The Feature Articles in this month's issue are based on lectures given at the NTT Tsukuba Forum 2012 workshop held on October 19, 2012.
It has been 40 years since the NTT Research and Development Center was opened in 1972 in Tsukuba.
The research and development of optical fiber technology also has a history of roughly 40 years.
The current optical broadband service infrastructure, which connects 17 million customers, is the result of developing technologies such as single-mode fiber, optical cables, optical interconnects, and operation and maintenance systems.
However, the system should be practically usable if a stable level of coupling efficiency that is suitable for the operational application can be ensured by optimizing the refractive-index-matched materials, optical lenses, and probe position.
For example, until now, it was necessary to have a person in the communications building who would inject optical test signals into fibers. Twenty years ago, when telephone services were dominant, if work was undertaken only when lines were not being used, there was little effect on customers.
In addition to locating faults, we can also detect tiny identification (ID) patterns embedded in remote connectors, creating the potential for entirely new facility operation scenarios.
In passive optical networks (PONs), optical splitters are placed at locations close to the customers to increase the efficiency of equipment sharing.
Then an AR image of the terminal matrix is drawn on the monitor based on a unique ID, and this can be used to direct the work.
Also, because the state of the work is being monitored, the database can be built and updated autonomously.