MTP Network Design Considerations

Managing Channels and Future Proofing

For all Data Centre applications

MTP Modular Cassette Network

Below is a summary of some of the aspects of MTP Network Design. If you would like to have a free consultation or site visit by one of our engineers then please get in touch via the contact us link.

Four Key Areas

Optical Considerations

The main difference between an MTP plugable cassette and trunk network and a traditional fibre network is the introduction into each fibre channel of MTP-MTP connector matings.

These extra matings occurr at the rear of each cassette and introduce extra losses into the channels which have an impact on the maximum allowable channel length. The losses can be minimized by utilising the whole range of MTP products available.

Please contact us for a consultation.

Financial Budget

The advantages identified above mean that networks can be installed as and when additional connectivity is required and therefore expenditure can be matched to requirement. There is no need to install redundant links in advance of use.

The advantage of the Complete Connect MTP range of products (M300, M310 and M350HP Series) over competing brands is that it allows a network designer to maintain a high level of performance across the network whilst minimising the costs.

Physical Consideration

  • Top-of-rack network connectivity required
  • Top of rack U space available for networking, % of rack currently utilised
  • Availability of dedicated hall networking Racks (e.g. end of aisle)
  • Separate copper and fibre containment
  • Physical space for fibre trunks
  • Between floor containment – type and protection to trunks offered
  • Physical space for fibre trunks

Expectations around Moves, Adds and Changes

Two main advantages of using MTP solutions over traditional fibre networks are the speed/ease of installation and the ability to easily add 24 fibre links in stages without disruption – it takes minutes to add an additional 24 fibre link to an existing MTP network.

As long as the network has been correctly designed with MACs in mind, the installation advantages of MTP enable an increase in connectivity – simply lay the cable and plug-in the MTP connectors.

Advantages and disadvantages of implementing Traditional LC and MTP cabling solutions


Traditional Cabling using LC to LC panels MTP Solutions using MTP Trunks, harnesses and Cassettes
Installation Time within Data Centre HIGH LOW
– Product Only
– Product and Labour
Rack Space for Cable Management HIGH LOW
3u panel mtp couplers
fibre patch cord


Traditional Cabling using LC to LC panels MTP Solutions using MTP Trunks, harnesses and Cassettes
Fault Isolation EASY MEDIUM
Single PORT Replacement EASY MEDIUM
Cabling Maintenance MEDIUM LOW

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Considerations on using MTP Based Networks

Key Points to Note

  • M300 products use MTP standard connectors and LC / SC standard connectors and so will be suitable where a combination of either shorter runs or fewer connections are required
  • M310 products use MTP ELITE connectors and LC / SC premium connectors (giving reduced insertion loss at each mating) and so will be suitable when channel lengths are longer or more connections (such as the introduction of Zonal or Horizontal distribution) are required
MTP Housing Panel 1U for MTP modular cassettes
  • MTP Harnesses (hybrid trunks / fan-outs) allow connectivity without the need for rack space
  • MTP-MTP cross connects can be used as an alternative to LC cassettes in the main distribution area and so reduce both the U space required and the number of connections in the channels
  • M350 HP products give direct cabling to zonal areas or active equipment and can remove U space requirement
  • The MTP 24 fibre connector can be used where rack space is heavily restricted

Physical considerations

1. All cassettes have MTP® male internal rear connectors and will require an MTP® female connector for a correct mating
2. All M300 and M310 products are manufactured to be used with only MTP® adaptors that are Key Up – Key Down ensuring continuity of fibre (fibre 1 to fibre 1) at each adaptor
3. Refer to product specifications of trunks and ruggesdised fan-outs to ensure the connector to connector distances you require are based around our definitions of trunk and ruggedised fan-out lengths (i.e. when breakouts and stub lengths

LC patch cords

4. Only Complete Connect products can be used across a link
5. MTP-MTP cross connects can be used in the Main Distribution Area (MDA). To do this the LC cassettes in the MDA are replaced with MTP adaptors housed in adaptor plates. This decreases the insertion loss across the channel and enables greater channel distances to be achieved because 2 LC matings have been removed
6. The 24 fibre MTP® connector can be used to double the density of fibre within MTP® adaptor plates
7. The 24 fibre MTP® connector can be used to half the number of cables to a cassette.

 Optical considerations

Maximum channel lengths are calculated using the Complete Connect channel calculator application tool
Channel lengths can be increased by using M310 products instead of M300 products which reduces the insertion loss at each connector mating
Channel lengths can be increased by using M350 direct cabling products to reduce the total number of connectors in the link
Channel lengths can be increased by using MTP–MTP cross connects instead of LC cassettes
Channel lengths can be increased by using direct cabling such as ruggedised fan outs instead of trunks and cassettes

1U and 3U modular cassette housing panels

Tools Required

1. The Complete Connect design application tool with ensure step 1 is passed
2. The Complete Connect Installation Guide will demonstrate how to manage polarity correctly.
3. Cable ties for trunks, transition glands for ruggedised fan-out (supplied with all fan-outs), recessing panels to give extra room for patchcords (standard with all panels) and following the cable specifications when laying cables overhead or underfloor.
4. LC cleaning tool. MTP cleaning tool (approved by US Conec). Appropriate light source and power meter. Appropriate reference patch leads. Visual scope – All tools are available from Complete Connect.

What Installation Steps are required?

The same principles apply whether you are installing a 24 fibre link either between 2 buildings, connecting an office floor to a comms room or creating hundreds of channels in a data centre. There are 4 main steps to adhere to: –

Step 1 – ensure that the link being created (distance and number of connector matings) meets the required standard.
Step 2 – ensure that the polarity is managed across the link and in accordance with the network design
Step 3 – ensure physical forces on the cables and connectors are managed by using strain relief on the cables to limit the tension in the cabling and maintain bend radii in both the cabling and patching according to the allowed specifications
Step 4 – follow the fibre connection procedures that you should use when connecting any type of fibre connectors together. Before connecting a fibre to a cassette or connecting 2 MTP connectors via an adaptor, you should always clean both fibre ferrules with approved cleaning tools, visually inspect both ferrules using an appropriate scope, repeat until the ferrules are clean, and test with a light source and power meter (that is properly referenced)
Step 5 – if the tested link is giving insertion losses greater than expected repeat step 4. NEVER insert a connector into a cassette without the cleaning and inspection process in step 4 being completed

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