What’s the difference? OLT vs. ONU vs. ONT

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As communication networks transition to all-optical networks, optical access networks will gradually replace copper wire access networks. Copper wired broadband networks will face major problems in the future years due to the rapid expansion of high-speed data and video services, the rapid reduction of fiber network installation costs, fierce rivalry among operators, and government backing. Broadband through copper lines will inevitably be superseded by a fiber-optic broadband access network. Globally, the age of large-scale optical broadband access network construction is approaching. Therefore, understanding optical network concepts and terminology becomes critical.


1.What is ONU?

ONU (Optical Network Unit)–ONU devices serve as the link between the customer’s equipment and the PON. After the PON splitter, it receives optical signals from the PON and converts them to electrical signals. On the transmit side, it converts electrical signals into optical signals and sends them across the PON.

2.What is ONT?

ONT is an abbreviation for Optical Network Terminal. An ONT is a device that serves as the PON’s endpoint in the telecommunications chain on your end. Another acronym to be aware of is ONU, which stands for Optical Network Unit. The terms ONU and ONT are frequently used interchangeably. They are, for the most part, the same. Simply put, an ONT/ONU is a piece of user-side equipment.

3.What is OLT?

Optical Line Terminal (OLT) is an acronym for Optical Line Terminal. An OLT is a device that acts as the passive optical network’s endpoint for your ISP (PON). The OLT serves as a connection point between a PON and your ISP’s main network. An OLT is simply ISP equipment.

4.What’s the difference? OLT vs. ONU vs. ONT

Optical fiber communication is becoming increasingly prevalent. What most people are familiar with is ONU/ONT. Some people are still unsure of the distinction between OLT, ONU and ONT.

The OLT is a gadget located at the central hub of your ISP.

*First, working in FTTH (Fiber to the home).

ISPs provide service to your home, and there is usually user equipment, which we call ONU/ONT. It is commonly referred to as ONT. Fiber to the home typically includes equipment in our home; in this case, ONT is the same meaning as ONU.


*Second, working in FTTB/FTTO (Fiber to the building/Office).

ISP provides service to your building; utilize a 4 port or 8 port ONU; and connect a network cable to your residence.

ISP provides service to office chassis, employs a 16/24 port MDU, and switches network cables to each computer.


In this case, fiber does not enter your home, but rather to a node, which is either an ONU or an MDU (Multiple Dwelling Unit). There will be no ONT.

After the comparison, we may infer that ONT will only appear in Fiber to the end-user, whereas ONU can work in multiple applications.

5.Hot Optical Access Network Products Recommendations.

Brand Category Model
Huawei ONT EG8145V5
Optical Access Boards ASNB
Huawei Access Network Other Models SFP-1000BaseT
FiberHome ONT HG6245D

If you want to order Huawei OLT products, welcome to visit:  Shop Optical Access Network at Router-switch.com .

Explore Optical Access Network Products:

Huawei OLT

Huawei ONT


FiberHome OLT

Cisco Catalyst PON OLT

Related Topics:

What is GPON?

What is the Difference Between OLT and ONT?

What’s the OLT/Optical Line Terminal?


What is ONU: Concept, Features and Types

What is ONT GPON: OLT vs. ONU vs. ONT & Huawei ONT

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