Tag Archives: fiber optic splitter

Comparison Between Active and Passive Optical Network

As time goes by, in order to meet the need for higher bandwidth, faster speed and better utilization of fiber optics, FTTH access networks designs have developed rapidly. And there are two basic paths of FTTH networks: active optical network (AON) and passive optical network (PON). However, how much do you know about the them? Do you know what’s the differences between the two systems? Now, this article will give a detailed comparison between them.

Active Optical Network (AON)

Active optical network, also called point-to-point network, usually uses electrically powered switching equipment such as a router or switch aggregator, to manage signal distribution and direct signals to specific customers. This switch opens and closes in various ways to direct incoming and outgoing signals to the proper place. Customers can have a dedicate fiber running to his or her home, but it needs many fibers.


Passive Optical Network (PON)

Different from AON, PON doesn’t contain electrically powered switching equipment, instead it uses fiber optic splitters to guide traffic signals contained in specific wavelengths. The optical splitters can separate and collect optical signals when they run through the network. And powered equipment is needed only at the signal source and the receiving ends of the signals. Usually, the PON network can distribute signals into 16, 32 and 64 customers.



As data travel across the fiber connection, it needs a way to be directed so that the correct information can arrive at its intended destination. And AON and PON offer a way to separate data and set it upon its intended route to arrive at the proper place. Therefore, these two networks are widely applied in FTTH systems. However, each system has their own merits and shortcomings. Here is a simple comparison between them.

Signal Distribution

In AON networks, subscribers have a dedicated fiber optic strand. In another word, each subscriber gets the same bandwidth that doesn’t be shared. While the users share the fiber optic strands for a portion of the network. These different network structures also lead to different results. For example, if something goes wrong in a PON network, it will be difficult to find the source of the problem. But this problem does not exist in AON.


As we have noted above, AON directs optical signals mainly by powered equipment while PON has no powered equipment in guiding signals except for two ends of the system.


When running an existing network, it’s known to us that the main source of cost is the maintenance and powering equipment. However, PON uses passive components that only need less maintenance and do not need power, which contributes to that PON building is cheaper than that of AON.

Coverage Distance

AON networks can cover a range to about 100 km, a PON is typically limited to fiber cable runs of up to 20 km. That is to say, subscribers must be geographically closer to the central source of the data.

Of course, apart from what have been listed above, there are other differences between these two networks. For instance, AON network is currently the industry standard. It’s simple to add new devices to the network. And there are numbers of similar products on the market, which are convenient for users to select. Besides, AON is a powered network, which decides it’s less reliable than PON. However, since the bandwidth in PON is not dedicated to individual users, people who use a passive optical network may find that their system slows down during peak usage times.


In summary, AON and PON have their own advantages and disadvantages, but both of them provide practical solutions for FTTH network connection. There is no right or wrong answers when it comes to choose which one of them. FS.COM provides several kinds of PON equipment such as PON splitters and OLT/ONT Units. If you want to find out more, please visit Fiberstore website.

Differences Between FBT Splitter and PLC Splitter

Nowadays, with the further popularization of the optical fiber communication, fiber optic splitter plays an increasing significant role in many of today’s optical network topologies. Although there are variations of splitter types, the two most commonly deployed splitters are FBT (Fused Biconical Taper) splitter and PLC (Planar Lightwave Circuit) splitter. So, when you deploy your network, what kind of splitter you should choose may be a problem for you. And in order to solve this problem, this paper will give you a detailed introduction of differences between FBT splitter and PLC splitter.

Definition of FBT Splitter and PLC Splitter

Before you get to know the features of them, first you should know what them are. Next, each splitter will be introduced.

FBT Splitter – FBT is a traditional technology that two fibers are typically twisted and fused together while the assembly is being elongated and tapered. The fused fibers are protected by a glass substrate and then protected by a stainless steel tube, typically 3mm diameter by 54mm long. FBT splitters are widely accepted and used in passive optical networks, especially for instances where the split configuration is not more than 1×4. The slight drawback of this technology is when larger split configurations such as 1×16, 1×32 and 1×64 are needed.

PLC splitter – A PLC splitter is a micro-optical component based on planar lightwave circuit technology and provides a low cost light distribution solution with small form factor and high reliability. It is manufactured using silica glass waveguide circuits that are aligned with a V-groove fiber array chip that uses ribbon fiber. Once everything is aligned and bonded, it is then packaged inside a miniature housing. PLC Splitter has high quality performance, such as low insertion loss, low PDL (Polarization Dependent Loss), high return loss and excellent uniformity over a wide wavelength range from 1260 nm to 1620 nm and have an operating temperature -40°C to +85°C.

Feature Comparison of FBT Splitter and PLC Splitter

In the past few years, splitter technology has made a huge step forward, especially the PLC splitter technology. This situation resulted in that PLC splitter has become a higher reliable type of device compared to the traditional FBT splitter. Although being similar in size and appearance, the internally technologies behind these types vary, thus giving service providers a possibility to choose a more appropriate solution.

Operating Wavelength – As is mentioned above, PLC splitter can provide a range of operating wavelength from 1260 nm to 1620 nm. But FBT splitters only support three wavelengths (850/1310/1550 nm) which makes these devices unable to operate on other wavelengths.

Operating Temperature – Commonly, FTB splitter is to a high extent temperature sensitive, providing a stable working range of -5 °C to 75 °C. While PLC splitter operates at wider temperature range (-40 °C to 85 °C), allowing its deploying in the areas of extreme climate.

Split Ratio – The split ratio of FBT splitter is 1:8 and it can be higher with higher failure rate. The split ratio of PLC splitter can go up to 64, which is equal to all branches, thus providing a high reliability.

Cost – FBT splitter is made out of materials that are easily available, for example steel, fiber, hot dorm and others. All of these materials are low-price, which determines the low cost of the device itself. PLC splitter manufacturing technology is more complex. It uses semiconductor technology (lithography, etching, developer technology) production, hence it is more difficult to manufacture. Therefore, the price of this device is higher.

FBT and PLC splitter feature comparison


In a word, Compared with FBT splitter, the capacity of PLC splitter is better, but costlier than the FBT splitter in the smaller ratios. You can choose it according to your requirements. Fiberstore offers both FBT splitter and PLC splitter with good quality and low price. Whether in FTTx systems or in traditional optic network, Fiberstore splitter can help you to maximize the functionality of optical network circuits.