Have You Used Fiber Optic Wall Plate for FTTx Applications?

Did you notice the square object with jacks installed on the wall before? It is often called as wall plate. There is a variety of wall plates used in everyday life. Almost every room will have one to enable convenient cable deployment inside buildings and houses. As for FTTx applications, fiber optic wall plate is an indispensable component to keep fiber optic link away from dust and damage. This article will mainly give some details about fiber optic wall plate.


What Is Wall Plate?

First, let’s get to know more about the basics of wall plate. Wall plate, also called as wall outlet, workstation outlet or station outlet, is a flat plastic or metal plate that usually mounts in or on a wall (sometimes may be mounted in floors or ceilings). A wall plate has one or more jacks. A jack refers to the connector outlet employed for physical and electrical connection to the network cabling system. According to different networks, wall plates is divided into two types as fiber optic wall plates and copper wall plates. Since optical network has been leading the world trend, today we will get to know more about fiber optic wall plates.

Types of Fiber Optic Wall Plates

Fiber optic wall plate is designed to establish the connection between two fibers. Based on different adapters, fibers, port counts and port orientations, fiber optic wall plates have many classifications.

Classified by Adapter

There are typically four types of fiber optic connectors used in optical network, therefore the fiber optic adapters installed on the fiber optic wall plates are also different. LC, SC, FC and ST adapters are the common types. When you need to find a matching fiber optic wall plate, just check your fiber connector to see if it is the same type as the wall plate.


Classified by Port Count

As for port count of the fiber optic wall plate, a typical wall plate holds up to four ports. For individual homes, sing-port type is mostly used for FTTH network. But for the office buildings, multi-port type is required for FTTD applications. In addition, if other ports are aimed for different applications, the ports can be made as hybrid ports with mixed types of adapters.


Classified by Port Orientation

Port orientation is another way to divide fiber optic wall plates. Using the right orientations can provide fiber links better protection under different environment. Three common types of port orientations are straight, box-shaped and angled.


Classified by Fiber

Fiber optic cables are made of different types of fibers. In order to satisfy the demands for all kinds of fiber cable deployment, fiber optic wall plates are also distinguished by single-mode fibers of OS2, and multimode fibers of OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4. Moreover, single-mode fiber optic wall plate is used for most FTTx projects.

How to Install Wall Plate?

As a reference, here are the recommended steps for installing box-shaped wall plates on the wall:

  • Step 1, determine the location of the new cabling wall plate. Use a pencil to mark a line indicating the location for the top of the wall plate.
  • Step 2, use the hole template to trace the outline of the hole to be cut onto the wall with a pencil. Keep the top of the hole aligned with the mark made in step 1.
  • Step 3, follow the lines and use a drywall keyhole saw to cut out a hole.
  • Step 4, insert the wall plate into the hole. If it won’t fit in, trim the sides of the hole with a razor blade or utility knife.
  • Step 5, secure the wall plate by screwing the box to the drywall or by using the friction tabs.

Fiber optic wall plate is an important part for FTTx applications. Selecting the right one from so many types of wall plates is also a task. All the aspects for your project should be taken into consideration. FS.COM is a place where you can find different types of fiber optic wall plates. You are welcome to get more detailed information in there.

Building MDU Network into Brownfield and Greenfield

Multi-dwelling unit (MDU), namely multi-family residential, are the structures of housing where there are more than one living unit per location. MDU classification of housing has been considered as an important growth opportunity for communication services providers according to the population density and economics of scale. Generally speaking, there are two applications for MDU FTTx network deployments as “greenfield” and “brownfield”. This post will introduce the basic information about MDU and its network building applications.

Three Types of MDUs

In North America, MDUs can be classified into three construction versions of high-rise MDU, mid-rise MDU and low-rise MDU. Here will explain them one by one.

High-Rise MDU

This type of MDU refers to the large multi-story building like condo or apartment with more than ten floors and 128 living units using the internal residential entry. High-rise MDU is typically designed as vertical living style and planned for cabling access to the different stories and sections of the building thereby making sure that the FTTP network functions efficiently and reliably over high levels.


Mid-Rise MDU

Mid-rise (medium-rise) MDU is the leased or owned condo or apartment with up to 10 stories including 12 to 128 living units using the internal residential entry. For new mid-rise MDU, its fiber deployment is similar to the high-rise buildings. However, many old mid-rise MDUs are built as walk-ups and without provisions for new cabling networks. It is a challenge for these mid-rise residential buildings to find space for structured cabling.


Low-Rise MDU

Low-rise MDU is usually known as condo, townhouse or apartment constructed in garden style or horizontal style. There is only up to 3 floors or stories and 12 living units inside the low-rise MDU with external residential entry. The difficulty level for cable deployment also depends on whether the building is newly constructed.


Brownfield and Greenfield Applications

As mentioned above, the oldness and newness of residential buildings will affect the difficulty degree of cable installations. These two types of architectures are also the basic applications for building MDU network. Greenfield means the newly-built housing communities consisting of many separate living units typically joined together in one or several buildings. However, brownfield refers to the MDU that already exists in a typical urban area.

In a Brownfield application, a service provider must deliver fiber into the customer’s premises quickly, efficiently and securely. The ability to connect fibers as they are needed for new subscribers is best served using a simple “plug and play” approach. Thus, the splice storage should provide a demarcation point, such as a fiber demarcation box, equipped with industry standard connectors.


As for greenfield application, a network operator could ideally place the fiber to every living unit during initial construction. Fiber from every unit may then be run back to central closet and spliced as required inside a closure. A box such as the fiber splice box is an optimal and low cost solution.


Fiber Connectivity Methods

In MDU network applications, service providers can use factory-terminated patch cords or fusion-spliced pigtails to connect fibers. Patch cords are efficient connectivity methods because no tools or splices are required in the field to make the termination. Their simple plug and play installation also minimizes the required skills for setting up the connection, which reduces installation time and labor costs.

Fusion-spliced pigtails can alleviate the issues of cable management for massive patch cords and cable waste for long patch cords. However, the fusion splice machine is expensive and specialized training is required. The fusion splicer also requires electrical power in places like MDU hallways where power outlets aren’t readily available.


The building of FTTx network in MDUs has become more and more popular around the world. Project installer should make proper connectivity plan according to different structures of MDUs. The complexity of deployment will also depends on whether the MDU is built in greenfield or brownfield. A successful network deployment in MDU is measured in many ways.

What is FTTx Network?


Since the customers have demanded for a more intensive bandwidth, the telecommunication carriers must seek to offer a matured network convergence and enable the revolution of consumer media device interaction. Hence, the emergence of FTTx technology is significant for people all over the world. FTTx, also called as fiber to the x, is a collective term for any broadband network architecture using optical fiber to provide all or part of the local loop used for last mile telecommunications. With different network destinations, FTTx can be categorized into several terminologies, such as FTTH, FTTN, FTTC, FTTB, FTTP, etc. The following parts will introduce the above terms at length.


FTTx is commonly associated with residential FTTH (fiber to the home) services, and FTTH is certainly one of the fastest growing applications worldwide. In an FTTH deployment, optical cabling terminates at the boundary of the living space so as to reach the individual home and business office where families and officers can both utilize the network in an easier way.


In a FTTN (fiber to the node) deployment, the optical fiber terminates in a cabinet which may be as much as a few miles from the customer premises. And the final connection from street cabinet to customer premises usually uses copper. FTTN is often an interim step toward full FTTH and is typically used to deliver advanced triple-play telecommunications services.


In a FTTC (fiber to the curb) deployment, optical cabling usually terminates within 300 yards of the customer premises. Fiber cables are installed or utilized along the roadside from the central office to home or office. Using the FTTC technique, the last connection between the curb and home or office can use the coaxial cable. It replaces the old telephone service and enables the different communication services through a single line.


In a FTTB (fiber to the building) deployment, optical cabling terminates at the buildings. Unlike FTTH which runs the fiber inside the subscriber’s apartment unit, FTTB only reaches the apartment building’s electrical room. The signal is conveyed to the final distance using any non-optical means, including twisted pair, coaxial cable, wireless, or power line communication. FTTB applies the dedicated access, thus the client can conveniently enjoy the 24-hour high speed Internet by installing a network card on the computer.


FTTP (fiber to the premise) is a North American term used to include both FTTH and FTTB deployments. Optical fiber is used for an optical distribution network from the central office all the way to the premises occupied by the subscriber. Since the optical fiber cable can provide a higher bandwidth than copper cable over the last kilometer, operators usually use FTTP to provide voice, video and data services.

FTTx Network Applications

With its high bandwidth potential, FTTx has been closely coupled with triple play of voice, video and data services. And the world has now evolved beyond triple play to a converged multi-play services environment with a high bandwidth requirement. Applications like IPTV, VOIP, RF video, interactive online gaming, security, Internet web hosting, traditional Internet and even smart grid or smart home are widely used in FTTx network.


FTTx technology plays an important part in providing higher bandwidth for global networks. According to different network architectures, FTTx is divided into FTTH, FTTN, FTTC, FTTB, FTTP, etc. FS.COM provides FTTx solutions and tutorials for your project, please visit FS.COM for more information.

Which One Will You Choose for FTTx? PON or AON?

When it comes to FTTx deployment, there are two competing network solutions which are PON (Passive Optical Network) and AON (Active Optical Network). What is the difference between them? And which one will you choose? PON or AON? You may find the answer from the following contents.



A PON consists of an optical line terminator (OLT) located at the Central Office (CO) and a set of associated optical network terminals (ONT) to terminate the fiber–usually located at the customer’s premise. Both devices require power. Instead of using powered electronics in the outside plant, PON uses passive splitters and couplers to divide up the bandwidth among the end users–typically 32 over a maximum distance of 10-20km.


An active optical system uses electrically powered switching equipment to manage signal distribution and direct signals to specific customers. This switch opens and closes in various ways to direct the incoming and outgoing signals to the proper place. Thus, a subscriber can have a dedicated fiber running to his or her house. Active networks can serve a virtually unlimited number of subscribers over an 80km distance.

Advantages and Disadvantages of PON
  • Advantages PON has some distinct advantages. It’s efficient, in that each fiber optic strand can serve up to 32 users. Compared to AON, PON has a lower building cost and lower maintenance costs. Because there are few moving or electrical parts and things don’t easily go wrong in a PON.
  • Disadvantages PON also has some disadvantages. One of the biggest disadvantages is that these splitters have no intelligence, and therefore cannot be managed. Then you can’t check for problems cost-effectively when a service outage occurs. Another major disadvantage is its inflexibility. If one needs to re-design the network or pull a new strand of fiber from the upstream splitter, all downstream customers must come offline for changing the splitter in the network. At last, since PONs are shared networks, every subscriber gets the same bandwidth. So data transmission speed may slow down during peak usage times.
Advantages and Disadvantages of AON
  • Advantages AON offers some advantages, as well. First, its reliance on Ethernet technology makes interoperability among vendors easy. Subscribers can select hardware that delivers an appropriate data transmission rate and scale up as their needs increase without having to restructure the network. Second, it’s about the distance. An active network has the distance limitation of 80 km regardless of the number of subscribers being served. At last, there are some other advantages like high flexibility for deploying different services to residential and business customers, and low subscriber cost.
  • Disadvantages Like PON, AON also has its weaknesses. It needs at least one switch aggregator for every 48 subscribers. Because it requires power, AON inherently is less reliable than PON.

From the above contents, you can find that both technologies have its advantages and disadvantages. In some cases, FTTx systems actually combine elements of both passive and active architectures to form a hybrid system. Thus, to decide which technology to deploy, you should consider your own unique circumstances.

Originally published at www.china-cable-suppliers.com/pon-or-aon-for-fttx.html