UTEL expands into Chinese FTTP market
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Transmode opens North American support and service center
Packet-optical transport and DWDM systems vendor Transmode Systems AB says it has opened a new support and service center in Dallas, TX, to support its growing North American business (see, for example, "XO Communications upgrades metro network capacity with Transmode"). The new support and service center centralizes a number of existing support functions and order management capabilities, while also adding fully functional lab and training facilities.The new location provides a range of services, including local 24/7 technical assistance; on/off-site training; engineering, furnish, and installation services; and spare parts management with 2/4/24 hour on-site delivery. Order management is also further enhanced by local warehousing of Transmode's most popular products to ensure swift order delivery, the company says.Paul Harrison, Transmode's VP North America said, "As our business has increased in North America, both in terms of revenue and the sophistication of the solutions we are supplying to our customers, we have gradually added a broad range of local support functions. Providing local access to these services along with new demo and training facilities greatly enhances our ability to support our growing customer base in the region."
UTEL expands into Chinese FTTP market
United Technologists Europe Ltd (UTEL), a UK-based research and development organization, says it has agreed a new joint venture with Chinese company Nanjing Orient Info & Tech. Co Ltd. The joint venture will focus, at least initially, on UTEL's Fast Light PON test and protection switching system.In September, UTEL announced that it had finished work on Fast Light, which it calls “a groundbreaking solution for automating the fiber repair process and carrying out protection switching of optical line terminal ports in PON networks” (see “UTEL launches Fast Light FTTH fault detector”). The joint venture will promote the technology in China, the largest and fastest growing fiber access market in the world.The joint venture, known as UTEL Orient, will be based in the country’s commercial capital, Nanjing. As part of the agreement, the Chinese company will market and distribute technologies developed by UTEL, including Fast Light.“We are confident that this new joint venture will be very successful as all three of the big Chinese service providers have indicated that they are in need of a fiber fault-finding solution like Fast Light, especially one which is capable of performing remote diagnostics that the entire industry previously thought impossible,” said Frank Kaufhold, managing director of UTEL.A single PON fiber failure can result in 64 customers losing their TV or internet access. Fast Light allows service providers to identify all customers potentially affected by a fault remotely, within minutes and sometimes before a single call has to be made to the customer contact center, UTEL asserts. This allows the operator to meet restoration expectations whilst dramatically reducing operational costs.“This is an important investment for Nanjing Orient, as the Fast Light technology is like no other we have seen demonstrated before,” said Jason Yang, CEO of Nanjing Orient. “Its commercial and technical benefits are key selling points for us and we can clearly see a viable benefit for both companies involved in this venture.”
Fiber innovations keep up with mobile application demands
Optical fiber is the backbone of the world’s global information infrastructure and a key conduit to enable the ever-increasing demand for high-speed, media-rich mobile communications. Mobile operators need to maximize their limited infrastructure with fiber to keep up with data demand. New technologies help by balancing the upfront cost and ongoing network maintenance costs of fiber while enabling faster deployment of fiber-optic networks. In this article, we’ll look at some of the new technologies that are making fiber easier and more cost-effective to deploy in mobile networks.New demand, new fiber technologies?With more than 5 billion cell phones in the world, mobile operators are scrambling to provide the voice and data services subscribers demand. According to a Cisco study, mobile data traffic is expected to increase 39X between 2009 and 2014, and 66 percent of the data traffic will be video. To handle the rise in data traffic, mobile operators must upgrade legacy T1 backhaul connections from cellular base stations to fiber, and they must significantly increase network density by installing more fiber-fed base stations in more places.There are several new technologies that address the cost and time to deploy new fiber in mobile networks.The first is optical multiplexing – CWDM and DWDM – which is the ability to carry several wavelengths on a single fiber. While wavelength multiplexing isn’t new, the use of CWDM and DWDM in wireless telecommunications networks is new. CWDM enables operators to avoid trenching new cable by making it possible to fit eight wavelengths on an existing fiber; some CWDM systems even scale to 16 and 32 wavelengths per fiber.New, compact CWDM mux/demux adapters make it easier and less intrusive to use CWDM in a variety of situations, including metro and access network applications. CWDM is attractive because it offers a less expensive price point than DWDM. DWDM can carry 40 wavelengths (some DWDM systems even offer 160-wavelength transport), but the optics and lasers are more expensive than those of CWDM, making DWDM primarily a long-haul technology today.New intelligent technologies also are being added to the network physical layer to address operational expense management and keep pace with the rate of network change. These technologies are sometimes referred to as “managed connectivity” and slash the cost of maintaining a fiber network. Managed connectivity brings the same visibility and management to the physical layer of the network as do other systems for Layers 2-7. Traditionally, physical networks have been tracked and managed through spreadsheets and network diagrams, and some estimates are that network technicians spend up to 70 percent of their time updating tracking mechanisms. Managed connectivity automates the process of tracking the state of the physical network.Managed connectivity is implemented by using microchips, RFID tags, or QR codes on connectors and network elements to feed information about the physical connections to an element management system. With managed connectivity, technicians can know exactly the physical state of the network before they travel to a site for maintenance work. Rather than using spreadsheets or network diagrams that may not be up-to-date, the mobile operator has a complete, real-time picture of what is connected to what. Rather than spending the better part of an hour figuring out where the problem is, technicians can use a managed connectivity map to go directly to the problem and fix it quickly.Fiber-optic connectors also have evolved to support faster and easier fiber deployment by eliminating field splicing. Hardened MultiFiber Optic Connectors (HMFOCs) and similar offerings for indoors have reliable push-on connectors with fewer parts involved in making a given connection. Many fiber jobs are held up while the splicing expert makes connections; push-on connectors eliminate high-cost splicing gurus and let ordinary installers get right to work connecting fiber.Another innovation is rapidly deployable pull-out fiber distribution panels with preconnectorized cables already attached (Figure 1). These panels enable installers to pull out as much fiber as needed without having to pre-measure and order fiber patch cords of specific lengths. The panels fit inside the fiber distribution frame and use six, 12-strand microcables to make 12 connections per fiber, or 72 connections per panel. Excess fiber is stored inside the panel, and each connection is made with the optimal length of fiber.
The above information is edited by 10GTEK.
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