Fiber Patch Cable–How to Make the Right Choice
There are two main types of fiber to choose from — multimode and single-mode. The fiber type is predominantly determined by the data rate of the system, transmission distance and cost. Multimode is typically recommended for applications involving shorter distance. If your application only requires transmitting a distance of 550 m or less, multimode fiber optic cables are recommended, which is also a lower cost solution and is often preferred by designers. However, if you need to support longer distances and achieve unlimited bandwidth, single-mode fiber is the best solution. It is recommended for college campuses and metropolitan networks.
When wondering what types of fiber optic cable should be chosen, you should always take the environment into consideration. For example, if you need to install the fiber optic cable indoor, indoor cables are the ideal choice. These cables are also called tight buffered cable, where the glass fiber has a primary coating and secondary buffer coatings that enlarge each fiber to 900 microns—about 1 mm or 1/25-inch—to make the fiber easier to work with. All these cables can be directly terminated. They are mainly used to connect outside plant cables to terminal equipment, and also for linking various devices in intra-building, risers, general building and plenum applications. The following picture gives you a vivid impression of loose tube cable and tight buffer cable.
Although 62.5um fiber was very popular only a few years ago, 50um quickly gained market share and is continuing to do so. 50 um fiber can have up to 20 times the bandwidth of 62.5 um. 62.5 um multimode is referred to as OM1. 50 um fiber is referred to as OM2, OM3 and the recently added OM4. As you would imagine, OM4 has greater bandwidth than OM3 and OM3 has greater bandwidth than OM2 and OM1.