ProLabs urges MSOs to consider environmental factors for optimal network performance at Cable-Tec Expo 2017


Ray Hagen, Americas Product Manager at optical transceiver specialist ProLabs, has addressed why Multiple System Operators (MSOs) must ensure they make practical environmental considerations before implementing a major network transformation.

Speaking at Cable-Tec Expo 2017, Hagen discussed issues that have arisen as the demand for bandwidth continues to soar, with the need for Distributed Access Architectures (DAA) such as Remote PHY and Fiber Deep to drive digital traffic over fiber closer to customers.

"Driving digital optics out of the head end and into the outside plant presents practical challenges for network operators. Outside the relative comforts of the head end, DAA nodes are in the cable plant, where robust environmental control systems with backup power do not exist. Operation in this extreme temperature is critical to network performance, and we would strongly advise MSOs who are deploying wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) technologies that they do not take performance for granted in these conditions," said Hagen.

He urged MSOs to reflect on their own network vocabulary, focusing on key terms including Commercial Temperature (C-Temp), Industrial Temperature (I-Temp) and Extended Temperature, to ensure they implement the correct devices for their deployment. He also stressed the fact that wavelength drift, impacted by time and environmental conditions, affects all kinds of optics, recommending the use of WDM passive devices to combat this drift thus ensuring no interference or drop in transmission.

"WDM technology utilises passive WDM devices to multiplex multiple circuits onto a single fiber or fiber pair, with the devices having a 'passband' that essentially acts like dividers in a swimming pool to ensure that each wavelength stays in its own lane as it is transmitted across the fiber optic circuit and doesn't drift," he continued.

Cable-Tec Expo will see ProLabs re-launch its Passive WDM Multiplex and Demultiplex portfolio – which ensures the trouble-free operation of next-generation architecture, and includes inside plant/head end demultiplexers which demux the return path of WDM transmission – and outside plant multiplexers which are designed to fit into the splice case environment for multiple applications.

"As the behaviour of the WDM laser becomes less predictable with multiple temperature cycles, at ProLabs, we are constantly investing into research and development to make sure we are on top of issues arising in the market, and our WDM technology enables the smooth implementation of network architecture no matter the environment," concluded Hagen.

Alongside the Passive WDM solutions, ProLabs offer an extensive range of optical and copper transceivers to fit the customer's requirements. Its Industrial Temperature CWDM and DWDM transceivers with wavelength stabilization ensure operation from -40C to +85C and its High Density CWDM transceivers double the capacity of currently deployed CWDM multiplexers, extending the life of existing CWDM equipment. Transceivers range from 100BASE-FX to 100Gb with duplex, simplex (BiDi) and WDM variants. Considering data rate, fiber utilisation and network equipment options, ProLabs is the single source for operators with over 8,000 transceivers to meet their network needs.

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