Fiber to the Home(FTTH) Solutions

What is FTTH?

FTTH is the short for Fiber to the home, which is a transmission method of optical fiber communication. As the name implies, the optical fiber is directly connected to the user terminal. FTTH is an access method in FTTx, so what is FTTx?

FTTX is a general term for various application types of broadband optical access network. "X" has many variants, which can be fiber to the building (FTTB), fiber to the cabinet (FTTCab), fiber to the curb (FTTC), fiber To the desktop (FTTD), fiber to the home (FTTH), fiber to the premises (FTTP), fiber to the office (FTTO), fiber to the user (FTTu), etc.

FTTx technology ranges from central office equipment in regional telecommunication equipment rooms to user terminal equipment, including OLT (Optical Line Terminal), ONU (Optical Network Unit), and ONT (Optical Network Terminal).

Typical FTTx.jpg 

FTTB (Fiber To The Building) is a broadband access method based on optimized optical fiber network technology, which uses fiber to the building and network cable to the home to achieve the user’s broadband access. Generally, dedicated line access is adopted, which is easy to install and can provide a maximum upstream and downstream rate of 10Mbps (exclusive). FTTCab is similar to FTTC except that its ONU is located in a telecommunications transition box (Cabinet). In FTTCab, the ONU in the telecommunication transfer box is usually 1000 ~ 2000m away from the end user, in which case an ONU cell can support about 500 end users. In FTTC, the ONU is closer to the end user, ranging from 200 to 1000 meters, and can support 8 to 32 end users. The network between OLT and ONT/ONU is called the optical distribution network ODN, and its distance can reach 20km, as shown in the figure.

FTTx structure.jpg

FTTH Related Terms

FTTH(Fiber to the Home)

FTTB(Fiber to the Building)

FTTO(Fiber to the Office)

FTTC(Fiber to the Curb)

ODN(Optical Distribution Network)

OLT(Optical Line Terminal)

ONU(Optical Network Unit)

PON(Passive Optical Network)

EPON(Ethernet Passive Optical Network)

GPON(Gigabit-capable Passive Optical Network

NT(Network Terminator)

ONT(Optical Network Terminator)

P2MP(Point to Multipoint)

CO(Center Office)

FTTH Market Trends

According to the 2020-2026 FTTH market forecast data compiled by IDATE and FTTH Council Europe, which were released during the FTTH virtual cnoference 2020, the number of subscribers in 27+ EU and UK countries will further increase to approximately 148 million. The number of subscribers in 38+ EU and UK countries will reach about 208 million, and the coverage of FTTH/B will reach 73.3% in 2026, which is a significant increase from 23.4% in 2012.

FTTH Market Trends.jpg

It is predicted that the number of users in some countries will increase sharply compared with 2019. For example, Germany will increase by +730%, the UK will increase by +548%, and Italy will increase by +218%. From the perspective of national rankings, Russia may continue to lead, but it is expected that Germany's ranking will rise to second in 2026. In the 2020 ranking, Germany will rank eighth.

Top 15 countries by FTTH home passed in 2021 & 2026.jpg

Check the original report from here : COVID19: FTTH Forecast for EUROPE

Technological development of FTTH

As an access technology, FTTH has been recognized and the technology has matured. There are two commonly used optical fiber access technologies for FTTH, P2P (point-to-point technology) and P2MP (point-to-multipoint PON).

P2P is a peer-to-peer network technology that allows two users without public IP to communicate directly.

PON is a passive optical network, which refers to the ODN (Optical Distribution Network) between the OLT (Optical Line Terminal) and the ONU (Optical Network Unit) without any active equipment but only uses optical fibers and passive components. PON mainly adopts a point-to-multipoint network structure and is the main technology to realize FTTB/FTTH.

PON technology can be divided into narrowband PON technology for narrowband TDM service access and ATM transport-based BPON (APON) for broadband access, EPON technology based on Ethernet packet transport, and GPON that takes into account the integration of ATM/Ethernet/TDM technology. These three types are all PON technologies that have realized FTTX commercially.

Technological development of FTTH.jpg

What is Optical Access Network(ODN)?

ODN is short for optical distribution network. It is an optical transmission physical channel between OLT and ONU. The main function is to complete the two-way transmission of optical signals. It usually consists of optical fiber cables, optical connectors, optical splitters, and supporting equipment for installing and connecting these devices. Composition, the most important part of which is the splitter. The optical distribution network (ODN) mainly has two kinds of light splitting methods: primary light splitting and secondary light splitting.

Centralized versus cascaded splits

The structure of the centralized splits is OLT-splitter-ONU, and the splitters from OLT to ONU are all parallel. In the centralized splitting model, as its name suggested, all optical splitters are centrally located in FDH locations. The structure of the cascaded split is OLT-splitter 1-splitter 2-ONU, and the optical splitter from OLT to ONU is cascaded. In the cascaded splitting model, the optical splitters are located in the FDH (Fiber Distribution Hub) and at OSP locations.

The centralized splitting scenario can only be connected to one splitter, generally a splitter with a larger number of splitters, such as 1:32 or 1:64. Generally, a 1:8 or 1:16 splitter is used for the first-stage splitting in the cascaded split scenario, and a 1:4 or 1:8 splitter is used for the second-stage splitting. The centralized split solution is used in crowded city centers or urban areas to reduce costs and facilitate the maintenance of optical fiber distributed network (ODN) nodes. On the other hand, the cascaded split solution is used in roadside or rural places to cover a wide range of ODN nodes, saving resources and saving money.

Centralized versus cascaded splits.jpg

Working principle of optical splitter

Optical splitter is a core passive component in FTTH solution. Optical splitter is an integrated waveguide optical power distribution device that can split an input optical signal into two or more output optical signals, and the optical input power is evenly distributed on all output ports. For example, an optical splitter with a splitting ratio of 1:4 can divide an optical signal into four equally, and then transmit it in four different channels. At present, the splitting ratio of the optical splitter is generally 1:N or 2:N, such as 1:4, 1:8, 1:16, 1:32, 2:16, 2:32.

The working principle of the optical splitter is: when the single-mode fiber conducts optical signals, the energy of the light is not completely concentrated in the core and propagated in a small amount through the cladding close to the core, that is to say If the cores of the two fibers are close enough, the mode field of the light transmitted in one fiber can enter the other fiber, and the optical signal can be redistributed in the two fibers.

Working principle of optical splitter.jpg

Optical splitter vs WDM

WDM (wavelength division multiplexer) combines a series of optical signals with different wavelengths that carry information into one beam and transmits them along a single optical fiber; at the receiving end, a certain method is used to combine the optical signals of different wavelengths. Signal separation communication technology. This technology can transmit multiple signals on a fiber at the same time, and each signal is transmitted by light of a certain specific wavelength, which is a wavelength channel. In the same optical fiber, two or more optical wavelength signals are transmitted through different optical channels at the same time, which is called WDM. The splitter divides the light of one wavelength into multiple beams for propagation.

Types of optical splitter

According to the principle of light splitting and manufacturing process, the optical splitter can be divided into two types: FBT (Fused Taper) and Planar Waveguide (PLC).

PLC splitter

The PLC Splitteris an integrated waveguide optical power distribution device based on a quartz substrate. Its main function is to divide an optical signal from one optical fiber to multiple optical fibers. The device is composed of an optical splitter chip coupled with the optical fiber array at both ends. The chip is the core component. The quality of the chip and the splitting channel directly affect the price of the entire splitter. The chip has one input and N output terminals. The optical fiber array is located on the upper surface of the chip, and the shell is sealed to form an optical splitter with one input and N output fibers.

PLC splitter.jpg

FBT splitter

The technology of FBT is that two fibers are placed closely together and fused by applying heat while the assembly is being elongated and tapered. The changes of the splitting ratio will be in real-time monitoring. The taper process will end once the splitting ratio meets the requirements. Keep one fiber (the rest is cut off) as the input port and the other end as the multi-output port.

FBT splitter.jpg


The difference in the distribution of the split ratio is also one of the main differences between them. Splitting ratio of FBT splitter can be real-time monitoring, you can create unequal splitter. It is customizable, and the special types are 1:3, 1:7, 1:11, etc. For PLC splitter, the splitting is uniform, and the signal can be evenly distributed to the user. For example, a 1 x 32 PLC splitter can divide the optical signal equally into 32 shares and then transmit to 32 users. Sometimes, due to the inconsistency of the number of users and the distance, the optical power of different lines needs to be allocated. In this case, devices with different split ratios are needed, and the FBT splitter is used.


Types of PLC splitter

There are different package types of PLC splitters to meet different application requirements. Here are eight major package types of PLC optical splitters.

Bare Fiber PLC Splitter

Bare Fiber PLC Splitter The bare fiber type PLC optical splitter leaves bare fiber on all its ends. It is mainly suitable for occasions that are not frequently disassembled, such as cable connector boxes and fiber distribution trays. It can be directly installed in the fiber optic splicing closure.

Blockless Fiber PLC Splitter 

Blockless fiber PLC splitter is packaged with stainless tube with connector at the bare fiber ends. Connectors are commonly available with SC, LC, FC and ST types. It can be used in a variety of installation ways because of its small size and stronger packing.

Fan-out PLC Splitter 

PLC splitter with fan-out is mainly used for 0.9mm optical fiber,added with a length of fan-out kit to convert to different single fiber. The end of the fiber can be connected with different types of connectors.

ABS Box PLC Splitter 

The ABS PLC splitter supports the protection of inner components, it is suitable for reliable installation in your system design and manufacturing. It can provide easier and more flexible cabling. It is one of the most widely used types of optical splitters for network operators.

Rack Type PLC Splitter 

Rack type PLC splitter is pre-settled the PLC splitter in the 19” 1U ODF terminal box. Using metal box packaging, it is easy for installation in the fiber optic projects and well protected the PLC fiber optic splitters. 1U Rack Mount Fiber PLC splitter supports SC, LC, FC or ST connectors for choice. The rack type PLC splitters suit for the indoor or outdoor applications in FTTx projects, CATV or data communication centers.

Wall-mounted Type PLC Splitter 

The box of wall-mounted type PLC splitter is usually made of ABS. Providing reliable protection for the direct, terminal or branching connection of fiber. With double deck structure, the upper deck is for PLC splitter distribution, and the bottom deck is for fiber splicing. Wall-Mounted type PLC Splitter is applied to a terminal access link FTTH access system. It is especially for connecting and protection for fiber cable for FTTH. This terminal box applies to the communications room and various network room wall installation or desktop installation.

LGX Type PLC Splitter 

LGX splitter is a type of optical power management device with small metallic box package, which can mount multiple pieces on a 19” frames of 1U / 2U / 3U high unit.

Plug-in Type PLC Splitter 

Plug-in type PLC splitter is a type of optical power management device that is fabricated using silica optical waveguide technology. It features high reliability, wide operating wavelength range and good channel-to-channel uniformity, and is widely used in PON networks to realize optical signal power splitting. 1xN and 2xN splitter can be provided for specific applications.

Different types of PLC splitters are to meet with different needs in OLT and ONT connection and splitting of optical signals over FTTH passive optical networks. HYC offers a wide selection of splitter boxes and modules including ABS box PLC Splitters, LGX splitter, Rack type PLC Splitter and so on.

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