What’s The Difference of ODF, Fiber Termination Box, Fiber Distribution Box?

With the coming of 5G and big data era, more and more high-density and high-bandwidth applications emerge, meanwhile, people require higher and higher transmission rate, optical communication is becoming the trend of the future.

To realize the connection of fiber optic cable, we often need to use ODF(optical distribution frame), fiber optic termination box ( rack mount fiber optic patch panel, fiber outlet), fiber distribution box for fiber management in the fiber optic link. However, many friends always feel confusing, today we will discuss these 3 types of products.

Common Ground

First, let us learn the common point among ODF, fibre optic termination box and fiber optical distribution box, actually, they have similar function, we sort out them as following 4 aspects:

1.fiber fixation   2. fiber splicing   3. fiber termination and optical signal splitting  4. appropriate space to meet minimum bending radius

The Difference 

Next, we are going to focus on their difference. Here are their images and brief introduction separately:

1 . Fiber Optical Termination Box

Rack mount fiber patch panel 


19” 12 port fiber patch panel                                                                                            rotatory 24 port fiber patch panel

Sometimes, we also name the metal fiber terminal box as fiber optic patch panel,usually mounted on 1U height 19″ rack in the data center. Its conventional port numbers are 24, 48 ports, but generally at least 12 ports, also some are designed to be wall mountable.

Fiber optic outlet

ftth wall outlet mini fiber termination box image for blog

1 port ftth wall outlet                                                                                                                                        2 port fiber optic faceplate

The fiber wall outlet is small fiber termination box that usually placed at the end of the horizontaloptical cable; It leads out drop cable by coupler to the fiber patch cord to realize the fast connection. It is the nearest terminal device to connect ONU (Switching equipment or PC). The fiber optic terminal box port numbers are usually with 2 ports, and some ones are with 1 port, 2 ports and 4 ports, they are usually for wall-mounted or desktop applications.

2. Fiber optic distribution box

Optical fiber distribution box is an interface device for connecting the feeder cable and the distribution cable; They often use in outdoor, corridor, indoor environment. It is widely applied in FTTH, FTTB fiber optic networks. The optical distribution box is usually 24 or 48 port, and some are designed with 4, 6, 8, 12,16 ports for the small business or villa application, they mostly are wall mount, while pole mount is an option.

optical fiber distribution boxes image for blog8 port Fiber optic distribution box                                                                                                                             16 port fibre distribution box

3. Optical Distribution frame

ODF (Optical Distribution frame) is an optical fiber distribution equipment specially designed for optical fiber communication equipment rooms. This equipment is flexible in configuration, simple in installation and easy in maintenance, and convenient in fiber management. It is an indispensable piece of terminal equipment for fiber optic communication that can realize fiber cable organization, fiber fusion and fiber network access. The ports range conventionally is 12 to 144. 


12-144 Fiber Optical Distribution frame


In summary, we concluded that they vary in the following two points: 1. the number of interfaces  2. use environment. Regardless of the complexity of these 3 types of fiber optic boxes,  actually, they are a bracket for the coupler and never participate in any data transmission, the installer chooses them by different application requirements.