Fiber U Self Study

Self Study Lesson Plan: Fiber To The Antenna
Level: Intermediate

Fiber To The Antenna (FTTA)

Intended For:
  • Anyone new to fiber to the antenna (FTTA) for cell towers who wants to learn how it works
  • Designers and installers involved in projects with DAS cabling
  • Managers and supervisors involved in projects with DAS cabling
  • May be used as additional preparation for the CFOS/W Certification Exam
Objectives: From this self-study program you should learn:

  • How FTTA systems are designed
  • How cabling connects all elements of a FTTA cellular antenna system
  • What types of cabling (copper-fiber hybrid) are used in FTTA systems
  • Issues in installing and testing FTTA cabling.


Fiber U Certificate of Completion
When you finish, you can take an online exam on this course to qualify for a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion."


Wireless traffic is growing at a phenomenal rate. AT&T says their cellular data traffic grew 50,000% (that's 500 times) between 2007 (the introduction of the iPhone) and 2014. The landscape is covered with cellular towers to provide geographic coverage, but to handle the growth in traffic, they need more antennas. Towers that one had 3 antennas now have one or two dozen to cover all the new frequencies.

Cell towers 

There are two issues we cover in our FTTA material that affect every cell tower or cell antenna installation (such as on the roof of a building.) The increased number of antennas require more cables up the tower and smaller, lighter fiber cables are replacing the old big, heavy copper coax cables. Then the towers need to connect into the phone system and the towers need more bandwidth in their connections, so those connections require fiber backhaul.

This course will deal primarily with FTTA but will also discuss fiber backhaul, more appropriately covered under the topic of OSP fiber. Fiber U has an OSP fiber optics course also. The course covers how fiber to the antenna systems are designed, installed and tested. The information provided should be useful to the tech doing the installation, their supervisors and management involved in cell tower systems.

Safety is a big issue on FTTA installations. Besides the usual concerns over fiber safety, there are the issues associated with climbing towers and doing work up in the air. Some of the processes developed for FTTA are designed to make installation easier but safety planning and training (OSHA in the US) for all personnel is very important.

You will be instructed to read the references or watch videos and take the quiz (Test Your Knowledge) to complete the "classroom" part of the course.

Get Started

Watch The Video
FOA Lecture 37 Fiber To The Antenna (Cellular Towers)  

Read The Online FOA Reference
FOA Reference Guide, Fiber For Wireless  
FOA Reference Guide, Fiber To The Antenna        
FOA Reference Guide, Testing FTTA  

Test Your Knowledge - FTTA Cabling Quiz    

Fiber U Certificate of  Completion
When you finish the assignments and case study, you can take an online exam on this course to qualify for a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion." The exam cost is $20US.
Go here to take the Fiber U FTTA Certificate of Completion exam. Here are detail directions if this is your first time taking a
Fiber U Certificate of Completion exam.

This information is provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a benefit to those interested in teaching, designing, manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic communications systems or networks. It is intended to be used as an overview and/or basic guidelines and in no way should be considered to be complete or comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a basis for learning, as a reference and for creating their own documentation, project specifications, etc. Those working with fiber optics in the classroom, laboratory or field should follow all safety rules carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any of this material.


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