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PMD field audit reveals investment losses

Lightwave Magazine

Polarization-mode dispersion (PMD) is a parameter of great importance in modern optical communications. PMD-induced temporal broadening has the same impact on system performance as that created by chromatic dispersion (CD), although it is caused by a different mechanism. The excess PMD causes intersymbol interference, resulting in increased bit-error rates in digital systems. Thus, just as does CD, PMD limits the information transmission capacity per optical channel in long-distance optical telecommunications systems.

An important difference between the two types of dispersion is that CD can be compensated for via reasonably simple means, while PMD compensation is much more complex and costly and may not be a viable investment in many cases. Therefore, it is important for service providers to learn as much as they can about the PMD characteristics of the fiber in their networks. FiberWork, a company that specializes in PMD diagnostics, has conducted a measurement audit of PMD in fibers installed between 1997 and 2002 in Brazil. While this audit has clear implications for carriers operating in that country, the fact that a reasonable amount of the fiber was manufactured elsewhere in the world and imported into Brazil means the audit results should also be of interest to carriers worldwide that installed new fiber during the same time period. (...)

The complete article is available online in PDF document version or PDF version of the magazine or at Lightwave's Website.