FTTR Technology: Revolutionizing Home Networks for High-Speed Connectivity and Future Innovations


1. What is FTTR (Fiber to The Room)?

With the advent of the digital era and the continuous growth of Internet demand, our home networks are constantly evolving. Fiber to the Home (FTTH) has become the standard for providing high-speed Internet connectivity.

However, with technological advancements, we are now entering the era of FTTR (Fiber to The Room) technology, representing the next major upgrade and technological evolution in home networks.

The core idea of FTTR technology is to extend the coverage of fiber optics to various rooms in a user’s residence, elevating the traditional Fiber to the Home to Fiber to The Room, providing a new gigabit network coverage solution for home networks. This article will explore the principles, advantages, future development trends, and potential impact of FTTR technology on home networks.

Before delving into FTTR (Fiber to The Room), let’s first understand FTTx.

FTTx is an abbreviation for “Fiber To The x,” where ‘x’ represents the specific location where fiber optics reach and the installation of optical network equipment at that location, specifying the range of services provided within that area by these network devices. Specifically, the ‘x’ in FTTx can include different abbreviations representing various applications and scenarios.

  • FTTH: In FTTH, “H” stands for “Home,” meaning fiber reaches the home. In this case, fiber is laid into the user’s home, typically with a modem or fiber terminal device installed in the user’s residence to provide Internet services. FTTH is suitable for individual households, covering the entire home.
  • FTTB: “B” stands for “Building,” meaning fiber reaches the building. FTTB typically introduces fiber optics into multi-unit residential buildings or commercial structures rather than single-family homes. In this scenario, fiber usually reaches a central location within the building, and then Internet services are distributed to individual units via internal wiring.
  • FTTC: “C” stands for “Curb,” meaning fiber reaches the curb. In FTTC, fiber is laid to the street curb where the building is located, rather than directly entering the building. In this case, the final connection is often completed using traditional copper wires (DSL), transmitting the signal to users’ homes.
  • FTTD: “D” stands for “Desk,” meaning fiber reaches the desk. This application is commonly found in business environments, where fiber is laid to each workstation to provide high-speed network connections.
  • FTTx: This is a comprehensive term encompassing various applications and scenarios of fiber reaching users, including all the cases mentioned above. It emphasizes the diversity of fiber as a transmission medium.

Now, let’s return to FTTR. FTTR refers to replacing traditional Ethernet cables with fiber optics, extending fiber to every room, becoming a new coverage model for gigabit-era home networks.

In FTTR, each room has a fiber connection, and a modem is installed in the corresponding room to provide Internet services. This approach upgrades the internal home network to a fully covered fiber network, addressing indoor WiFi coverage issues, providing gigabit bandwidth, and offering advantages such as multi-terminal connectivity, full coverage between floors, and intelligent operation and maintenance.

2. Principles of FTTR Technology

FTTR is an emerging home network coverage model, and its core principle is to extend the fiber optic network to remote nodes to better meet user demands.

Traditional FTTH technology typically introduces fiber optic lines into a user’s home and terminates them at a single point indoors. However, FTTR employs a more advanced approach by bringing fiber optics into various rooms of a user’s residence, achieving a broader coverage.

The main steps of FTTR technology include:

  • Fiber Network Installation: Similar to traditional FTTH, FTTR requires the installation of a fiber optic network. This may involve burying fiber optic cables underground or mounting them on utility poles to transmit signals to various rooms.
  • Optical Network Terminal (ONT): In each room, the fiber optic signal is connected to an ONT, which serves as the terminal device for the FTTR connection. The ONT is responsible for converting the optical signal into an electrical signal to connect to various user devices.
  • Indoor Wiring: After the ONT, the optical signal needs to be distributed to different rooms through indoor wiring. This typically involves using high-quality fiber-to-home gateways to ensure the quality and stability of signal transmission.
  • User Devices: Finally, users can connect to the fiber optic network through devices such as computers, smartphones, smart home devices, etc., to enjoy high-speed gigabit connections.

FTTR technology, with its emphasis on extending fiber optics into individual rooms, represents a significant advancement in home network coverage, providing users with improved connectivity throughout their residences.

3. Composition and Key Devices of FTTR Network

The FTTR (Fiber to The Room) network is a complex system composed of different types of devices to achieve gigabit network connections and full coverage WiFi. The following are key components of the FTTR network.

Key Devices of FTTR Network

3.1 Main Optical Modem

The main optical modem is one of the core devices in the FTTR network. It connects upward to the Optical Line Terminal (OLT) through XG(S)-PON or 10G EPON, handling the task of providing gigabit or 10-gigabit fiber-to-home services by introducing optical signals into the user’s home network. The main optical modem often integrates WiFi 6 router functionality, making it an all-in-one device. It provides interfaces for downward connection of optical paths, transmitting internet signals to various rooms.

3.2 Salve ONU (Optical Network Unit)

The salve ONU is a device that works in coordination with the main optical modem. It connects upward to the main ONU through indoor optical fiber and then provides internet services to terminal devices. The secondary ONU plays a role in transmitting optical signals to various rooms, thereby achieving a fully covered network throughout the home.

3.3 Optical Splitter

The optical splitter is a device used to manage optical signals, facilitating their coupling, branching, and distribution. The optical splitter ensures that optical signals can be correctly transmitted to each room, distributing the signals to terminal devices beyond the secondary ONU.

3.4 Optical Fiber

Optical fiber is the primary medium in the FTTR network, enabling long-distance transmission of optical signals. Optical fiber possesses excellent signal transmission characteristics, capable of carrying high-bandwidth optical signals. When upgrading FTTR, the use of high-quality optical fiber is typically required to ensure signal quality and stability.

3.5 Fiber Optic Panel

The fiber optic panel is used for the access and port output of dual-core optical fibers. Its design takes into consideration the bending radius requirements of optical fibers, providing secure protection for the fiber cores. The fiber optic panel plays a crucial role in connecting and distributing optical signals in the FTTR network.

4. Why FTTR is Needed

4.1 Limitations of Indoor WiFi

In many households, indoor WiFi networks are connected to routers through Optical Network Units (ONUs), and the WiFi signals are then provided by the router. Routers typically support two frequency bands: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. While the 2.4 GHz band can theoretically support speeds up to 300 Mbps, the actual performance is often unsatisfactory due to the higher likelihood of interference.

High-bandwidth applications from users typically require the 5 GHz band, but the WiFi signal transmission capability in the 5 GHz band is weaker, especially facing challenges in penetrating walls. This has led to significant inconvenience for many users when engaging in high-bandwidth applications.

Limitations of Indoor WiFi

4.2 FTTR as a Solution

FTTR technology offers an innovative solution by bringing fiber optics into every room of the home, fundamentally addressing the issue of indoor WiFi network coverage.

FTTR extends fiber optics to every room, providing powerful gigabit network connections. Such network connections surpass traditional WiFi connections in both bandwidth and signal transmission.

A stable and robust gigabit WiFi network can cover every corner of the home, offering low latency, multi-connections, and ultra-high speed. This meets the high-quality network needs of the entire family, allowing people to enjoy VR movies, VR games, 4K videos, real-time meetings, and seamless online courses anytime, anywhere.

4.3 Achieving a Balanced Digital Lifestyle

As the digital era continues to evolve, we increasingly rely on high-speed internet connections to fulfill various needs, including entertainment, work, education, and more.

The introduction of FTTR technology helps build a stable digital lifestyle platform, eliminating the bottleneck of WiFi networks. People can more easily achieve a balance between life and work, enjoying high-quality digital experiences, which has become particularly crucial in today’s society.

5. Advantages of FTTR Technology

The introduction of FTTR technology brings multiple advantages, making it a compelling choice for future home network upgrades:

5.1 High Bandwidth and Fast Internet Speeds

The FTTR solution provides true gigabit bandwidth to each room. The main ONU connects upward through XGSPON or 10G EPON, supporting a maximum rate of 10 Gbps.

The secondary ONU connects to each room through fiber optics, supporting gigabit ports and WiFi 6. This approach avoids the performance degradation caused by WiFi signals passing through walls. The air rate of WiFi 6 can surpass gigabit, offering genuine gigabit bandwidth to every room. This means users can simultaneously enjoy multiple high-bandwidth applications without network congestion.

5.2 Superior Characteristics of Fiber Optics

As a medium for data transmission, fiber optics possess several superior characteristics, including flexibility, non-oxidation, non-corrosion, and immunity to electromagnetic interference.

The lifespan of fiber optics can extend up to 30 years, making it a long-term and reliable network connection.

Additionally, the bandwidth of fiber optics can evolve to exceed 100 Gbps, meeting the demands of future high-bandwidth services and ensuring the sustainability and upgradability of user investments.

5.3 Simple and Aesthetic Layout

Traditional wiring processes may lead to unsightly installations, but FTTR’s full-home gigabit fiber optics address this issue.

Compatible with both visible and concealed wiring, the lines are more aesthetically pleasing, harmonizing with home decor without disruption. This makes network layout no longer a visual obstacle but a harmonious complement to home design, enhancing indoor aesthetics.

5.4 Seamless Roaming and Unnoticed Switching

FTTR technology provides seamless roaming capabilities, ensuring uninterrupted network connectivity as users move between rooms.

The main Optical Terminal Network (OTN) automatically connects, and home WiFi is unified within the main OTN, automatically syncing with secondary OTNs.

Automatic optimization of dual frequencies ensures that terminal devices connect in the optimal bandwidth-carrying state. Seamless roaming enables signal switching between different access points within the home, ensuring the continuity of services.

5.5 Multi-Device Connectivity

FTTR technology supports the connection of up to 256 terminal devices, eight times the maximum connection capacity of traditional networks. This means users can connect a variety of smart devices throughout the home, including computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets, VR devices, and more, without worrying about network congestion.

5.6 Full Coverage Between Floors

FTTR’s full-home gigabit fiber optics use a 10-gigabit OTN 1-to-N model, extending fiber optic connections to every corner of the home. The strong fiber optic transmission capability and higher transmission rates provide longer lifespans for network cables. This also supports a 10-gigabit upstream link and dynamically displays wide technology signals, ensuring high-speed internet connectivity throughout the entire home, from upper to lower floors.

5.7 Intelligent Operation and Maintenance (O&M)

The FTTR cloud management platform offers visual and manageable features for the network, helping operators improve user WiFi experiences, enhance operational efficiency, and reduce on-site visits. The platform can identify faults, performance issues, and provide improvement suggestions, thereby reducing user network problems. Additionally, it can recognize user characteristics, offering operators more business opportunities.

6. Future Development Trends for FTTR

FTTR technology represents one of the future trends in home network development. As the digital era continues to evolve, the demand for high-speed internet connections will consistently increase, and FTTR is poised to become a key technology in meeting these demands.

  • Higher Bandwidth: With the continuous growth of internet applications, the user demand for higher bandwidth will continue to rise. In the future, FTTR technology will provide higher bandwidth to meet user demands for high-traffic applications such as 4K/8K videos, virtual reality, and augmented reality.
  • Smart Homes: With the proliferation of smart home devices, FTTR will become a critical technology supporting these devices. It will ensure that these devices have high-speed, stable internet connections, enhancing the convenience and efficiency of home life.
  • Integration of 5G and FTTR: The integration of the rise of 5G mobile communication technology with FTTR will be a future trend. 5G will provide higher mobile internet speeds, and FTTR will offer fixed broadband connections, complementing each other to provide users with more connectivity options.

According to IDATE’s estimates, by the end of 2025, global FTTR users will reach 22 million. This indicates that FTTR, as a future fiber optic connection technology, will be widely adopted globally. As more households and businesses seek high-speed internet connections, FTTR will continue to assist operators in developing high-quality broadband services.

Worldwide FTTR Households’ Deployments (Millions)
Worldwide FTTR Households’ Deployments (Millions)

The future outlook for FTTR is promising, especially in countries and regions that have already established high coverage of fiber optic networks. With ongoing technological advancements and the growing demand for high-speed internet, FTTR will become a crucial tool in meeting these demands, providing users with an improved network experience.

Echo Huang

Echo Huang is an expert wordsmith and marketing professional at Bonelinks with more than 8 years of experience in high technology businesses – fiber optics, IoT, and telecommunication. She is very glad to share industry knowledge and communicate with others.

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