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FTTH Fast Light Monitoring will Dramatically Reduce FTTH Installation Costs says UTEL

Large sums of money are wasted manually verifying PON installations, which could be used to rollout more fibre according to Frank Kaufhold, Managing Director of UTEL and Inventor of Fast Light

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands 08 October 2012 - Fibre rollout could be significantly accelerated by using automated OTDR monitoring to verify PON installations during rollout, resulting in better quality PON networks at lower cost, according to Frank Kaufhold, Managing Director of UTEL.

"Most network operators only think about automating their repair process when massive benefits can be had, using automated tools to police the installation process would result in increases in quality, efficiency and cost,'' said Kaufhold. "Currently, skilled technicians drive around the country with hand held OTDRs trying to locate fibre breaks. This is expensive and ineffective. If this process could be centralised to a contact centre, fewer operatives would do the same job much quicker. The business impact of this is quite mind-boggling."

Kaufhold's company, UTEL, has developed the technology to make this happen with an OTDR monitoring system called Fast Light. It is the first of its kind, with the ability to see through 128 to 1 splitters without needing to install wavelength dependent mirrors in front of every customer's ONT costing 20 Euros each. The saving for a million customers would equal 20 Million Euros, which could be spent on the expansion of the fibre network itself.

"Before we achieved this, everyone thought that it was impossible. It opens up new and previously impossible business models for operators and service providers. Fast Light addresses a global problem set and will be offered globally in conjunction with selected partners," Kaufhold added.

When a PON goes down, the service providers call centre will be flooded with calls. With this new technology, the first call will result in a Fast Light test, which will locate the fault. Most importantly, Fast Light will identify all of the other customers affected. When the other customers phone the call centre the transaction time can be minimised, as the fault is already detected and being fixed.

For more information about Fast Light visit stand A11 at Broadband World Forum or go to www.UTEL.co.uk/fastlight.php.

Ends

Notes to editors:

Fast Light Q & A

Why should I be interested in Fast Light?
Fast Light will dramatically shift the business case for FTTH. It will enable service providers to build better quality FTTH networks quicker and at less cost. Most importantly Fast Light will enable service providers to reduce fibre faulting time from hours or even days to about 1 Minute! In tomorrow's environment customer service downtime will become ever more critical. A single PON fibre failure can result in 64 customers losing their TV and Internet Access. Fast Light will enable service providers to meet their customer's service restoration expectations. It will dramatically reduce OpEx and fibre repair time.

Don't other products already exist that do the same job?
No. Fast Light's competitor's solutions rely on the service providers fitting a wavelength dependent mirror in front of every customer's Optical Network Terminal. This adds an additional 20 Euros cost for every customer connection. A million customers equals 20 Million Euros of extra expenditure. No wonder the business case has bombed for these solutions.

Why hasn't this been developed before?
Before UTEL achieved it everyone thought that it was impossible. But with a reputation for stretching boundaries UTEL's innovative people did exactly that. Not only did they develop an OTDR that could see through 128 to 1 splitters but also a truly low cost optical test access switch, which changes the business case for this technology from 'difficult' to a no brainer.

What is the benefit for network operators - what differences will it make in the market?
Fast Light will dramatically reduce fibre repair times and repair costs by eliminating the current ineffective faulting processes. Currently, skilled technicians drive around with hand-held OTDRs trying to locate fibre breaks. With Fast Light a call centre operative can do the same job in about a minute.

The business impact of this is quite mind-boggling. When a PON goes down, the service providers call centre will be flooded with calls. With Fast Light, the first call will result in a Fast Light test, which will locate the fault. Most importantly, Fast Light will also identify all of the other customers affected. When the other customers phone the call centre the transaction time can be minimised as the call centre will be able to tell the customer that the service provider is aware of the fault and that the repair crew is already on the way.

Contrast this with the current situation where each of the 64 customers are led through a fault reporting process, which can take minutes, and lead to 64 separate trouble tickets. Fast Light is unique in that it enables five star customer service while at the same time dramatically reducing OpEx and simplifying the network operation problem set.

When will Fast Light be available?
Fast Light was launched at the ECOC 2012 show in Amsterdam in mid September.

Is this a global offering?
Fast Light addresses a global problem set and we will be offering the solution globally in conjunction with selected partners. UTEL is an ethical company with strong environmental principles so will not be providing the solution to companies operating in apartheid regimes.

What differentiates UTEL?
UTEL is unique in that it is a multi-faceted R&D organisation that has grown from nothing to a 15 million Euro turnover without external investment or borrowing. Its strengths are the quality of its multinational team of people and ability to develop radical new technology extremely quickly.

Read the original blog entry...

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