With the prohibitive cost of installing new fiber, service providers often prefer to use installed fiber rather than build new infrastructure. Sometimes, older fibers might have been deemed unusable because of poor performance, in particular due to PMD. In other cases, a lower data rate might have been chosen (e.g. 2.5G) because a fiber with high PMD was considered unsuitable for fast data rates (e.g. 10G). That was before distributed PMD analysis. This innovative PMD measurement method enables service providers to leverage the installed fiber infrastructure to its full potential.
Since traditional PMD measurement techniques only provide a total end-to-end value compared against Pass/Fail thresholds, it used to be impossible to determine what caused a link to “fail” its PMD test, i.e., the whole link, or only localized sections. The distributed PMD analysis approach was developed to avoid such grey areas, and to help network operators tackle the PMD assessment challenge.
EXFO’s FTB-5600 is the very first quantitative distributed PMD analyzer on the market. The technological breakthrough on which it is based provides operators with a cost-effective, time-efficient alternative to costly network upgrades. By breaking down the PMD measurement results, distributed PMD analysis pinpoints high-PMD sections and accurately qualifies them.