ATX unveils next-gen digital optical amplifier for long-reach deployments

April 28, 2021
ATX Networks introduces its GigaWave Digital Link Amplifier-HUB (DLA-HUB), a field-hardened, gain-flattened EDFA platform optimized for digital optical transport in long-distance multi-wavelength applications.

ATX Networks, a global provider of broadband access and media distribution platforms, has introduced its GigaWave Digital Link Amplifier-HUB (DLA-HUB), a field-hardened, gain-flattened EDFA platform optimized for digital optical transport in long-distance multi-wavelength applications. The DLA-HUB, the newest addition to the company’s GigaWave Digital Optical Transport portfolio, is optimized to enable cable operators and other service providers to reduce the cost and complexity of extending broadband services to residents and businesses in remote regions.

“Closing the gap between the digital haves and have-nots is of paramount importance to our society, ATX and the overall broadband community,” said Dan Whalen, CEO of ATX Networks. “We designed the DLA-HUB to assist broadband service providers in cost-efficiently expanding their footprints to underserved or unserved communities, which will in turn play a critical role in reducing the broadband inequity between urban and rural regions, often referred to as the Digital Divide.”

A critical design feature of ATX’s DLA-HUB is mid-stage dispersion compensation that delivers extended reach and improved performance compared to pre- or post-dispersion compensation modules (DCMs). The improved performance and cost benefits of a mid-stage DCM with reduced EDFA gain include the ability to increase spacing between amplifiers and a reduction in EDFA repeater stations, resulting in an overall reduction in link cost.

Additional design and configuration advantages include flexible add/drop capabilities: The company notes the ability to drop wavelengths at multiple locations along an optical path is especially valuable in long-reach deployment scenarios, as the number of homes passed per mile in rural communities can be fewer than 10. The DLA-HUB’s controller board supports SFP interfaces and a Layer 2 switch fabric, enabling operators to monitor a cascade of DLA-HUBs and accompanying power supplies using a single digital wavelength. Per ATX Networks, this unique capability means that cable operators can avoid dedicating multiple wavelengths for status monitoring, increasing overall system efficiency.

The DLA-HUB platform is a critical component of ATX’s Long-Reach Digital Optical Transport Solution, which includes the GigaWave Digital Link Extender (DLX) multi-wavelength transport platform and the accompanying Digital Link Receiver (DLR). The GigaWave DLX and DLR, which have been deployed by major North American cable operators, enable broadband service providers to cost-effectively deliver as many as 40 wavelengths across passive optical access links of up to 60km. The GigaWave DLX supports Remote PHY (R-PHY) and Remote MACPHY (R-MACPHY) distributed access architectures (DAA), as well as passive optical networks (PON), and small Cell/5G and enterprise business services.

The GigaWave DLA-HUB works in tandem with the GigaWave DLX, or with third-party transport solutions, to extend the delivery of wavelengths of high-speed capacity beyond 160km. The DLA-HUB, which can be strand or pedestal mounted, relieves cable operators of the expense of having to build physical facilities to extend their networks over long distances.

As stated by the company:

The ATX Long-Reach Digital Optical Transport Solution is built on a technology foundation that overcomes historical barriers to serving far-flung service areas, enabling broadband service providers to pursue government-funded broadband initiatives. The ATX DLA-HUB is optimized, for example, to assist cable operators and others in extending broadband to communities recently identified by the U.S.-based Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF) initiative.

“With limited opportunities for organic growth, capturing new broadband subscribers through expansion into remote regions may represent one of the best new frontiers for cable operators,” added ATX's Whalen. “Our new digital optical amplifier platform can play a big role in enabling service providers to affordably and economically deliver broadband to remote regions.”

On May 26th, ATX will host a webinar highlighting the capabilities of its GigaWave Long-Reach Digital Optical Transport Solution and the role it plays in enabling cable operators and other service providers in extending their networks to remote and underserved communities. For more information, visit www.atx.com

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