ANGACOM 2019: EXFO launches new category of fibre testing solutions

Created June 10, 2019
Technologies and Products

Canada-based test and monitoring company EXFO launched Optical Xplorer™, the first optical fibre multimeter (OFM). Exfo says the Optical Xplorer makes fibre testing simple for all frontline technicians, beginner, or expert—radically speeding up the process while empowering them to do more on-site. The device verifies optical links in seconds, and if faults are suspected, it finds and identifies them automatically. EXFO unveiled this new product category simultaneously at ANGA COM, Europe’s leading broadband exhibition; and at Fibre Connect, North America’s premier event for fibre broadband professionals.

A revolutionary approach to frontline fibre testing

The company says that Optical Xplorer is more than an improvement on existing test tools—it takes a completely new approach to fibre installation, turn-up and repair. This highly-intuitive job helper boosts frontline technician efficiency; ensures better network quality; and minimises delays and costs associated with escalating problems to expert technicians.

The urgent need to transform fibre deployment testing procedures

Telecom operators are under significant pressure to deploy more high-quality fibre optic networks faster and at a lower cost to meet skyrocketing demand for bandwidth and prepare for next-generation technologies like 5G. The complexity of testing methods of procedure (MOPs), the necessity to outsource and the shortage in skilled frontline technicians make it difficult for both operators and contractors to attain a good return on investment (ROI) while ensuring networks are deployed right the first time.

“Too often, frontline technicians are equipped with test tools that are a compromise between cost, complexity and functionality,” said Stéphane Chabot, EXFO’s vice-president, test and measurement. “With our customers’ challenges in mind, we developed a revolutionary new fibre testing solution that’s easy to use—tailor-made for frontline field technicians, no matter their level of expertise. Optical Xplorer will help operators and contractors accelerate ROI, improve first-time-right metrics and increase customer satisfaction by equipping their technicians with a purpose-built tool and leaner methods of procedure.”

The optical connector can be replaced on-site

Optical Xplorer delivers three key technological innovations:

  • Reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) through lifetime calibration and field replaceable connectors. Hidden costs throughout a product’s life make up a massive, yet sometimes overlooked, part of TCO. Optical Xplorer’s lifetime calibration and patented Click-Out™ optical connector cut costly downtime and logistics associated with factory-based updates, maintenance and repairs.
  • Saves time by exploring only faulty links. The Fault Xplorer™ feature self-launches during the optical link verification process, automatically exploring only those links suspected as faulty, eliminating doubts while saving testing time.
  • Validates link quality in seconds, assigning a 1- to 5-star rating. With the built-in EXFO Advisor™ feature, technicians get the benefit of EXFO’s 30+ years of fibre expertise and sophisticated algorithms at the push of a button, assigning ratings to links based on industry best practices.

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This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.