Tip of the Week – 24 Oct 2013

Tip of the Week – How to keep your DWDM/CWDM transceiver prices down

DWDM and CWDM transceiver (SFP, SFP+, XFP) prices have been slowly coming down, but still are often more pricy than non DWDM/CWDM units. Another issue with them is the long lead-times for some channels. The reason for the long lead-times is the availability of specific lasers for a channel, a supply & demand problem. Typically more commonly ordered channels are stocked. For less common ones, often the transceiver manufacturer does not have the laser in stock and therefor has to order the laser diode first and then build the transceiver, which can take up to 12 weeks.

So what can you do?

First, get a list from the transceiver supplier of all their stock channels and quantity of each channel. This list is often dynamic but gives a good idea of what is available with in a shorter lead-time, at the time the list was generated.
Second, if you know you will need certain channels in the future, ask the supplier to keep them in stock.
Third, although more expensive, purchase channel tunable transceivers. They can be set to any DWDM wavelength in minutes by you or your technician and can be used as fixed transceiver back up for quick channel deployment. Also they are often available for purchase with short lead-times.

To get the best price deal

Try substituting. For example, if you need a 80km 1550nm transceiver, you may also ask to check pricing for 80km DWDM and CWDM transceivers. Occasionally they may be less expensive than the standard 1550 transceiver, due to demand or overstock of some channels.
If you are flexible on the channels, you can ask if they have any over stock on certain channels and for a better deal.
Higher quantity is always good for reducing price, so try to order more than less if you know you will need them in the future.
Also ask if the supplier has any used transceivers that are in good working order. Suppliers will often provide a good warranty with used transceivers and you get a good deal.
Aslo, don’t forget to get a knowledgeable supplier. If your supplier knows little or nothing about fiber optics (just a parts dealer), you may be stuck after your purchase.

Pertinent Products/Services:

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1310/1550 XFP, SFP, SFP+, QSFP+, GBIC, CFP, Zenpak
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OTN FEC G.709 transceivers
Long reach 10G transceivers with budgets of 28dB
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To learn more about this topic and other fiber optic network topics, refer to my following books (publisher McGraw-Hill):
Planning Fiber Optic Networks“, ISBN 0-07-1499199 available from Amazon.com . Table of contents can be viewed at https://telecomengineering.com/books/planning-fiber-optic-network/