODN system to automatically identify and manage the fiber ports and connectors instead of the traditional sticker way, and detect the fiber ports’ status at any time to check whether the link is up or not. In only 20 seconds, the system can identify and record 1,000 ports. If needed, the statistics can be exported to an excel file or printed out.

Also, the system can be used to guide engineers doing service provisioning by using LED indicators installed in every smart fiber port. After arriving in the remote site, the engineer connects the remote management terminal to a smart ODN device. The target port will be activated once it receives the work-order from the NMS, and LED indicator lights will be turned on and guide the engineer to work.

The database updates simultaneously as the work is completed. If there is any mistake, the NMS sends an error message.

In these times of big data and FTTH, FiberHome’s Entire ODN Resource Management Solution will change the fiber access industry and boost the optical broadband revolution.

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