The Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimode Fiber and Single Mode Fiber Cable

Recently, fiber optic cable becomes more popular in telecommunication because of its great bandwidth, fast speed, long distance transmission and low cost. Single mode fiber and multimode fiber optic cables are important in many networks to transmit optical signals. Though they have the same working principle and functions, each of them has their own advantages and disadvantages.

Multimode and Single Mode Fiber Cable Overview

People who have work experiences with optical networks may be familiar with fiber optic cables. And they may know the basic structure and differences between multimode and single mode fiber optic cable. Here is a simple table showing the basic knowledge of them.

single mode fiber and multimode fiber cable

From the table we can see, multimode fiber cable has a larger core diameter. And it has multiple transmission modes, but they are only suitable for short distance connections. While single mode fiber has a small core diameter, through which only one mode will propagate typically 1310 or 1550nm. Because of that, these cables are often deployed in long distance transmission due to its less dispersion. Following is a direct-viewing picture shows the diameter differences between single mode fiber and multimode fiber cables.

single mode fiber cable vs multimode optical fiber

Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Mode fiber Cable

As has mentioned above, single mode fiber optic cable is more suitable for long runs applications when compared with multimode fiber cable. Except for this, single mode fiber cable also has other three advantages.

  • Increase bandwidth capacity.
  • Limited Data Dispersion & External Interference. The single input mode allows SMF to limit light scattering, which in turn reduce light waste and increase data transmission data.
  • Fast Transmission Speed. Single mode fiber cable can support data transmission speed up to 10Gbps.

Each coin has two sides. Single mode fiber cable also has disadvantages. The most one is the cost. Although it has better performance in long runs transmission than multimode fiber cable, single mode fiber cables often cost more.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimode fiber Optic Cable

With a larger fiber core and good alignment tolerances, multimode fiber cable and components are less expensive and are easier to work with other optical components like fiber connector and fiber adapter, when compared with single mode fiber cable. In addition, multimode fiber cable also provides high speed and high bandwidth over short distances. And they allows several mode optical signals transmitted at the same time.

However, multimode fiber cable has high dispersion and attenuation rate, the quality of optical signals is reduced as the transmission distance is getting longer. Therefore, multimode fiber cable is often used in data and audio/video applications in LANs.

Owning to their own characteristics, single-mode fiber cable and multimode fiber cable have different application areas. Based on the transmission distance and deployment budget, if the transmission distance is less than 10 miles, the multimode fiber cable is better, for it needs less expensive optical transceiver and other components. And if the distance is over 10 miles, single mode fiber will be needed.

Related Article: Single Mode vs Multimode Fiber: What’s the Difference?

The Benefits of Using Multimode Fiber Optic Cable

The fiber optics technology has been one of the world’s most effective innovation of wire communication occurred. This technology has changed the world, and make the internet behavior today as a practical platform for worldwide access to data and information. And it is not only the internet, but also other kinds of communications that has undergone a sea change owing to the deployment of networks driven by the optical fiber backbone. When it comes to local communication, the multimode fiber optic cable only play a significant role in ensuring high data transmission rates at a high speed and low attenuation within the network with multi-user support.

There are many significant advantages, people will use these cables. Below is a list of the main benefits.

Multi-user framework

The biggest feature is the ability of multimode optical fiber carrying multiple signals at the same time in the same line. Therefore, the network user can send more than one packet in the cable at the same time, and all information will remain unchanged after will reach their destination. Channel will not mix or distort the multiple information channels.

High power signal transmission capacity

Multimode cables are excellent when it comes to carrying a high amount of total power inside the signals. The power is almost keep not loss, and the information is easy to be delivered at the other end of line with out any intermediate magnification.

Real-time data transmission

In the network data transmission in the design of the optical fiber data transmission speed. The high speed of optical transmission network is derived from the fact that the data rather than other more traditional electromagnetic signal. So the soft real-time system is feasible to use the network in some given scenario.

High bandwidth and transfer rate

The multi-channel factor attributes to a high bandwidth and high rate of data transfer.

High security

The optical signal is using total internal reflection – a physical properties or light is reflecting surface. Therefore, it is extremely difficult into the fiber optic network. Therefore, multimode fiber optic cable to enjoy a high level of data security.

Support of multiple protocols

These networks can support many data transfer protocol, including Ethernet, ATM and Infiniband, Internet protocols. Therefore, one can use the cable as the back bone of a series of high value 

Obviously, a multimode fiber optic cable can be used as a backbone for the cable communication needs with high performance. Use these cables will improve your experience, if you’re using equipment, depending on the level of network performance.

Using multimode fiber cable instead of inferior cable can greatly improve the bandwidth and noise suppression. When choosing fiber optic network cable must have the correct information in determing the solution.