EXFO launches fiber tester for monitoring optical networks

March 13, 2007
MARCH 13, 2007 -- The NQMSfiber tester enables service providers to monitor their optical fiber plant 24 hours per day, seven days per week and proactively detect any fiber degradation or precisely locate a fiber cut within minutes, say company representatives.

MARCH 13, 2007 -- EXFO Electro-Optical Engineering Inc. (search for EXFO) today announced the launch of its automated Network Quality Monitoring System (NQMS), designed to maximize the quality of service (QoS) of optical fiber installed in access, metro, and long-haul networks.

Revenue generation for network service providers (NSPs) is increasingly dependant on the ability to provide triple- play services to residential subscribers as well as managing critical data services for corporate clients. With transmission speeds and available bandwidth growing exponentially, these services require a reliable optical network infrastructure.

Consequently, QoS is becoming the key differentiator for NSPs in a very competitive environment in which enterprise customers are demanding quality guarantees through Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Similarly, today's residential subscribers typically have an abundance of choices for voice, video, and data services. With pricing becoming more and more comparable, NSPs need to ensure service availability and quality as a key differentiator in order to minimize customer churn as they compete among each other and against cable multiple-system operators (MSOs).

Following on the success of earlier EXFO Remote Fiber Test Systems (RFTSs), NQMSfiber enables NSPs to monitor their optical fiber plant 24 hours per day, seven days per week and proactively detect any fiber degradation or precisely locate a fiber cut within minutes, say company representatives.

On the strength of EXFO's expertise in optical time-domain reflectometry (search for OTDR), the remote test units (RTUs) of the NQMSfiber system combine leading-edge technology with sophisticated capabilities, such as auto-discovery and provisioning functions, to ensure plug-and-play operability within seconds of connecting a new fiber route to the test unit, says the company. The test device employs a unique learning algorithm, using statistical processes, to reduce or eliminate false alarms and erroneous dispatches.

Implemented on EXFO's NQMS Test Operation Support System (TOSS), which was acquired from Consultronics, NQMSfiber complements existing test applications like NQMSvoice, which is used by carriers for monitoring service quality end-to-end across any type of private or public network for regular telephony as well as Voice-over-IP (VoIP) traffic.

The new NQMSfiber enables NSPs to automatically or manually test their entire optical networks--either on-site or from a remote location--to accelerate service restoration or prevent outages altogether. As a result, this next-generation monitoring system helps NSPs consolidate their maintenance activities and reduce operating expenses, explain EXFO representatives.

EXFO says its NQMSfiber platform is fully scalable, capable of monitoring small, yet critical links as well as ultra-long-haul national networks with large numbers of distributed RTUs, thus providing a cost-effective option for all sizes of optical networks.

"EXFO has reached another key milestone in its product development strategy," contends Etienne Gagnon, EXFO's vice president of product management and marketing. "Over the years, we have established ourselves as the supplier of choice for optical testing applications in the field as well as monitoring systems for fiber networks, which have been deployed globally. The acquisition of Consultronics in 2006 allowed us to apply this expertise to the NQMS platform, used by carriers to ensure network-wide QoS, in order to create a next-generation fiber monitoring solution based on state-of-the-art system components," he says.

The NQMSfiber will be showcased at CeBIT 2007 from March 15-21, 2007 in Hannover, Germany, as well as at OFC/NFOEC 2007 from March 27-29, 2007 in Anaheim, CA.

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