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PLC Splitters Deployment Strategy—Cascaded or Centralized?

PLC Splitters Deployment Strategy—Cascaded or Centralized?

PLC splitters is commonly used fiber optic splitters of fiber optic networks such as FTTx (e.g. FTTH, Fiber to the Home) and PON (Passive Optical Network). In a PON system, the PLC splitter functions to share both cost and bandwidth of the OLT (Optical Line Terminal) among multiple ONTs (Optical Network Terminations) as well as reducing the fiber lines required in the OSP (outside plant). Depending on the customer distribution, there are two common deployment strategies of PLC splitters—Cascade and Centralized.

Cascaded Splitting

In the cascaded splitting model, the PLC splitters are located in the FDH (Fiber Distribution Hub) and at OSP locations, as shown in the picture below. Splitters in OSP, namely cascaded splitters, help minimize the amount of fiber that requires to be deployed to provide service, reducing distribution cable material costs. However, there are some disadvantages of this strategy. Because the cascaded splitters create inefficient use of OLT PON ports and increase the testing and turn-up time of customers.

PLC splitters -cascaded splitting

Advantage & Disadvantages Overview
Advantages Disadvantages
• Least Expensive Passive System to Design
— Minimal up-front network CAPEX requirements
— Uses Fiber-lean Feeder and Distribution System
• Limitations on Bandwidth and Adaptability
— No Single Splitter Configuration or Adaptation Point
— High splitting ratio may limit future network scalability and electronics
• Can be efficient
— Where Take Rate is High and Fairly Stable
— Where Growth is Not an Issue
• Inefficient where Take Rate is Low (<50%)
• Complex to Grow/Scale


Centralized Splitting

In the centralized splitting model, as its name suggested, all PLC splitters are centrally located in FDH locations (see the picture below). Using this deployment strategy, the OLT utilization can be maximized which provide a single point of access for troubleshooting. In addition to provide best OLT utilization & flexibility in limited take rate builds, the centralized splitting also provides easy craft access for testing and turn-up, as well as allowing for ease in transitioning to other PON technologies. But nothing is perfect. The cost of the centralized splitting is an increasing cost of distribution cable material.

PLC splitters -cascaded splitting

Advantage & Disadvantages Overview
Advantages Disadvantages
• LCP Consolidates Local Subscriber Configuration
—Ability to service 32 or more (typ. 64-500) Subscribers per PON
—Provides for a central turn-up location pointing to the OLT and ONT
• Requires Truck-Roll to FDH for Splitter Connection
—May increase cost of incremental subscriber turn-up
• Balances network scalability with up-front CAPEX
—Fiber-lean Feeder & Fiber-rich Distribution System
—Provides dedicated Optical Path from FDH to Subscribers
—Easily adaptable for future WDM PON and split ratio changes
• Supports Efficient Growth Strategies


Cascaded or Centralized?

Cascaded splitting strategy is an ideal option particularly when high take rates are certain or in extremely rural areas where fiber costs become more of a factor. Centralized splitting strategy that has its benefits including flexibility, ease of testing, and overall cost efficiency in many applications should be also considered. In a word, the best deployment strategy is the one that meets the requirements and expectations of the provider by reducing CAPEX, optimizing long-term OPEX, and making a future-proof network that can cope with new technologies without dramatic changes. This is why there are sometimes advantages to mixing both of them, creating a hybrid that leverages the advantages of each others.

Three Groups of Concept Comparisons Help You Better Understand Fiber Optic Splitters

Three Groups of Concept Comparisons Help You Better Understand Fiber Optic Splitters

In passive optical network (PON), fiber optic splitter is used as a key component to divide the power of the light over multiple fibers which allows a single PON interface to be shared among many subscribers. When choosing a splitter, we often feel puzzled about some similar concepts. Today, we are going to unravel the mystery of fiber optic splitter through three groups of concept comparisons.


There are two most commonly deployed splitters in the market—FBT (Fused Biconical Taper) splitter and PLC (Planar Lightwave Circuit) splitter. 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. The technology of the device manufacturing is relatively simple, which has the impact on its price as well. 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 the device is higher. Although the cost of PLC splitter is higher than FBT splitter, PLC splitter is more reliable when compared to FBT splitter. Other differences between FBT and PLC splitters are shown as following:


1xN vs 2xN

A uniform power splitter with a 1xN or 2xN splitting ratio configuration is most commonly deployed in a PON system so that the optical input power is distributed uniformly across all output ports. Of course, splitters with non-uniform power distribution is also available but such splitters are usually custom made and command a premium. Thus, they are not commonly used. Here, the letter “N” refers to the number of output ports. It is because of this 1xN or 2xN configuration, the splitter enables to deploy a Point to Multi Point (P2MP) physical fiber network with a single OLT port serving multiple ONTs.


2xN splitter is one more output than 1xN splitter. So, when to use it? Some operators prefer to include a certain level of redundancy in their network to ensure service even when a fiber is accidentally cut. Because the metro network is often constructed in a ring configuration, it makes sense to connect both ends of the fiber to the input of the splitter. In that case, the second splitter input leg will still be accessible from the other side if the connection to the first input leg fails. Thus, in general, the 1:N splitters are usually deployed in networks with a star configuration while 2:N splitters are usually deployed in networks with a ring configuration to provide physical network redundancy.


Centralized Split vs Cascaded Split

Splitters can be deployed in a centralized splitting or a cascaded splitting (also called distributed splitting) configuration depending on the desired network topology. Centralized split typically entails 1×16 and 1×32 split ratio counts. It provides the best optical budget in a single access point. The more centralized, the higher the port aggregation it is which makes network testing, troubleshooting and maintenance more easy and efficient in one location. In addition, it can also improve the utilization of splitter output ports. Cascaded split is possible in 1:4 and 1:8 or 1:2 and 1:16 split combinations. A cascaded split gives the advantage of a lower fiber count in smaller access points which enables PON port economization for sparser zones. Additionally, it can reduce cost in terms of horizontal optical fiber and optical fiber enclosures are much smaller due to lower port count. Thus, this arrangement is not only optimal in rural areas due to the low fiber count but also be the preferred solution in cities due to the smaller size of the network elements. In fact, it is not absolute. The optimal solution will differ also depending on the expected take rate: centralized splitters have a more efficient use of the splitter ports when the take rate is low.



Fiber optic splitters provide capabilities that help users maximize the functionality of optical network circuits. You could choose FBT splitter or PLC splitter according to your budget and expected performance. You could choose 1xN or 2xN configuration depending on your network architecture. And depending on the customer distribution, centralized split or cascaded split can be choose for deployment. In addition, according to different application environments, different package type of splitters such as bare fiber type, LGX box type, ABS box type and so on are available in the market. Fiberstore offers a variety of fiber optic splitters which will always have a right one for you. Visit FS.COM or send e-mail to to get more information.

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Applications of Different Package Type PLC Splitters

Applications of Different Package Type PLC Splitters

As one of the most important component of PON (Passive Optical Network) system. The market of fiber optic splitters has grown rapidly. The most commonly used type of fiber optic splitters are FBT (Fused Biconical Taper) coupler splitter and PLC (Planar Lightwave Circuit) splitters. But with the maturity and development of the splitter producing process, the cost of PLC splitter is close to FBT splitter’s. Thus, people are more prefered to use PLC splitters instead of FBT splitters because of the better performance of PLC splitters. In today’s market, there are many package type of PLC splitters which are designed for different applications. Today, we talk about something about the package type of PLC splitters.


If you are the newbie and first time to buy PLC splitters, you might be curious about the package type of the splitters. Actually, it is not as complex as you think. At present, there are six major package type of PLC splitters according to different applications, i.e. bare fiber splitter, module splitter, rack-mount splitter, fan-out & blockless splitter, Tray splitter and LGX splitter. Of course, these five types are the basic type and there are upgrade version on their foundation offered by different vendors. For example, the following shows us the PLC splitters of Fiberstore with different package types.

  • Bare fiber optical splitter
  • ABS splitters
  • Blockless fiber splitter
  • Fanout splitter
  • Tray splitter
  • Rack-mount splitter
  • LGX splitters
  • PLC splitter in mini plug-in type

The bare fiber splitter is a type of splitters without connectors. Its input and output are designed with bare fibers (generally use ribbon fiber to output). Bare fiber splitters are used for small spaces that can be easily placed in a formal joint boxes and splice closure. In order to facilitate welding, it does not need specially designed for space reserved.


Module splitter, also called cassette splitter, is designed with direct 2.0nm or 3.0nm fiber output. This type of splitter is usually used for patch panel use, such as network cabinet and optical distribution box. It does also need to splice and can better protect the fiber when using. The typical type of module splitter is with ABS box package.


Rack-mount splitter is splitter designed in 19 rack mount metal box. In general, it is with fiber optic adapter in the front panel. Rack-mount splitter is used in 19″ ODF (Optical Distribution Frame).

rackmout splitter application

Blockless fiber splitter and Fan-out splitter are generally called Mini fiber splitter. The former is designed as direct 900μm buffered fiber output pigtail. The latter is designed with 900μm buffered fiber input and fan-out output which can support higher split ratio. They can both be used in splice closure, optical distribution box, as well as installing in tray and rack-mount splitter box to form the tray splitters or rack-mount splitters. Their advantage is that we have no need to splice.

mini-fiber splitter application

In tray splitter, input fibers and output fibers are preinstalled on a tray which easily fit within ODF, the Cross Connection Cabinet and other optical fiber distribution equipment. The splitters are secured within the trays and the trays are tamper-proof to prevent unwanted entry.


LGX splitter is design in a LGX module which is used for LGX chassis application. It is also terminated with adapters and according to different requirements, LGX modules can be inserted into the chassis. In addition, LGX splitter can also installed in rack mount chassis.


There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Thus, so many pacakge type of PLC splitters have been launched to the market to satisfy all kinds of application requirements. Fiberstore offers a comprehensive solution of fiber optic splitters. If you have any requirement of splitter or other components related to PON systems, please visit

PLC Splitter Tray, more easily fit for your Cross Connection Cabinet or ODF

PLC Splitter Tray, more easily fit for your Cross Connection Cabinet or ODF

We had introduced a new type of PLC splitter which called PLC splitter in Mini plug-in type two weeks ago. In that article, we describe what is PLC splitter and why we need so many types of PLC splitters. Today, Fiberstore will continue to introduce another new PLC splitter type here.

As our purpose, Fiberstore always strives to provide the most current products for our customers. The widely and different used with the PLC splitters makes types of the PLC splitter modules become more and more diverse. In the Rack Chassis PLC Splitters category, there is just one type of PLC splitter- the 1U 19 rackmount metal box type. Inder to fullfill this deficiency and satisfy the needs of customers as possible, Fiberstore’s research and testing engineers make an effort to design a new good type product and test it successfully in the applications. This new type Rack Chassis PLC Splitters are designed in Tray type which we named Fiber PLC Splitter Tray.
PLC splitter tray
Although the inner structure of Fiber PLC Splitter Tray is similar to the 1U 19 Rackmount type, the Fiber PLC Splitter Tray’s packaging is more compact and saving space. According to its compact design, its cost is lower than the 1U 19 Rackmount type.What’s more, Fiber PLC Splitter Tray can be used in ODF (Optical Distribution Frame), Cross Connection Cabinet and other optical distribution equipment.

The Comparsion between the Shapes of Fiber PLC Splitter Tray and 1U Rack Mount PLC Splitter:
The Comparsion between the Shapes of Fiber PLC Splitter Tray and 1U Rack Mount PLC Splitter

Fiber PLC Splitter Tray Features:

  • Tamper-Proof Packaging
  • Low insertion loss
  • Low Polarization Dependent Loss
  • Compact design
  • Excellent Mechanical
  • Good channel-to-channel uniformity
  • High Reliability and Stability
  • Wide Operating Wavelength: 1260~1650nm
  • Stability Telecordia GR-1221 and GR-1209


    • Installed in Cross Connection Cabinet and ODF
    • FTTH Fiber to the home
    • PON network
    • CATV
    • Fiber LAN

Fiberstore is a professional manufacturer and supplier of optical networking solutions. There are nine product line of Fiberstore which help your networking solution working perfectly. Fiberstore’s aim is offering the best quality products and perfect solutions, saving customers’ s time and money, making customers enjoy personalization. To satisfy the PLC Splitter demands, we will always strive to deliver more and more good products for your PON solution.

New PLC Splitter Type Launched in Fiberstore

New PLC Splitter Type Launched in Fiberstore

Planar Lightwave Circuit Splitter, usually called PLC Splitter for short, is developed based on unique silica glass wave guide process with reliable precision aligned fiber pigtail in a miniature package and provide a low cost light distribution solution with small form factor and high reliability.

As an indispensable component of Passive Optical Network (PON) systems, PLC splitter is always used to distribute or combine optical signals. Because of the widely use of FTTx (Fiber to the x, which is defined as a collective term for various optical fiber delivery topologies that are categorized according to where the fiber terminates), the splitter technology is valued with its wider operating wavelength (PLC splitter can work on 1260-1650nm wavelength, while FBT can usually work on three different operating wavelengths). In addition, its high quality perfomance, such as the low insertion loss, low Polarization Dependent Loss (PDL), meeting the transmission requirements of different wavelength, spectral uniformity, the average signal assigned to the user, compact structure, small volume, low cost of more points etc., is remarkable and expected as an important component in many network solutions. PLC Splitter in the network see Figure 1.
splitter in the network

Figure 1. PLC Splitter in the network

Why do we need different types of PLC Splitters?
PLC Splitter is installed in every optical network between the PON Optical Line Terminal (OLT) and the Optical Network Terminals (ONTs) that the OLT serves. The simple optical splitter is used in networks to implement BPON, GPON, EPON, 10G EPON, and 10G GPON technology. PLC splitter is based on planar Light wave circuit technology and precision aligning process so that it can divide a single/dual optical input(s) into multiple optical outputs uniformly and is denoted 1xN or 2xN. That is why there are types of PLC splitter designed in 1xN and 2xN, such as 1×4, 1×8, 1×16, 1×32, etc. which we often see in common.

In addition, depending on subscriber conditions or cable length, and even the connectors, different package are produced by the manufacturers so that they can follow clients’ different requirements. The packages we usually see are those such as Bare PLC Splitter, Blockless PLC Splitter, Fanout PLC Splitte, ABS & LGX PLC Splitter and the Rack Chassis PLC Splitter.

Fiberstore’s Newest Type of PLC Splitter-The Mini Plug-in Type
In the beginning of September, Fiberstore has launched a new type of PLC splitter in the ABS & LGX PLC Splitter category. This new product is a LGX PLC Splitter which is designed in mini plug-in type(Figure 2.). The PLC splitter in mini plug-in type is specialized for plug and play(PNP) splitter application. With a lot of advantages, it plays a excellent performance in the PNP network system.It features high reliability, reduce installation time,small size, wide operating wavelength range and good channel-to-channel uniformity and provide a cost effective and space saving product suitable to the ever changing networking requirements, and now is widely used in PON networks to realize optical signal power splitting.
plc splitter in mini plug-in type

Figure 2. PLC Splitter in Mini Plug-in Type

Product Features:

  • Low insertion loss
  • Low Polarization Dependent Loss
  • Compact design Good channel-to-channel uniformity
  • Wide Operating Wavelength: 1260~1650nm
  • High Reliability and Stability
  • Telcordia GR-1209-CORE-2001 Compliant
  • Telcordia GR-1221-CORE-1999 Compliant


  • Installed in Outdoor Cabinet and Floor Terminal Box
  • FTTH Fiber to the home
  • PON network
  • CATV
  • Fiber LAN

Fiberstore always keep running on the forefront of optical technology and devoted to offer a perfect solution of all network systems.Know more about Fiberstore’s products or serves, please log in our website:!