Test Your Network: How an Industry-First Optical Fiber Multimeter is Changing 5G Testing Forever

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EXFO’s new approach to fiber testing with its revolutionary Optical Explorer Optical Fiber Multimeter (OFM) allows veterans of the testing industry to experience that satisfaction.

“It’s quite fun and quite remarkable to see the technicians hook it up and, within minutes, start getting results of, ‘Gosh, OK, got the first continuity established,’ then moving on to the next fiber and the next fiber and the next fiber and, within a few minutes, they’ve gotten through their task list,” said Maury Wood, Business Development Manager at EXFO.

“Along the way, if they see there’s a problem, they can start using some of the other features just to understand what’s going on between here and there and what they can do to try and mitigate those issues.”

Those features include being able to shine an infrared light down a fiber and test its strength with a second device, getting a link map view of the fiber to understand what events are happening and exploring impairments on the fiber with the Fault Explorer. With an intuitive device with a display not unlike a smartphone’s, even rookie technicians are able to get up and running with the multimeter.

With 5G demand set to skyrocket, fiber deployments are set to shoot up in volume, as well, and with them the need to make sure towers and networks actually are functioning properly.

“The bandwidth and latency goals of 5G are such that, whether it’s in a metro area or a more rural area, it’s requiring something like 10 to 100 times more fiber infrastructure to support those performance goals,” Wood said. “So, you can imagine that, in a competitive business environment our customers are operating in, to get 5G services to the market as soon as possible, they’re having to correspondingly hire a lot of technicians to get that work done.”

Those technicians will work faster and get more done if they have the functionality of the Optical Explorer in their hands.

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