The world spent a combined 1.25 billion years online in 2020 and the demand for bandwidth use is growing at a rapid pace. But the space for solving the connectivity crunch comes at a premium, even as OSPs transition from copper to fiber optics.

The solution to increasing bandwidth with little or no impact on space is WDM technology, which enable operators to support simultaneous upstream and downstream traffic in a single fiber stand. Its simple design, based on passive components, also makes it very reliable and inexpensive.

INTELDAT Provides Reliable, Compact Bandwidth WDM Technology Solutions

WDM is currently segmented into two main (basic) technologies:

  • CWDM – coarse wavelength multiplexing – which can be deployed using less-expensive lasers and so is more compact and cost-effective for short-haul transmission
  • DWDM – dense wavelength multiplexing – which can typically support up to 96 channels and allows, a significant amount of data to travel along a single network link, ideal for long-haul transmission. DWDM can also be laid over the same network where CWDM is used, allowing upgrades from CWDM to DWDM without significantly impacting existing fiber infrastructure.

INTELDAT is at the forefront of the WDM bandwidth solution, and recent developments make WDM technology commercially attractive in all operational segments provided by national operators, from internet to wireless networks.

Next-Generation WDM

The industry is experiencing two major trends that will continue to drive the future solution requirements:

  • Installation of more fiber, to keep up with bandwidth capacity expansion
  • Conversion to space-saving WDM systems

A need for smaller frames, panels, closures and terminals is driving development of more compact WDM devices, and device assemblies that can be installed inside existing infrastructure.

Some of the-promising WDM options answering the future requirements include:


The 3-Port FWDM is based on thin film filter (TFF) technology. Key benefits include:

  • Low insertion loss
  • Wide operating wavelength range
  • Excellent channel isolation

Free-Space CCWDM

An alternative to the FWDM technology is the free-space Compact Coarse WDM (CCWDM) technology, a mini-wavelength division multiplexing approach that employs thin film technology and free space propagation. Key benefits include:

  • Excellent stability
  • Very low insertion loss
  • Smaller package size
  • High expandability


An Arrayed Waveguide Grating (AWG) is an integrated interference-based device that consists of one input and several output ports. AWG filters can route a wavelength in different adjacent bands separated by a dedicated Free Spectral Range (FSR).

Significant innovations in thermal design have led to development of Athermal AWG device designs (hence, AAWG). Key benefits include:

  • Very compact size
  • High wavelength stability
  • Excellent temperature endurance

5G and other emerging technologies keep driving WDM advances

The benefits of GPON, XGS-PON and NG-PON2 are well documented. In the future, WDM will also allow for the coexistence of other new PON standards as they continue to evolve, helping to make the fiber network future-proof.

With compact DWDM and AWG technologies, next-generation passive optical devices offer more options to support different applications where high-density housing and low footprint are critical.

WDM devices offer a passive, highly flexible solution for upgrading passive optical networks. In Software-Defined Networks (SDN), it enables operators to perform remote troubleshooting, and allows them to turn specific capabilities and elements on and off with a mouse click, for immediate response to traffic issues, capacity surges, and new technology.


In partnership with advanced component manufacturers in the fiber industry, INTELDAT brings new technologies and more reliable and compact WDM equipment to the market. We can deliver the right WDM architecture for every situation.