The growing deployment of fiber in the access networks allows service providers to offer new high-bandwidth services to a larger base of end customers. To facilitate their service expansions they enhance their networks by introducing new OLTs and ONUs, which are capable of supporting new technologies and advanced requirements, and provide cost reduction without sacrificing their service quality levels.
While incumbent OLT and ONU vendors must ensure that their products keep up with the service providers' requirements, emerging vendors have the opportunity to introduce their products and secure a foothold in the market. This creates a strong need for both service providers and vendors to enhance the testing of their OLTs and ONUs. TraceSpan addresses these needs with the Multi-ONU Emulator for testing of OLTs, and with the OLT Emulator for testing of ONUs.
The traditional approach for testing an OLT imposes several significant challenges for the test engineers. On the one hand, it requires complex test setups with hundreds or thousands of ONUs, fiber connections to each of the ONUs, multiple optical splitters and power outlets and cables for each. On the other hand, such setups provide only partial coverage for testing the OLT and limit the testing of the OLT to specific ONU models.
The Multi-ONU Emulator introduces a new unique and revolutionary testing approach to address these challenges. It allows OLT vendors and service providers to test an OLT without requiring any ONU, while providing additional coverage for testing of functions and options that are not fully covered by the traditional setups of multiple ONUs. While real ONUs may still be used for some test scenarios, the Multi-ONU Emulator can significantly reduce their number, thus saving significant space and reducing power consumption, while ensuring high reliability and repeatability in the tests.
The OLT Emulator is a special mode available in in both the GPON Xpert and the NG-PON Xpert, which allows the ONU can be tested on a stand-alone basis using predefined or user-defined test cases. The OLT Emulator can also play back messages that were captured from an OLT and inject them into the ONU for the purpose of troubleshooting issues, as well as verification of the ONU's interoperability with the OLT.