When are Fiber Characterization Services needed?

Dark fiber deals
The demand for fiber characterization services is increasing in many territories due to the increasing complexity of the competitive telecoms markets. In the UK for example, there are many fiber networks operated by different companies. However there are very few new networks being built due to the very high cost of construction and the lack of money in the telecoms industry! This means that as new customers are signed up then often fairly complex dark fiber deals are being done sometimes with several different providers, to stitch together a new fiber route whilst installing the minimum amount of new fiber.
This fiber route then needs to be characterized.
Network upgrades
Since there are few new cables going in, then network operators need to upgrade their existing infrastructure to operate at higher data rates and/or using DWDM or CWDM systems over extended wavelength ranges.
It is likely that older fibers were never tested for Chromatic dispersion or PMD. At 40Gb/s data rates it may be necessary to know the chromatic dispersion precisely so that it can be compensated for with sufficient precision. Following ITU Recommendations, an upgrade from 10Gb/s to 40Gb/s means that the CD compensation has to be 16 times more precise!
PMD was unlikely to be a limiting factor on the performance of 2.5Gb/s systems, but can become critical at 1 0Gb/s and at 40Gb/s it is likely to be a problem on many older fibers.
Mergers and acquisitions
2005 onward saw a revival of merger and acquisition activity in the UK telecoms marketplace.-rho two major cable TV companies nil: and Telewest merged and are now Virgin Media; Cable & Wireless bought Energis; BskyB bought Easynet.
Due diligence studies by purchasers of networks may require an independent audit of the quality and value of the assets being purchased.
New networks
Although there are few new networks being installed in mature telecoms markets such as Europe, there are many territories where new networks are still being deployed. There’s lots of activity in China & other Far East countries as well as development programs in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere.

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