Alcatel-Lucent adds integrated OTDR capabilities to PON offering

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has announced it is trailing a new integrated optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) capability for its PON systems. The OTDR capability is designed to enable service providers to evaluate new deployments and troubleshoot problems on existing networks without truck rolls or separate OTDR test sets.

Oct 16th, 2012

Alcatel-Lucent (Euronext Paris and NYSE: ALU) has announced it is trailing a new integrated optical time-domain reflectometry (OTDR) capability for its PON systems. The OTDR capability is designed to enable service providers to evaluate new deployments and troubleshoot problems on existing networks without truck rolls or separate OTDR test sets.

The OTDR feature comes in the form of a “smart transceiver” with OTDR sensor capabilities that is inserted into Alcatel-Lucent’s Intelligent Services Access Manager (ISAM) optical line terminals (OLTs). The transceiver works with Alcatel-Lucent’s Motive Network Analyzer to perform the OTDR tests up to the second splitter and report on the test results. While Optical Zonu showed off such a transceiver at OFC this past March, Stefaan Vanhastel, marketing director for Wireline Fixed Access at Alcatel-Lucent, told Lightwave that Bell Labs developed the technology used here. The company will partner with at least one transceiver manufacturer to produce the modules; Vanhastel declined to reveal which optical transceiver vendor or vendors will be involved.

The OTDR technology is currently in trials with a pair of carriers, one in Asia and the other in the Middle East, Vanhastel revealed. It should be generally available in the first quarter of next year. The functionality will be plug-and-play, which means that fielded OLTs will not need to be upgraded to take advantage of the integrated OTDR capabilities. The latest release of the Motive Network Analyzer will be required, Vanhastel said.

“Technologies such as Alcatel-Lucent’s Embedded OTDR solution are fundamental tools that give service providers a better understanding of what is happening in their fiber access networks,” said Erik M. Keith, principal analyst, fixed access infrastructure at Current Analysis, via an Alcatel-Lucent press release. “Knowing where a problem occurs allows service providers to send technicians to the right place, speed up problem resolution, and provide customers with a better service experience. As such, this solution is a key enabler for protecting service providers’ fiber assets and revenues.”

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