China Telecom tests Huawei's embedded OTDR

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. says it has completed a field test of its embedded optical time-domain reflectometer (eOTDR) technology on the Xinjiang branch of China Telecom's live commercial fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) network.

Huawei Technologies Co Ltd. says it has completed a field test of its embedded optical time-domain reflectometer (eOTDR) technology on the Xinjiang branch of China Telecom's live commercial fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) network.

Unveiled last year, Huawei’s eOTDR technology is designed to save money on testing and diagnostics in passive optical networks (see “Huawei unveils embedded OTDR prototype with high split ratio”). The vendor says the recent field tests have validated the eOTDR test and diagnosis function, and will speed up the commercialization of this technology.

When China Telecom deployed large-scale FTTx networks, the operator faced significant fiber maintenance issues, including fiber cuts caused by construction or rodent damage, and detached and dirty connectors. China Telecom dispatched engineers into the field to analyze and locate faults on site. They attempted to locate the faults on a span-by-span basis, but this was a slow and inefficient process. China Telecom was in urgent need of a testing and diagnosis system to locate and demarcate faults and to simplify operations and maintenance. In addition, the system needed to proactively report alarms in the event of any deterioration in optical network performance, so the engineers could promptly repair and improve the network, Huawei says.

Huawei's eOTDR, which is embedded in an optical module that plugs into the optical line terminal equipment in the central office, works in tandem with the Line Assurance System iManager N2510, to identify physical connections and optical fiber attenuation. OTDR-embedded optical modules are the same size as standard optical modules and can be easily retrofitted on an FTTx network, Huawei says. This technique does not require significant network reconstruction, such as fiber connection modifications or optical network terminal (ONT) adjustment, nor does it interrupt services during the troubleshooting process, the company points out. This technique effectively improves fiber troubleshooting efficiency and reduces management costs, and was therefore an ideal solution for China Telecom's FTTx network fiber testing and maintenance, Huawei asserts.

China Telecom installed Huawei's iManager N2510 and eOTDR modules, and completed testing across its entire live network. Huawei says the test results demonstrated that this technology could locate all backbone fiber faults and the majority of branch fiber faults, work with a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) to demarcate faults and reduce the field engineer workload by 40%. Moreover, once the optical distribution network has been constructed, the equipment can periodically check fiber quality, maintain quality data, and report alarms in the event of quality deterioration, enabling faults to be fixed more quickly, Huawei says.

China Telecom has endorsed the test results, Huawei adds.

For more information on FTTx/access systems and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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