Terminology Tuesday: MPO & MTP – What’s the Difference?
Speed and efficiency are of ever increasing importance, and hence came into play a myriad of pre-terminated fiber solutions. I realized recently, that I was confused by a fact – I thought that MPO connections and MTP connections were identical, just different abbreviated call-outs by various manufacturers for the same product. Happens often enough, but I wasn’t sure if it was actually correct in this case. I did some homework and am ready to clarify:
An MPO connector is a multi-fiber connector that is defined in two distinct standards, the IEC-61754-7 and the TIA-604-5-D. The term “MTP” is merely a registered trademark of US Conec to describe their product which is compliant with the MPO standard. According to the FAQ section of the US Conec website, differences come in to play as the MTP connector has added features including the ability to change gender or to re-polish in the field. MTPs also have a floating ferrule to improve performance under load and elliptical guide pins to provide for tight tolerance alignment.
My personal confusion became clear as my research continued. I discovered that US Conec’s marketing efforts are directed at making the term MTP ubiquitous for describing an MPO connector (I was right on board with their efforts). They encourage other manufacturers of MPO’s that include their enhanced features to utilize their trademarked terminology. Payback for US Conec: as “MTP” connectors begin to replace “MPO” on specs, US Conec and its licensees effectively become the sole source for sub-components in MPO solutions.
Do you feel the use of this dual terminology creates confusion? Are there other terms like this I should clarify in future posts?