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EXFO launches TestFlow cloud-based process automation

EXFO has launched TestFlow, its new process automation and compliance application that helps mobile network operators to streamline and automate complex testing procedures during the construction and service turn-up phases of fibre- based mobile networks. This includes centralised radio access network (C-RAN), fibre-to-the-antenna (FTTA), distributed antenna system (DAS) and small cell deployments. TestFlow is a cloud-based application that automates the test process and ensures compliance to operator-specific methods and procedures. Backed by EXFO’s industry expertise, TestFlow empowers operators to track deployment progress, audit test results in real time, and analyse process inefficiencies to optimise fronthaul mobile network deployment and performance. The TestFlow software works with EXFO’s ecosystem of FTB field testing platforms, as well as third-party field test devices. TestFlow breaks down complex test procedures into a step-

Nokia adds WDM capabilities to mobile fronthaul portfolio

New optical platforms from Nokia Networks will simplify and reduce the cost of installing mobile fronthaul, enabling operators to implement large-scale centralised radio access network (C-RAN) deployments, the company claims. In C-RAN architectures, fronthaul provides the high-capacity link between the radio equipment on the mast and baseband processing equipment in a centralised location. Global spending on mobile fronthaul equipment is anticipated to grow annually by 24 per cent to reach $1 billion by 2020, according to market research firm Ovum. Adoption of this architecture is hindered when high-capacity fibre links aren’t available. Now Nokia has introduced five new products aimed at mobile fronthaul, which exploit wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) to ease implementation by making more efficient use of fibre capacity. This can reduce capital expenditures by up to 32 per cent, compared with using dark fibre alone, Nokia claims. The new 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM) optical platforms also offer wavelength translation, making it vendor-agnostic, faster and simpler to deploy and more cost effective by avoiding the need to have coloured optics in radio and baseband equipment. Andrew Schmitt, founder and principal

by-step automated sequence that guarantees field technicians have access to the right test parameters and procedures, in turn certifying that network construction and installation jobs are completed correctly and to the right specifications. The end result is fewer installation issues and project errors, and a significant reduction in repeat truck rolls. TestFlow also comes with powerful reporting capabilities – all test data is centrally stored to facilitate assessment via contextually relevant analytics. This gives operators real-time visibility into field testing performance, and the ability quickly to identify performance trends and project status for informed business decisions. ‘With TestFlow, EXFO is bringing forward a highly differentiated application comprehensively to address field test process automation and compliance for operators. Our aim is to drive efficiency and reduce operating expenses by automating the flow of information effectively and accurately throughout critical testing phases in the field, and to empower decision makers with access to actionable, real-time and trusted data,’ said Stéphane Chabot, vice president of EXFO’s physical layer test division. ‘TestFlow ultimately ensures highly efficient and better-quality jobs, enabling service providers to maximise return on investment through on schedule project delivery and a significant reduction in future service issues.’

40 FIBRE SYSTEMS Issue 11 • Spring 2016

partner, Cignal AI, said: ‘LTE-Advanced will totally saturate fibre capacity previously designed for 4G networks and Ethernet backhaul. Nokia’s solution allows operators

Anritsu 64Gbaud DAC simplifies verification of 400GbE devices

Anritsu has introduced the G0361A, a 64Gbaud two-bit digital to analogue converter (DAC) with dual-channel 2x1 multiplexers. When connected to the MP1800A signal quality analyser, it creates what the company claims is the industry’s first test set-up that supports signal generation and bit error rate (BER) tests for high baud rate signals, such as 128G PAM4 (four-level pulse amplitude modulation). This combination eliminates the complex setup and configuration issues associated with legacy systems while also minimising capital equipment costs, for more efficient testing of the next-generation of high- speed devices, modules, and systems, including 400 Gigabit Ethernet.

The MP1800A is a flexible platform that incorporates built-in pulse pattern generator (PPG) modules for generation of high-quality, high- amplitude signals, as well as a high-sensitivity error detector (ED) module. Each MP1800A PPG or ED module comes with one, two or four channels to support multichannel synchronisation

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to scale fibre resources by adding capacity through WDM, making it economically viable for operators to deploy fronthaul networks at scale in support of their move to centralised RAN as a path to 5G.’ The product range includes the 1830 VWM Photonic Managed Unit (PMU), an optical multiplexing unit for combining multiple wavelengths over a single fibre with management capabilities for service level agreement (SLA) and demarcation. The 1830 VWM Translation Line Unit (TLU) is a wavelength translation unit for adding colour to ‘grey’ non- WDM optical signals. The 1830 VWM TLU/ PMU-4 is an outdoor-hardened unit combining multiplexing management functions for small cells with wavelength translation. End-to-end network monitoring is provided by the 1830 VWM Optical Supervisory Unit (OSU). In addition, a site monitoring module provides proactive monitoring of alarms based on user-defined inputs at cell site locations with the ability to turn on/off appliances and devices. Sam Bucci, senior vice president and general manager of optical networking at Nokia, said: ‘Recognising the need of mobile operators to move to centralised RAN architectures, we have been collaborating with some of the largest operators in the world to expand the 1830 VWM portfolio. Through 30-plus customer engagements, we’ve been able to develop a toolkit that will successfully tailor our fronthaul solution to fit any number of deployment scenarios.’

of up to eight channels in total, each at 32Gb/s. The G0361A connects with any of the MP1800A 28G/32G multi-channel PPG modules. With a dual-channel 2x1 multiplexing function in the input section, the G0361A can generate signals ranging from four-channel x 32Gb/s non-return to zero (NRZ) to 128G PAM4 (64Gbaud). The 128 PAM4 signals can be generated using half-rate 32Gb/s x 4 input rather than a pair of 64Gb/s signals. In combination with the MP1800A, synchronised multiple 128G PAM4 signals are supported.

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