Frequently Asked Questions 

If you have additional questions not addressed in this section please contact Customer Service.

1. What is an MT ferrule?

MT stands for mechanical transfer. The MT ferrule is a multi-fiber ferrule in which fiber alignment is dependent on the eccentricity and pitch of the fiber and alignment pin holes. The alignment is dictated by the alignment pins during mating.

The critical elements for fiber alignment are:

  1. The ability to hold extreme tolerances for precision during the molding process
  2. The shape, tolerances and material composition of the alignment pins

2. What is an MPO Connector?

MPO is the industry acronym for “multi-fiber push on.” The MPO-style connectors are most commonly defined by two different documents:

  • IEC 61754-7-1 and IEC 61754-7-2 are the commonly cited standards for MPO connectors internationally
  • TIA-604-5, also known as FOCIS 5, is the most common standard cited in the US

3. What is an MTP® connector?

The MTP connector is a high performance MPO connector with multiple engineered product enhancements to improve optical and mechanical performance when compared to generic MPO connectors.

The MTP connector is in complete compliance with all MPO connector standards including the TIA-604-5 FOCIS 5, IEC 61754-7-1 and IEC 61754-7-2. The MTP connector is intermateable with all generic MPO-style connectors that are compliant to these industry standards. Generic MPO connectors are limited in performance and are not able to offer the high performance levels of the US Conec MTP connector.

4. Is the MTP® connector an MPO connector?

Yes. The MTP® connector is a high performance MPO connector engineered for better mechanical and optical performance.

5. What makes the MTP® connector superior to generic MPO connectors?

The MTP® connector has features and benefits that are not available on generic MPO connectors. Some of the key distinctions include:

  1. The MTP® connector housing is removable. This feature allows the customer to:
    • Re-work and re-polish the MT ferrule
    • Change the gender after assembly or even in the field
    • Scan the ferrule interferometrically after assembly
  2. The MTP® connector offers ferrule float to improve mechanical performance. This allows two mated ferrules to maintain physical contact while under an applied load. 
  3. The MTP® connector uses tightly held tolerance stainless steel guide pin tips with an elliptical shape. The elliptical shaped guide pin tips improves guidance and reduces guide hole wear. 
  4. The MTP® connector has a metal pin clamp with features for centering the push spring. This feature:
    • Eliminates lost pins
    • Centers spring force
    • Eliminates fiber damage from spring
  5. The MTP® connector spring design maximizes ribbon clearance for twelve fiber and multi-fiber ribbon applications to prevent fiber damage.
  6. The MTP® connector is offered with four standard variations of strain relief boots to meet a wide array of applications.
    • Round, Loose Fiber Cable Constructions
    • Oval Jacketed Cable
    • Bare Ribbon Fiber
    • Short boot which reduces the footprint by 45%. Ideal for use in space limited applications.

For more detailed information on the advantages of the MTP® connector, contact US Conec Customer Service

6. What performance should I expect from my MTP® connector?

The chart in the MT Ferrules section of our product catalog, lists the Insertion Loss (IL) and Return Loss (RL) performance you should expect for each ferrule grade. However, improper use or termination can degrade these values. MTP® performance is primarily driven by three factors:

  1. Selecting Quality Connector Components: US Conec supplies several grades of high quality MTP® connector components. Each performance grade is designed to better control the location of every mated fiber pair. This is achieved by our high-performance, injection molded parts which control the key mechanical tolerances. For example, US Conec’s SM MT Elite® and MM MT Elite® grade of MTP® connectors have tighter tolerances on several key attributes, including guide pin and fiber hole diameter and location. To achieve a certain grade of performance both the MT ferrule kit and MTP® connector housing kit need to be of the required grade.
  2. Achieving Physical Contact: Physical contact is heavily dependent on how well the MT ferrule is terminated and polished (i.e. the endface geometry). The MTP® connector is designed to meet Telcordia GR-1435 qualification requirements. US Conec freely shares our best practices documentation to meet this specification. In addition, we offer a world class Training Center in our Hickory, North Carolina facility. Training classes are hands-on tutorials designed to teach the latest in MTP® connector termination processes and test equipment. Physical contact is also dependent on using the proper spring force inside the MTP® connector. US Conec offers different spring force components to achieve physical contact for up to 24-fiber single-mode and multimode MTP® connectors. Please note that for higher fiber count MTP® connectors, an additional loss penalty should be expected. This is due to the incremental increase in required spring force as more fiber rows are added. For higher fiber count MTP® connectors, please contact US Conec to learn what additional insertion loss values may apply.
  3. Ensuring Endface Cleanliness: Defects or debris on a physical contact connector can significantly degrade performance. US Conec offers a variety of cost-effective cleaning products for MTP® connectors and many other connector styles across the industry.

For more detailed information on MTP connector performance, please contact US Conec Customer Service

7. How many times can I mate/demate an MTP® connector and still maintain performance?

The US Conec MTP® connector is designed to exceed the TIA-568.3 specification of 500 mate/demates, the most stringent durability requirement in the industry. Under normal use and proper cleaning, MTP® connectors can survive well over 1000 mate/demates. The “critical elements” of our component designs enable such performance (see FAQ: What is an MT ferrule?). It is a best practice to inspect and clean, if necessary, before every mating. Failing to do so can result in fiber damage, ferrule damage, or debris build-up inside the guide pin holes. All of which impact connector performance.

8. What is the best way to clean connectors with MT ferrules including the MTP® connector?

The best method available for cleaning MT ferrules is the use of an advanced dry cloth cleaning system like the NTT-AT OPTIPOP and the US Conec IBC™ family of cleaners. The anti-static cleaning cloths that are used in both series of dry cleaners are designed to remove contaminants such as dust and oils that can come into contact with the ferrule and negatively impact optical performance.

The dry cleaning solutions offered by US Conec are designed and tested for single pass cleaning and will not leave a residue like alcohol based systems or simply shift the contaminants towards the outer edges of the ferrule like low-grade cleaning clothes and swabs with limited or no anti-static properties.

The OPTIPOP and IBC family of cleaners are designed for use with both male and female connectors and have options for single fiber, ceramic ferrule connectors. The IBC™ cleaners have been designed to work for cleaning connectors residing in the adapter.

The OPTIPOP cassette and card cleaners allow the owner to refill the cleaning cloths which can reduce cost per cleaning below traditional cleaning methods.

9. Is there intellectual property associated with the MT end-face geometry that I should be aware of?

 Yes. US Conec offers a Label License to our customers. 

10. What temperature range can MTP® connectors operate?

US Conec performs an extensive array of environmental and mechanical testing on all of our connector products. For Operational & Non-Operational (i.e. Storage) temperature performance, our test regimen includes:

  1. TIA-568.3: (Data Center industry standard)
    1. Low Temperature: -10⁰C for 96 hours (Operational)
    2. Temperature Life: +60⁰C for 96 hours (Operational)
  2. Telcordia GR-1435-CORE: (Telecom industry standard)
    1. Thermal Cycling: -40⁰C and +75⁰C for 168 hours (Operational)
    2. Thermal Aging: +85⁰C for 168 hours (Storage)


Do you have suggestions for information we should add to the FAQ section?
Please contact Customer Service.