MPO Testing with TMG & VIAVI | TMG Test Equipment Find out how to optimise multifiber technology & ensure network health with specialised MPO test tools. Check out the rest of this article to learn more!

MPO Testing with TMG & VIAVI

fiber splicing
MPO Testing - Challenges and Solutions | VIAVI
MPO connectors offer network carriers many advantages, but they also present some distinct challenges for network testing.

MPO Testing with TMG

Multifibre Push-on connectors Ė commonly called MPO connectors Ė are a type of fibre optic connector commonly used in high-speed telecom and data networks. Compared to single fibre cables, they offer far greater data capacity within a limited space. However, their greater complexity also presents technicians with some challenges when it comes to network testing. In this blog, we will look at the specialised MPO test equipment helping network providers make the most of multifiber technology while ensuring the health of their networks.

What Are MPO Connectors?

MPO connectors are the main multiple fibre connectors used in high speed networks today. A number of linear fibres are laid across a single ferrule. Originally available with single rows of 8, 12, or 16 fibres, MPOs are now commonly stacked to make connectors of 24, 36, and 72 fibres. They are most often used in high-density, indoor settings as the termination for multiple fibre ribbon connections. While they have been a standard interface in dense trunk cables for years, it is now increasingly common to see MPOs being used in patch panels, servers, and switches.

The main advantage that MPO connectors have over single fibre connectors is their ability to carry much larger quantities of data within a much smaller physical footprint. In order to carry the same amount of data as one 12-fibre MPO, a technician would need to lay 12 separate SC or LC single-fibre cables.

The Importance of MPO Testing

High-speed telecoms and data networks are complex, time-consuming, and expensive to install. Carrying out the right tests is crucial to ensuring that the network is reliable enough to support the applications that will be required of it. Network testing procedures are based on agreed-upon standards. Although the exact standards for testing vary depending on the country or region, they are characterised by a strong sense of uniformity, with most regions using a two-tier system:

  • Tier 1 (basic): Provide Loss, Length, and Polarity information for each link
  • Tier 2 (extended): Optical Time Domain Reflectometer (OTDR) test information for each link
  • Fibre end-face inspection and certification is also a requirement to ensure pristine end-face condition prior to mating.

The Challenges of MPO Testing

When using tools designed for single fibre testing and fiber splicing , each fibre in an MPO connector needs to be individually tested. As the fibres are crowded closely together in a single ferrule, technicians face access issues. They may use a break-out or fan-out cable to separate out each individual fibre from the MPO connector, a process that is time-consuming and cumbersome. Another problem with this approach is that it can get messy very quickly; with so many moving parts, important components can be lost and damaged. If one dust cap is lost, that fibre can quickly become damaged, rendering it useless.

TMG and Viaviís MPO Testing Solutions

To solve the issue of MPO testing, Viavi has developed a number of specialised tools.

The VIAVI FiberChek Sidewinder

A hand-held, automated inspection and analysis tool designed specifically for multi-fibre cables. It can perform accurate end-face inspections of MPO connectors.

The Sidewinder is the preferred and standardised MPO inspection tester globally for one of the major Enterprise Vendors, who use it in their Data Centres globally"

The VIAVI SmartClass Fiber MPOLx

An even more advanced piece of technology,  the SmartClass Fiber MPOLx is the first optical loss test set capable of performing all tests required for Tier 1 certification of MPO fibres. This all-in-one tool delivers test results for 12 MPO fibres in under 6 seconds.

The MPOLx is approved by major Hyperscale Vendors and Viavi have written a Tier-1 MPO testing workflow document in partnership with a major Hyperscale Vendor adapting their testing requirements.

The VIAVI MPO Switch Module

An All-in-one and integrated solution for multifiber MPO cable characterization, certification and troubleshooting

It replaces multi-fiber fan-out/break-out patchcords/cables, has pinned APC MPO port for connection to MPO links to be tested and is automatically controlled by the OTDR

VIAVI offers a number of other specialised MPO testing solutions, which you can explore on our website. TMG is the exclusive distributor for Viavi products in Australia. 

Contact TMG Today

TMG has been providing Australiaís data and telecommunications industries with cutting edge network test equipment for over 30 years. To speak to one of our friendly, experienced team members today, head to the contact section of our website.


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