What Are The Types Of Fiber Optic Cables?

by Angela Hedrick

The optical fiber data transmission method uses light pulses traveling through a long fiber, often constructed of plastic or glass. Signal disruption from metal cables should be minimized for optical fiber connections. The fact that electromagnetic interference has no impact on optical fibers is another factor. The fiber optic cable uses complete internal reflection to reflect light.

A core, cladding, and outside coating make up an optical fiber. While glass and plastic are widely used, other materials can also be employed, depending on the required transmission spectrum. The Data Center Cabling Solutions helps solve any problems. The component of fiber connectivity that transmits light is at its core. The cladding material frequently has a refractive index that is 1% lower than the core material.

Types of Fiber Optic Cables

Numerous different types of fiber optic cables are often used in fiber optic cable assemblies to carry out their intended functions.

Single mode and Multimode Fiber

Modal light signals are sent using fiber optic lines. When a light beam travels through a fiber, it follows a mode. Both single-mode and multimode fiber cables are available.

Single-Mode Fiber

The most straightforward structure is a single-mode fiber. Because of its incredibly small core, its edges do not cause any signals to be refracted. For Internet and telephone applications, single-mode fiber optic cables are frequently utilized since they can carry signals more efficiently than multimode cables.

Pros of Single-Mode Fibers

  • The smaller core of single-mode fibers enables them to handle data transmission over greater distances and carry higher bandwidths.
  • Single-mode fibers are useful for long-haul communications because they can transfer signals over considerably greater distances with little to no signal loss.
  • The reduced dispersion of single-mode fibers, which also reduces signal distortion, enables higher signal quality over longer distances.
  • Single-mode fiber is the perfect choice for high-speed data applications because of its thinner core’s ability to accommodate higher data rates.
  • Signals can go farther without the need for signal boosters on single-mode fibers since they attenuate signals less.

Cons of Single-Mode Fibers

  • Compared to multimode fiber, single-mode fiber cables, and associated equipment might cost more.
  • The installation method is more difficult and time-consuming since the smaller core size necessitates perfect alignment.
  • Single-mode fibers are more brittle and vulnerable to breakage during handling and installation due to their reduced core size.

Multimode Fibers

The second kind of fiber optic cable is multimode fiber. Comparatively speaking, it is ten times bigger than single-mode cable. The light beams can pass through the core in a variety of ways, such as by taking a number of distinct routes or operating in a number of different modes. Only short-distance data transmissions are possible with these cable types. Consequently, they are utilized for joining computer networks, among other things.

Pros of Multimode Fiber

  • Compared to single-mode fiber, multimode fiber cables, and associated equipment are often less expensive.
  • The larger core size allows for more accommodating alignment during installation, which simplifies and speeds up the installation process.
  • The compatibility of multimode fibers with less expensive light sources, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), further lowers costs.

Cons of Multimode Fibers

  • Larger core sizes limit multimode fiber’s ability to transmit data over greater distances and at higher data speeds.
  • Multimode fibers are less effective than single-mode fibers for long-distance transmission because they have increased dispersion and attenuation.
  • Dispersion can result in signal deterioration over longer distances since multimode fibers are more prone to it.
  • Modal dispersion in multimode fibers, which happens when various light modes follow different routes and arrive at different times, slows down data transmission rates.


Single-mode optical fibers provide faster data transfer rates and greater transmission ranges, but they are more expensive and require precision installation. Although more affordable and simpler to deploy, multimode optical fibers have bandwidth and distance restrictions. The individual network requirements and the available budget determine whether single-mode or multimode fibers should be used.

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