FTTH Architecture Methods

FTTH Structure Overview

Not all FTTH network are built in the same way. While network construction and outdoor devices occupy most network cost, choosing suitable FTTH structures are making great impact on commercial case. Network structure may influence future possibilities of updating, network performance and final customer’s satisfactory.

The acritical will make brief overview two FTTH structure categories (Centralization Structure and Cascaded Structure). These two structures decide optical fiber beam split at the network. Fiber optical splitter placement and split ratio will make huge influence fiber patch cord’s placement and quantities, which will network deployment cost finally.

Centralization Structure or Cascaded Structure

PON is basic fiber optical construction at FTTH network. Fiber Optical splitter placement should be the first considering at deciding what kinds of PON structure. Centralization structure adopts central hub’s single stage splitters at star topology while cascaded adopt multi-stages splitters at tree branch topology.

FTTH Network Splitting Level - FTTH Architecture Contruction Methods

Centralization structure usually adopts 1×32 splitters at FDH. Splitters can be placed everywhere. Input cable from splitter connects to central office GPON OLT directly. Output cables will connect to 32 families ONT through patch panel, splicing conjunction. Therefore, PON connects one OLT port and 32 ONT.

FTTH Network Splitting Level Design - FTTH Architecture Contruction Methods

Cascaded structure may adopt 1×4 splitter at the outdoor cabinet. The splitter connects to central office OLT port directly, 4 output cables connecting level 2 1×8 splitters. Under this deployment, 32 fibers (4×8 splitters) can access to 32 families. Cascaded structure contains 2 levels splitters and optical beam split-change.

Centralization structure is flexible to reduce operation cost and maintenance in future while cascaded structure can generate returns at the fastest time and reduce secondary cost as well as fiber maintenance cost. There needs to specify these structures advantages and disadvantages before deployment. More cases will be showed to distinguish cascaded structure and centralization structure similarities and differences.

Fiber Distribution Hub (FDH) Centralization Structure

This structure not only utilize optical fiber splitters efficiently and improve network access at most, but simplify troubleshooting and reset device speed.

FDH - FTTH Architecture Contruction Methods

FDH centralization structure, usually, starts from inner 1×32 splitters. Separated 32 fibers will connect to 32 families ONT by patch panel connecting, fiber optical splicing and point to point conjunction.

Although optical fiber splicing provides high flexibilities at network installation and lowers fiber attenuation at most, there needs higher labor cost and time to deploy and maintain devices. Almost all network has to splice for optical conjunction.

As for pre-terminated solution, factories will assemble connectors which are designed for harsh environment to meet fast deployment and lower installation cost. FDH can be equipped connectors (HMFOC) to connect 12 cores OSP cable at distribution network. FDH and terminal pigtail can be inserted into splitters to provide integrity pre-terminated connection structure.

Adopting FDH centralization method at pre-terminated solution have lots of attractive advantages including deployment speed, long-term flexibilities and more functions in the future. Utilizing splitters connectors also can strengthen network access. If certain area cannot guarantee network adoption rate, under further development, adoption will be increased gradually. FDH centralization structure is suitable at such area network deployment.

Optical Fiber Splice Closure Centralization Structure

Central data center trunk cables connect fiber optical closure which contains splitter at distribution point under this centralization structure. Under this situation, FDH is for distribution while the closure is for splicing. Though closures main function is just for splicing conjunction, it can be equipped with splitters to realize expected network deployment. More closures can be deployed at the secondary level to expand network.

Dome Type 3In 48 Cores Fiber Opitcal Enclousure BW A552 - FTTH Architecture Contruction Methods

There needs to lay optical fiber trunk cable from central hub to closure then splicing to splitters. Splitters output cable will extend to other closures. This structure is designed for small network distribution because just needing few closures and splitters.

While closures at centralization structure need to splice inner fibers, devices maintenance cost is extremely low at first. With time passing by, its flexibilities and maintenance cost will gradually grow up. All in all, one main closure and 2 subsidiary closures will cover small area.

Optical Fiber Splice Closure Cascaded Structure

cascaded multiplexing - FTTH Architecture Contruction Methods

Trunk cable from central office get access to closure and pass by the first 1×4 splitter (see picture). Output fibers, then, get access to users next small closure or access terminates. At each smaller closure, distribution fibers will connect to next splitter. Lastly, each unit from buildings or families will connect to those splitters output ports to achieving whole network conjunction.

Adopting optical fiber closure cascaded structure, usually, splice fibers within central closure then to joint splicing fibers into splitters’ input. There is to say, trunk cable will splice to connect splitter’s input then distribution fiber to connect splitter’s output. Splitters input may equip connectors and adapter at factories, this half splicing half pre-terminated installation is popular at cascaded structure network. Remote area or high adoption rate area is suitable for adopting this deployment method.

Cascaded Optical Multiplexing Architecture

This structure is base on cascaded structure equipping very high utilization rate. 1X32 optical beam split and 12 cores trunk cable at service area will take as sample to explain this structure.

There is one cable used to trunk cable and distribution fibers. 1 to 8 fibers are trunk cable fibers, each fiber from central office connect to level 1 service area splitter directly. 9 to 12 fiber will be distribution fiber connecting level 1 splitter and level 2 splitter. Those distribution fibers will be separated into several parts to service certain area network. While distribution fiber 9 to 12 do not connect to central office directly, they will be reused at certain area.

Each trunk cable will be separated at level 1 1×4 splitter, then separated at level 2 1×8 splitter. These fanout cable connect to users directly, providing network services for 32 families. Therefore, combining trunk cable and breakout functions, 12 cores cable can service up to 256 families.

Cascaded optical multiplexing architecture takes effect in large rural or MDU environment. All parts including accessories are small, which will make few influences on environment or building aesthetics.

There needs attention that cascade optical multiplexing structure design, construction, recording, and maintenance cost are large. But fiber optical utilization rate is high and closure cost is lower.


The acritical introduce some common centralization and cascaded FTTH architecture. At each deployment project, user’s expectation, construction plan, and environment are unique. Realizing each structure’s advantages and disadvantages will help to choose suitable architecture for fiber optical cabling.