Working With Multi-Fibre MPO Optical Connectors


MPO Connector components


Multi-fibre Push On (MPO) connectors increase your data capacity with a highly efficient use of space and are becoming prevalent in many areas of communications.

But users have faced challenges such as extra complexities and time required for testing and troubleshooting multi-fibre networks.

VIAVI helps overcome these challenges with the industry's most complete portfolio of test and inspection solutions for MPO connectivity and some easy to use “How To“ guides.


Challenges of MPO

Most of the challenges that technicians encounter when working with MPO connectors result from using tools designed for single fibre connectors. e.g. an Optical Loss Test Set (OLTS) can be used to measure length, optical loss, and to check polarity of MPO links by using fan-out cables that break the MPO down into individual LC or SC connectors.

However, this process adds significant complexity to the test process, as well as the expense of cable assemblies and test steps that technicians have previously not had to perform.

Maintaining MPO connector end-face condition is essential to getting the desired performance from these connectors. Using single fibre microscopes designed to inspect the end-faces of single-fibre connectors like SC or LC, by adding dedicated inspection tips for MPO connectors, results in an inspection procedure for these multi-fibre connectors that takes more time than for single fibre connectors.



5 Things to Know Before Working With Multi-Fibre MPO Connectors

5 Things to Know Before Working with Multi-Fibre MPO Connectors  

Fiber technicians are constantly challenged to keep up with new, innovative technologies that can disrupt normal long-standing test and certification practices. Whether you are an installation contractor, an IT manager, or somewhere in between, understanding the key concepts and practices of any new technology (such as MPO) is critical to keeping pace with industry needs and driving business forward.






IEC Publishes First Standard for Testing MPO Installs

The IEC recently published the first standard for field testing of MPO installations.

IEC 61280-4-5 fills a gap in standards by providing clear guidance for how to test MPO systems of various configurations.







Testing Multi-Fibre MPO Networks

VIAVI Application Note: Use Case:Testing MPO Networks

As the use of Multi-Fiber connectors such as MPO continues to grow, technicians that have traditionally worked with single fiber or duplex connectors (such as SC or LC) are overwhelmed with the testing challenges unique to MPO. While the tests they need to perform are the same (i.e. measure length and optical loss, check polarity, ensure end face condition), MPO connectors have several attributes that are more complex than a standard duplex link with LC or SC connectors. As a result, the testing process for MPO connections becomes much more time consuming and complex. This application note covers testing MPO networks with today's new tools.

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VIAVI White Paper: Winning with MPO Testing: How to Test MPO with Confidence and Efficiency

The goal of this White Paper is to help those with a vested interest in fibre technology to better understanding how the growth of multi-fibre connectivity affects how fiber networks are built and efficiently tested, and to arm them with a solid understanding of MPO basics so they’re empowered to choose the right tools for the job. In order to get the lie of the land, MPO key concepts will be summarised.

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Essentials of MultiFibre MPO Testing: Video Series

1. Overview of MPO Connectors

This episode introduces the Essentials of Multi-Fibre Testing video series as Tyler Vander Pleog interviews Matthew Brown about what MPO connectors are, how they are different than single-fibre connectors and why more technicians are seeing them in today’s networks.

 Essentials of Multi-Fibre Testing: 1. Overview of MPO Connectors - Play


2. Dealing with Contamination on MPO Connectors

This episode takes a closer look at contamination on MPO connectors and new challenges technicians face when dealing with contamination compared to single-fibre connectors. Matt explains why MPO connectors are more difficult to keep clean, how this impacts the MPO connections and provides guidance on how to best implement the Inspect Before You Connect process for MPO connectivity.

 Essentials of Multi-Fibre MPO Testing - 2. Dealing with Contamination on MPO Connectors - Play


3. Understanding MPO Connector Polarity

This episode dives deeper into the challenges technicians face when dealing with polarity for multi-fibre connections. Matt explains the concept of polarity for traditional duplex fibres and MPO multi-fibre connectors, how the different polarity methods (Type A, Type B, Type C) create confusion in both new construction and network upgrades, and how testing for polarity eliminates these problems.

 Essentials of Multi-Fibre MPO Testing - 3. Understanding MPO Connector Polarity - Play



4. Understanding MPO Alignment

This episode provides further insight into how proper fibre alignment is achieved for MPO connectors by using the pins and sockets on the connector end faces. Matt addresses some of the confusion that technicians face when performing tests and verifying test references in the field. He also highlights some new connector solutions that are helping address these challenges.

 Essentials of Multi-Fibre MPO Testing - 4. MPO Alignment - Play



5. MPO Test

This episode provides further insight into MPO testing as Tyler interviews Ed Gastle about the various tests that technicians typically perform on MPO fibre networks. Ed walks through various MPO test instruments and explains the value that each one provides to the technician. He also expands on the growing need in Enterprise and Data Center applications to have native testing of MPO links that are directly plugged into the test instruments.

 Essentials of Multi-Fibre MPO Testing - 5. MPO Testing - Play




MPO Inspection and Test Instruments


FiberChek Sidewinder

"All-in-one" handheld inspection and analysis solution for multifiber connectors such as MPO.

The FiberChek Sidewinder is the industry’s first "all-in-one" handheld inspection and analysis solution for multifibre connectors such as MPO. The latest addition to the award-winning VIAVI FiberChek family delivers a completely automated solution to inspect and analyze every fibre of an MPO or other multifibre connectors with industry-leading reliability and speed.


 VIAVI FiberChek Sidewinder





Multi-Fibre MPO Switch Module

All-in-one integrated solution automating OTDR tests of MPO cables

Well suited for use in high-density fiber environments, multi-fibre MPO cables eliminate the expense of running individual patch cords for each service turn-up. Widely used in Data Centers interconnects, MPO cables are spreading into telecom access applications such as FTTH, FTTA or
C-RAN. The use of an MPO switch is the best way to accurately and quickly characterize individual fibers of an MPO cables with an OTDR.


 VIAVI Multi-fibre Switch





SmartClass Fiber MPOLx

MPO Optical Loss Test

The VIAVI SmartClassTM Fiber MPOLx is the industry’s first dedicated optical loss test set that can perform all the test requirements for Tier 1 (Basic) certification using MPO fibre connectivity. The MPOLx provides a source and power meter that integrate essential MPO test capabilities together to ensure a fast and reliable workflow when testing and certifying network links with native MPO connectivity.


 VIAVI MPOLx MPO Connector Loss Test Set


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