Information on small scale optical systems

I work in a shipyard that is 19th century as far as telecom goes. It's served by a couple of 50 pair cables with a couple of T-1 lines for data. They need over a hundred phone lines and better data service, plus the ability to provide customers with short-term phone and data service to ships that are pierside or in our drydock. Some of the customers want Gigabit-level data service, along with the ability to have a block of phone lines with a call director for a secretary.

When I worked in Telecom 10 years ago it was fairly common to put a compact OC-48 box on a customer premise and lease them whatever bandwidth and configuration they wanted. I'm guessing the technolgy has progressed a lot since then.

What I imagine is a redundant fiber ring around the complex, with terminals in the main buildings and the shops where our CNC equipment is, and additional weather-proof terminals in several locations in our Syncrolift area, our drydock and our pier space. We have a climate-controlled server room in our main building that would be termination point for the incoming fiber link. On one hand it would be nice to be able to run fiber to a remote box onboard the ship and break everything out at that point, but I'm not so sure that running exposed fiber is a good idea in a shipyard environment. Everything would probably have to be AC-powered.

There have been discussions with our carrier about bringing fiber in, so that part is probably doable. I'd like to get some pointers on what kind of equipment is available that might meet our needs, as well as an idea of the cost. I'm thinking that an OC-12 might be enough, but would consider an OC-48 if the equipment wasn't much more expensive.

Anyone have any suggestions?


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Martin Bose
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you might be offered pt - pt microwave access - a shipyard may have issues with getting easy duct access for fibre.

optics / interface costs on muxes mean not much cost uplift from STM-1 / OC-3 -> OC-12 -> OC-48 - except that you tend to need a bigger box :)

work uses the ex Marconi / Ericsson muxes (OMS range) - but i suspect non european suppliers may dominate in the US.

physically running in the cable is most of the cost, so a few extra glass cores to allow you to run several parallel services is not going to cost much for the cable (hardware might be different of course).

my experience is in europe where the carrier will either want 1 clean handover point or to provide voice service all the way to the end points so you need to think about what you want and how to get it.

you need to think about where the service will split between the private and public networks, which runs which bits and so on.

all the PBX suppliers have Voip / IP telephony offerings (and many dont have traditional TDM / copper stuff any more) - Cisco / Avaya/ Mitel and plenty of others, so you may be better off with LAN type connections around the site.

if you need data as well, then you might think about using IP deliverd voice and building a "converged" network using Gigabit Ethernet.

Also many companies now make "industrial" style LAN kit, IP phones and so on - no recommendations though for you on suppliers.

Note you should build it using IP kit which is QoS capable if you want a network mixing voice and data. You might want to look for a local company that can build or rent you a service?

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I imagine you could run the fiber right up the dock side and present a coaxial and copper link from there for the ships. Take their pick so to speak and not that expensive to setup.

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