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Fibre Optic Cable

Choosing the right fibre optical cable for your needs is very important. But which one is the right option? There are single-mode and multi-mode choices, and they have distinct differences. Here is what you should know about each type of cable, and what the differences are between them, so you can pick the best kind of cable for the equipment you have and how it is used.

By selecting the proper cable, you will not only protect your equipment from harm but you will make sure that equipment is operating as well as possible through the cable provided.

It can be easy to get the wrong cable if you aren't sure which one will be best for your particular needs. Choosing the wrong fibre optic cable can mean you don't get the signal strength you need. That's especially true with long-distance applications that require a higher speed. Using multi-mode cable for these applications won't work correctly, and can cost you time and money to replace.

Rather than take that risk, make sure you work with a data cabling professional right from the beginning. Then you'll get what you need, and can use your optical fibre cable as soon as the installation is complete.


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What is Single-Mode Optical Fibre?

Single-mode optical fibre cable has a small core, and this only allows for one mode of light to propagate at a time. That is a good choice for speed and distance, and is a cable that will provide durability, as well. Additionally, this type of fibre is:

  • Commonly used for high speed, long-distance applications where other types of cable would not have what it takes to do the job.

  • Less susceptible to attenuation than multi-mode fibres, making it a better choice in a variety of cases.

  • Generally more expensive to use than multi-mode fibre, but also generally well worth the extra expense for what the cable offers.

  • Used with accompanying equipment that is more expensive than the equipment used with multi-mode fibre. 

  • Generally offered with a core diameter of 9µm (micrometres), so it can handle all of the expected usage and needs.

While single-mode cables aren't perfect, they are a good choice in most cases. A lot of companies need longer runs for their equipment, so they can carry a signal for a significant distance. With that in mind, these companies normally choose to use single-mode cables so they can facilitate long runs without the concern of whether or not the signal will make its way to the location it was supposed to reach.

When To Use Single-Mode

Single-mode should be used on cabling runs greater than 2km. This cable operates well on longer runs, and is able to carry a signal farther. That means you can use this cable even if you have a lot of space from one location to another, or if you need to separate equipment for some reason but still have that equipment connected. That is good news for anyone who needs longer cable runs, as single-mode fibre optical means more convenience and more options.


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What is Multi-Mode Optical Fibre?

Multi-mode optical fibre cable is mostly used for communication over short distances, such as within a building or campus. Many companies use this cable when they don't need to send a signal very far but they still want to make sure that signal arrives at its destination with a high level of quality. This particular type of optical fibre cable offers:

  • Support for data rates of 10 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s.

  • Link lengths up to 600m.

  • A fairly large core diameter compared with single-mode.

  • Lower costs than single-mode optical fibre.

  • Typical transmission speeds of 100 Mbit/s up to 2km, 1 Gbit/s up to 1000m, and 10Gbit/s u pto 550m.

  • High reliability and capacity often used for building backbone applications.

  • An opportunity for an increasing number of users to install multi-mode fibre all the way to the desktop outlet.

By being able to use this fibre optical cable on shorter runs and right to the outlet, it is easier for companies to make sure they get the signal they need to send right to the place where it needs to go. That helps you keep your company moving ahead, and allows for a reduction in problems brought about by missing, non-transmitted, or low-quality signals.

When To Use Multi-Mode

Choosing to use multi-mode optical fibre cable is important for a number of different applications. Most commonly, multi-mode cable is used:

  • To match existing services in an installation.

  • As a measure for middle distance communication runs.

  • Where copper is limited to 100m and Single-Mode Fibre Optical isn't necessary.

  • as building/campus backbone cabling

How Do I Know What Type of Fibre I Need?

Determining what fibre optic installation would be best is generally based on the transmission distance to be covered. Short distances usually mean multi-mode cable, while longer distances mean single-mode cable. Additionally, it is important to consider:

  • The overall budget allowed has to be addressed.

  • If the distance is less than 2km, multi-mode fibre will work well and transmission system costs (transmitter and receiver) will be more affordable.

  • If the distance to be covered is greater than 2km, single-mode fibre is really the only choice.

  • Transmission systems designed for use with single-mode fibre will typically cost more than multi-mode options due to the increased cost of the laser diode.

Why Choose Rotric for Your
Fibre Optical Cable Needs?

When you need a fibre optic technician, you can count on Rotric to be there. We offer many options for installation of single-mode and multi-mode fibre optical cable in your business, on your campus, or in other locations.

With our trained professional installers and electricians, we can get the job done quickly and efficiently so you can keep your business moving forward. For more than 45 years, Rotric has offered commercial electrical and related services to companies in the Sydney area. Give us a call today, and let Rotric help you with all your fibre optical cable needs.


Contact Rotric for my free, fast and no-obligation job costing