Alcatel-Lucent offers network monitoring product based on Bell Labs technology

Current Analysis: Fiber access market being driven by video and data traffic
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Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) has released a network monitoring product that uses a technique developed by Bell Labs to identify and pinpoint network faults.

Using optical time domain reflectometry (OTDR) technology, the product plugs into a network's existing fiber access nodes and integrates with Alcatel-Lucent's Motive Network Analyzer for broadband access networks.

The monitoring product provides a continuous view of the passive optical networks (PONs), which are used to deliver high-speed broadband services to businesses and consumers.

Alcatel-Lucent's embedded OTDR product addresses potential problems with fiber optic networks during the rollout of a new network and once it is in service. During the rollout phase, it provides remote validation of the quality of fiber installation work. During operations, it monitors all lines, pinpoints the location of network problems and reduces the need for field technicians to make multiple visits to a site.

"Technologies such as Alcatel-Lucent's Embedded OTDR solution are fundamental tools that give service providers a better understanding of what is happening in their fiber access networks," said Erik Keith, principal analyst for fixed access infrastructure at Current Analysis.

In a recent webinar, Keith identified a number of drivers of the fiber access market: video and data traffic as well as capital and operational efficiencies. He explained that the fiber access universe is made up of three technologies: active Ethernet FTTH and two types of PON, Gigabit PON (GPON) and Ethernet PON (EPON).

EPON is the most widely deployed fiber access technology worldwide, thanks primarily to early traction in Japan and, more recently, in the burgeoning fixed broadband market in China. Keith identified a number of global EPON vendors, including Alcatel-Lucent, Corecess, Dasan Networks, FiberHome, Fujitsu, Huawei, Mitsubishi Electric, Oki-Fujikura, Sumitomo Electric, UTStarcom and ZTE. He predicts there will be expanding opportunities for EPON vendors in the North American market as well.

For more:
- see Alcatel-Lucent's release
- check out Current Analysis webinar (registration required)

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