Essentials of Multi-Fiber MPO Testing

Testing Parallel Optics


MPO connectors increase your data capacity with a highly efficient use of space. But users have faced challenges such as extra complexities and time required for testing and troubleshooting multi-fiber networks.
VIAVI helps overcome these challenges with the industry's most complete portfolio of test solutions for MPO connectivity and helping you out with this video Series: “Essentials of Multi-Fiber Testing”.

While MPO connectors have many benefits and advantages over typical single fiber connectors, there are also differences that introduce new challenges for technicians. This video series provides an overview of essential information that technicians should understand when testing multi-fiber MPO connectors. Each episode will address a key topic surrounding MPO connectors as Tyler Vander Ploeg (VIAVI Solutions) talks with various subject matter experts who share their insight on how to best implement proper testing to achieve optimal performance from the multi-fiber MPO connections in their network.

Episode 1

Overview of MPO Connectors

This episode introduces the Essentials of Multi-Fiber Testing video series as Tyler interviews Matthew Brown about what MPO connectors are, how they are different than single-fiber connectors and why more technicians are seeing them in today’s networks.

Episode 2

Dealing with Contamination on MPO Connectors

This episode takes a closer look at contamination on MPO connectors and new challenges technicians face when dealing with contamination compared to single-fiber connectors. Matt explains why MPO connectors are more difficult to keep clean, how this impacts the MPO connections and provides guidance on how to best implement the Inspect Before You Connect process for MPO connectivity.

Episode 3

Understanding MPO Connector Polarity

This episode dives deeper into the challenges technicians face when dealing with polarity for multi-fiber connections. Matt explains the concept of polarity for traditional duplex fibers and MPO multi-fiber connectors, how the different polarity methods (Type A, Type B, Type C) create confusion in both new construction and network upgrades, and how testing for polarity eliminates these problems.

Episode 4

Understanding MPO Alignment

This episode provides further insight into how proper fiber alignment is achieved for MPO connectors by using the pins and sockets on the connector end faces. Matt addresses some of the confusion that technicians face when performing tests and verifying test references in the field. He also highlights some new connector solutions that are helping address these challenges.

Episode 5

MPO Test

This episode provides further insight into MPO testing as Tyler interview Ed Gastle about the various tests that technicians typically perform on MPO fiber networks. Ed walks through various MPO test instruments and explains the value that each one provides to the technician. He also expands on the growing need in Enterprise and Data Center applications to have native testing of MPO links that are directly plugged into the test instruments.


VIAVI is addressing the evolution in parallel optics with four new–and fast–solutions:

  • FiberChek Sidewinder - The most critical element to insuring quality MPO connections is end-face condition. The Sidewinder inspects all the fibers of an MPO connector in a matter of seconds. Click here to find out more.
  • SmartClass Fiber MPOLx - Measuring length, loss, and polarity for MPO connectors has been a challenge, especially when adapting existing MPO backbones to new services. The MPOLx delivers comprehensive test results in less than 6 seconds for all 12 fibers of the MPO connector. Click here to find out more.
  • MPO Switch - OTDR testing of MPO allows for characterization of the link or channel (uniformity of cable attenuation) as well as fault isolation to prevent unnecessary service interruptions. The MPO Switch reduces test time by 50% and automates test workflow, certification, and reporting. Click here to find out more.
  • Smart Link Mapper (SLM) - The SLM intelligent optical software application helps technicians use an OTDR more effectively, without the need to understand or interpret OTDR results. Each event is displayed as an icon giving users a schematic view of the entire link, known as Smart Link.