Different Types of Optical Fiber Cables: Essential Guide

November 11,2020

The world of technology is evolving with every passing moment. It is evident from the fact that wired networks have become wireless, but it is not the end. Even the cables have made a significant improvement in sophistication, and fiber optics is the most glaring example.

There is no denying that fiber optics has revolutionized the telecommunication sector owing to optimal speed and seamless connectivity. It is because you can send data signals across the world at the speed of light for improved network performance.

When you decide to have your fiber-optic network, you will have to choose from plenty of options and different cables based on uses and underlined structure. There are multiple types of optical fiber cables used for networking, and each one comes with its pros and cons.

What is a fiber-optic cable? Where is it used?

In simplest words, a fiber optic is a cable made up of fiberglass threads and a casing for encapsulation. It is known as an optical fiber. The primary purpose of designing fiber optics is to ensure high-speed data transfer over a considerable long distance.

The cable’s basic structure includes glass strands that are similar to human hair, an insulation jacket to ensure incredibly high bandwidth. The wires are used to support cable television, telephone lines, and the internet worldwide.

In recent years, fiber optic networks have replaced the copper wires and networks for signal transmission, including the internet. These fiber optic cables provide the backbone for many systems, including campuses, office buildings, industrial plants, and many other industries.

How do optical fiber cables work?

The working principle of fiber optics is the “total internal reflection.”  In this way, light rays are used to send data from one node (device or computer) to another at an incredible speed. The rays of light travel straight in the lines. Therefore, the fiberglass strands help harness the light’s advantages without any crack, bend, or mold in the wire.

Basically, the design of fiber optic cables supports inward rays using TIR to ensure continuity for data transmission. One reason behind its growing popularity is that it uses light signals to transmit data. Therefore, fiber optics is resistant to electrical interferences, which may affect the signal transmission. In order to eliminate the risks of signal loss, an Optical Fiber Rely System is used having the following parts:

  • The Transmitter for producing signals and encoding them in the form of light
  • The Optical Fiber for transmitting the signal (plus)
  • The Optical Receiver for receiving and decoding the signal back into a digital message
  • The Optical Regenerator for ensuring data transmission at a considerable distance

Is it complicated to comprehend? Are you looking for a suitable networking structure for your office or industrial premises? Your search ends with the best fiber optic companies in Dubai, as you can acquire services for A-Z everything. No doubt, professionals can assist you from network planning to the testing process for foolproof data transmission at high speed.

Types of fiber optic cables used in networks

Nevertheless, you may find a wide variety of cables available in the market. However, the selection of a suitable cable depends on your requirements. For this reason, it is essential to consider nature, structure for an in-depth comprehension of fiber optic cables. It’s easy; just go through the types of fiber optics, and you can buy the required one accordingly.

Understanding different cable types are essential for consumers to choose the best one for their businesses to support higher bandwidths. Understanding each type of cable will help you find the right one for you. So, let’s have a look:

1. Single Mode Cable

As its name indicates, the single-mode cable has only one mode or ray of light. It comprises of one fiberglass strand. The diameter of the cable is 8.3 to 10 microns, and it supports approximately 1310 or 1550 nm of data transmission. However, it carries a higher bandwidth as compared to the multi-mode fiber.

Single-mode cable is also known as mono-mode fiber optics owing to its uni-mode fiber and one-way wavelength. You can use this cable to transmit data to a considerable distance. It is approximately fifty times more as compared to multi-mode. It is because the smaller core of the single-mode has less distortion and delays.

Therefore, a smaller core and single light signal eliminate any distortion that could delay transmission. You can expect high transmission speeds than any fiber optical cable available in the market.

2. Multi-Mode Cable

Multi-mode cables can carry multiple signals, and they have a core diameter of 50 or 62.5 µm. Multi-mode fibers don’t offer as high bandwidth as its counterparts, but it is relatively high. You can get this type of optical fiber cable for transmitting data at high speed ranges from 10 to 100MBS, covering an area of 275m to 2km for Gigabit.

It can provide connectivity over medium distances. Typical multi-mode cable core has diameters of 50, 62.5, and 100 micrometers in which light waves are dispersed into numerous paths. In the case of long connections, multiple paths of light can result in signal distortion or loss at the receiving end. Therefore, it can carry multiple signals, but there is a loss of range. Multi-mode cables come in two variants as discussed below:

a) Step-Index Multimode Fiber

Step index multi-mode cable has a thick core for signal transmission. These are usually used for moderate distances but can offer long-range signals when used with amplifiers. However, in this cable, the light signals enter at various angles and are transmitted through the cable at different rates. Some might travel directly, while others may zigzag. This type of fiber is best for short distances.

b) Graded-Index Multimode Fiber

Graded index multi-mode cable has the core arranged in circles, just like a tree. Unlike the step-index fiber, light signals in graded-index travel faster and in rings form. This cable can handle multiple wavelengths of light at once, making it perfect for data transfer and communication. It can support a transfer rate of around 100 GB. It is fast because the light signals don’t zigzag, which reduces the travel distance.

3. Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)

The plastic optical fiber (POF) is a polymer optical fiber. It transmits light signals through its core but is more robust than glass fiber because it is quite resistant to stretching and bending. It used a polymer material for cladding. In POF, 96% of the core can facilitate the transmission of light signals. You can use it for short distances.

Categories of fiber optic cable by design

There are two main types of cable designs used in the fiber optics industry. These cables are as follows:

1. Loose Tube Cable

Loose Tube Cables are mostly used outside. Loose tube cables can hold up to 12 fibers per buffer tube with a maximum fiber count of more than 200 threads. In these cables, color-coded tubes protect the optical fibers, and it also includes a gel filling that protects the cable from water penetration. It acts as a buffer and protects the cable from external stresses.

2. Tight Buffered Cable

Tight buffered cables are primarily used inside buildings. These cables are very flexible and used for alternative routing within the building and connecting outside plan cables to the terminal equipment. It has a rugged structure which protects the individual fibers during routing and handling.

These cables are preferred because they are easy to install and handle. These are also less expensive as compared to loose-tube wires, so make sure to consult fiber optic UAE based experts to get the lowest price and best material.

Benefits of Fiber Optic Internet

Fiber optic cables promise excellent results, and it also future proofs your house or office space because fiber is the future of the IT industry. Some of its excellent benefits include the following:

  • Fiber optic networks offer high internet speeds up to gigabits.
  • Fiber optic networks offer high-speed data transmission with more bandwidth.
  • Fiber optic can also transmit signals at a considerable distance without any interruptions.
  • Fiber optic cables don’t require a lot of maintenance if they are of good material.

Get the best type of optical fiber cable for your network!

Summing up, it is essential to choose the right network medium to ensure seamless data transmission. For this, you may focus on the network’s qualitative requirements, including nature, structure, scale, robustness, bandwidth, speed, and other such elements.

These cables have their specifications and can support different bandwidths and distances. The best type of fiber optic cable for your use will depend upon your installation place, environment and the kind of performance needed.

Depending on this, you can mix and match the available types of fiber optic cables to get the most sophisticated data transmission facility. So, consider consulting a Fiber optic Dubai based company today! So you can enjoy a fully functional network for all your business needs.