Site map    Tel:+86-21-37709251    Contact Us Chinese
Service concept
Service concept
  • Content:
  • Name:
  • Phone:

Single Mode vs. Multimode Fiber Optic Cable

Uploaded2021/8/17 1:36:35     Hits    Source

Although single mode fiber and multimode fiber are widely used in various applications, the difference between them is still confusing. When installing fiber optic cabling, one of the most important questions is whether to install single mode fiber or multimode fiber. This article will compare single-mode and multimode fibers around basic structure, bandwidth, fiber distance, fiber color, and cost.

What’s the Difference Between Single Mode and Multimode Fiber Optic Cable?

Single Mode Fiber Cable: Single mode fiber is a common fiber used for long distance transmission. Single mode fiber is a single glass fiber bundle used to transmit single mode or light. Single mode fiber has only one transmission mode. Single mode fiber is also called single mode fiber, single mode fiber, single mode fiber and single mode optical waveguide.

Multimode Fiber Cable: Multimode fiber is a kind of fiber designed to transmit multiple rays or modes at the same time, and the reflection angle of each ray or mode in the fiber core is slightly different.


The core diameter of single mode fiber is much smaller than that of multimode fiber. Single mode fiber is designed to propagate a single optical mode, while multimode supports multiple simultaneous optical modes. Single mode and multimode cables are constructed differently. The fiber core of a single mode fiber optic cable is 9 μm, and the fiber core of modern multimode fiber optic cables is 50 μm, but the fiber core of older fiber optic cables (especially OM1 optical cables) is 62.5 μm.


The bandwidth of single mode fiber is significantly higher than that of multimode fiber. Single mode cables support light sources with higher brightness, higher power, and lower attenuation. And multimode relies on the transmission of multiple light modes with lower brightness and higher attenuation.


Single mode fiber supports short distance transmission and long distance transmission, regardless of signal bandwidth and/or resolution. The transmission distance of single mode fiber can reach 40 kilometers or more without damaging the signal, so it is very suitable for long distance applications. The maximum transmission distance of multimode affected by the cable grade is much shorter, making it an ideal choice for indoor applications.


Single mode optical fibers are covered with yellow outer sheaths, and multimode optical fibers are covered with orange or light green sheaths.


For short distance applications, multimode fiber is still a more cost-effective choice than single mode fiber. Multimode transceivers are usually two to three times cheaper than single mode transceivers. As faster optoelectronic technologies mature and output increases, the prices of both are falling, and the cost gap between multimode and single mode has narrowed. Finally, the fact that multimode fibers are easier to install and terminate in the field and it is an important consideration for corporate environments because they are frequently moved, added, and changed.


In general, single mode optical fiber cabling systems are suitable for long distance data transmission applications, while multimode optical fiber cabling systems have shorter distances. You can choose the most suitable network needs based on your total fiber cost.

Baudcom offers all kinds of fiber optic cables. For more information, please visit Baudcom.

Related services