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Liquid Telecom Invests in EXFO’s Unique iOLM Technology to Facilitate Fiber Deployments in Africa

Published on June 17, 2015

EXFO’s iOLM application has been selected due to its ability to reduce OPEX, training and truck rolls by turning traditional OTDR testing procedures into clear, automated, first-time-right results for technicians of all skill levels. 

QUEBEC CITY, CANADA, June 17, 2015 — EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO; TSX: EXF) announced today that Liquid Telecom is following up its recent purchase of a bundle of EXFO OTDRs with upgrades to intelligent Optical Link Mapper (iOLM) licenses after realizing the added value and cost savings offered by this innovative solution in terms of training, support and repetitive truck rolls.

The Liquid Telecom Group has risen to the challenge of harnessing Africa’s digital future by building and deploying the largest single-fiber network across the continent. This FTTH network using GPON architecture spans Africa’s fastest-growing economies, stretching in excess of 18 000 km across Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho and South Africa. This important project is underscored by its own specific set of challenges, mainly arising from the African continents geography, remote locations and the introduction of new and continuously developing skills required by operational staff.

In an effort to bridge this gap, Liquid Telecom recently turned to EXFO’s iOLM solution offering a first-time-right, no-training-required approach to OTDR testing. Launched in 2011, the iOLM is an OTDR-based application designed to simplify OTDR testing by eliminating the need to configure parameters, and/or analyze and interpret multiple complex OTDR traces. The iOLM’s advanced algorithms dynamically define the testing parameters, as well as the number of acquisitions that best fit the network under test. By correlating multipulse widths on multiple wavelengths, the iOLM locates and identifies faults with maximum resolution—all at the push of a single button.

“The iOLM’s advanced automation enables a wider choice of frontline technicians with a variety of fiber‑optics‑engineering skill levels to characterize end‑to‑end fiber links in the same way that our expert OTDR technicians would, thereby providing expert-level analysis even out in remote and challenging regions,” said Liquid Telecom’s Keith Rowley, Chief of Infrastructure Architecture, Planning & Deployment. “Not only are the comprehensive link view and fault diagnosis enabling us to lower training and support costs, they are also freeing up our more experienced technicians to concentrate on added-value, expert-level tasks. In addition, the ability to integrate the iOLM’s automatically generated schematic reports with our network records inventory system allows for a more detailed view of our tested operational environments.”

 “Liquid Telecom’s decision to employ the iOLM solution to cope with its training and remote support issues confirms the key benefits of this tool: optimal performance and easy-to-understand, first-time-right results,” said Stéphane Chabot, Vice-President of EXFO’s Physical-Layer Test Division. “Various fiber deployments around the world are facing similar skill-level challenges, with a need for expert-level solutions to reduce OPEX while ensuring fast and effective network delivery.  This is true in the case of major projects such as FTTH, or when new technologies are being deployed by technicians who have less experience with fiber technologies (i.e., FTTA or DAS installations). In all of these cases, the iOLM is the ideal solution for addressing these challenges.”

EXFO’s iOLM is available as an option for both singlemode and multimode fiber applications, and is compatible with most of EXFO’s OTDR portfolio. Visit our website for more information about the iOLM.

About The Liquid Telecom Group

Liquid Telecom is the leading independent data, voice and IP provider in Eastern, Central and Southern Africa. It supplies fiber-optic, satellite and international carrier services to Africa’s largest mobile network operators, ISPs, financial institutions and businesses of all sizes.

Multi-award-winning Liquid Telecom has built Africa’s largest single-fiber network, which runs from the north of Uganda to Cape Town, currently spanning over 18,000 km across borders and covering Africa’s fastest-growing economies—where no fixed network has existed before. 

Liquid Telecom’s network provides connectivity onto the five main subsea cable systems landing in Africa; WACS, EASSY, SEACOM, SAT3 and TEAMs. Working under various brands, the Liquid Telecom Group has operating entities in Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, UK, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The company was named Best African Wholesale Carrier in 2012, 2013 and 2014 at the annual Global Carrier Awards.

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