Multimode Fiber Cable: Types, Uses, Advantages & Disadvantages!

What is Multi Mode Fiber

Definition: Multimode fiber is also called the “Multi-Mode Optical Fiber“, and it is especial type of optical fiber that is designed for carrying multiple light beams or modes simultaneously, every at a marginally different reflection angle internal the optical fiber core.

Multimode fiber’s bandwidth has to ability to cope along with higher data throughput over the shorter distances that is measured by number of cores the cable carries.


Multi mode fiber cable is enabled with large number of modes for getting light ray flowing through it. It has bigger diameter with ranging of 50 to 100 micron for carrying light components. Multi mode fiber cables are available as glass fibers, plastic fiber, and plastic class silica.

Multi mode fiber also provides you higher bandwidth with highly speeds (0 to 100MBS – Gigabit to 275m to 2km) for using over the medium distances, and it has various specifications.

Multimode fiber cable has to significantly enhance reflection, and its output with higher attenuation and dispersion rates, so it helps to increase the bandwidth delivering over the smaller distances.

Types of Multi-mode Fiber

There are different types of multimode fiber; below explain each one –

OM1 Fiber: OM1 fiber has core size of 62.5 µm, and come along with orange jacket. OM1 has ability to support 10 Gb Ethernet at length of up to 33 meters. This fiber is mostly used for 100 Mb Ethernet applications, for example is LED light source.

OM2 Fiber: It has smaller core size of 50 µm, and it also comes along with orange jacket. OM2 can support up to 10 Gb Ethernet at length with 82 meters, but it mostly used for 1 Gb Ethernet application, for example is LED light source.

OM3 Fiber: OM3 fiber has core size 50 µm, and it comes along with aqua color jacket. This cable is totally optimized as per laser based equipments. It can support 10Gb Ethernet at length up to 300 meters, but beyond of this it is also capable to support 40Gb and 100 Gb Ethernet up to 100 meters.

OM4 Fiber: OM4 fiber has same ability with OM3 fiber and it also comes along with aqua jacket. It was designed especially for VSCEL laser transmission, and it allows 10Gig/s link distances of up to 550m than 300M with OM3. OM4 can support 40/100GB up to 150 meters while using with MPO connectors.

OM5 Fiber: OM5 fiber is also called the WBMMF (wideband multimode fiber), and it is newer kind of multimode fiber. It’s ability same like as OM4, and it is available in market with lime green. OM5 fiber is developed and specified that can support as least four WDM channel at the minimum speed of 28 Gbps per channel through 850-953 nm window.

Having Standard

Every “OM” are getting minimum Modal Bandwidth (MBW) requirement, and OM1, OM2, OM3 fiber are measured by ISO 11801 standard that is based on the modal bandwidth of multimode fiber. TIA/EIA has been approved and released 492AAAD in Aug, 2009 that provides the performance criteria for OM4.

Difference in OM1 vs OM2 vs OM3 vs OM4 vs OM5

Here, we will discuss all difference in between each OM1 vs OM2 vs OM3 vs OM4 vs OM5; below mention


Uses of Multimode Fiber

Multi mode fiber cable is used commonly in various applications; like as –

  • Local Area Networks
  • Private networks
  • Data Centers
  • Financial Centers
  • Corporate Campuses

Advantages and Disadvantages of Multimode Fiber

Multimode fiber offers the highly bandwidth at the fastest speed, and it gets to restrict transmission for shorter distance. Multi mode fiber cable is less expensive compare over single mode fiber.

Due to its high power signal transmission capacity, multi mode fiber can support multi user frame work. Multi mode fiber is capable to offer real time transmission, and its transfer rate is also higher. Multimode fiber optic cable is easier to install and maintain.

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