Fiber Optic Cables

What exactly is a fiber optic cable? 

A fiber optic cable is a type of network cable that is made up of strands of glass fibers that are enclosed in an insulated casing. They support multi-distance, high-performance data networking and telecommunications applications.

They can transfer more data over longer distances and at quicker speeds than other mediums. Fiber optic internet, phone, and television services are provided to homes and businesses using this technology. Fiber Cabling offers a higher bandwidth than conventional copper cables and can carry data across much longer distances. Much of the world's internet, cable television, and telephone services are now supported by fibre optic connections.

Characteristics  of  Fiber Optical Cables 

  • As light has a significantly higher frequency than electricity, fibre optic cabling can handle very large bandwidths in the range of 100Mbps to 2Gbps.
  • A fibre optic's ability to offer multiple nodes is determined by the hub or hubs that connect the cables, not by their length.
  • An optical fiber cable is immune to EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) and can be utilised in high-voltage environments.
  • Fiber optic cables have a longer life span compared to twisted pair and co-axial cables

How does a Fiber Optical Cable work? 

A fiber optic cable consists of one or more glass strands that are just slightly thicker than a human hair. The core is the part of each strand that offers a path for light to move. The core is surrounded by cladding, a layer of glass that reflects light inward and allows light to penetrate through bends in the wire.

The two most common varieties of fiber cable are singlemode and multimode. Singlemode optical fiber cables generate light using extremely thin glass strands and a laser, whereas multimode optical fiber cables use LEDs.

What are the various type of Fiber Optic Cable? 

The refractive index, materials used, and mode of light propagation are all used to classify optical fibre cables.

There are two types of refractive index OFC bases:

  1. Step Index Fibers: This type of fibre has a single uniform index of refraction and is surrounded by cladding.
  2. Graded Index Fibers: As the radial distance from the fibre axis rises, the refractive index of the optical fibre falls.

OFC is divided into two kinds based on the materials used:

  1. Plastic Optical Fibers: For light transmission, poly (methyl methacrylate) is employed as the core material.
  2. Glass Fibers: Made up of ultra-fine glass fibres.

OFC is categorised based on the manner of light propagation:

  1. Singlemode Fibers are used for long-distance signal transmission.
  2. Multimode Fibers are used for signal transmission over short distances.

Advantages of the Fiber Optic Cable 

  • Thinner and lighter - Optical fiber cabling is thinner and lighter than copper wire, allowing it to be manufactured with smaller diameters. They are smaller and lighter than comparable copper wire cables, making them a better match for tight spaces.
  • Greater carrying capacity - More fibers can be bundled into a given diameter cable because optical fibers are substantially thinner than copper wires. This permits more phone lines to be connected to the same cable, as well as more channels to be sent to your cable TV box.
  • Less signal breakdown - Signal deterioration is significantly less in optical fiber than in copper wire.
  • High bandwidth and speed – The optical fiber cable supports extraordinarily high bandwidth and speed. The most notable advantage is the high volume of data that can be transmitted per unit of optical fiber cable.
  • Cost effective - Long, continuous miles of optical fiber cable can be manufactured for less than the cost of equivalent copper wire lengths.
  • Light Electrical waves - Light signals do not interfere with light signals from other fibers in the same fiber cable, unlike electrical signals conveyed through copper cables. This translates to improved data transfer, clearer phone calls or better TV reception.

What are the use cases of the Fiber Optical Cable? 

Fiber optic connections can transport a large amount of data at rapid rates. As a result, fibre optic technology can be used for a variety of purposes. Such as:-

  • Data Networking - Fiber optic cabling is now the preferable mode for speedier networking, whether it is between computers within a building or between buildings.
  • Telecommunications - Fiber optic cables are used for telephone transmission. Sound is transmitted as light pulses through the fibers. Its technology is comparable to that of coaxial lines, with the exception that optical fibers can accommodate thousands of simultaneous talks.
  • High Speed Internet - When compared to copper connections, fiber optic cables are less bulky, lighter, more flexible, and can carry more data.
  • Military - Fibre cabling is commonly used in military and aerospace applications necessitating a high level of data security. In the defence industry, fibre optic cables offer the optimal means of data transmission.
  • Medical - The optical fibre cable is ideal for medical applications. They can be produced in flexible, ultra-thin strands for implantation into the lungs, blood vessels, and other hollow body parts. Optical fibers are used in a variety of tools that allow surgeons to examine internal body parts without the need for surgery.
  • Industrial and commercial sectors - Optical fibre cables are utilised for imaging in hard-to-reach regions, such as temperature sensors, wiring where EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) is a concern, pressure sensors, and wiring in industrial settings and autos. Fiber optic cables are used by broadcast/CATV cable companies to wire HDTV, CATV, video-on-demand, the internet, and a variety of other applications.


Bottomline: Fiber is the here, the now, and the future 

We hope this article has helped you understand the basics of Fiber Optical Cable technology - how, when, and where they are used. We have stock a comprehensive range of  Fiber Optical Cables to buy Online.

ATGBICS® is an established global brand of optical network connectivity products. Compatible optical transceivers and fiber cabling is our specialism. Contact Us for volume Fibre Optic Cable pricing or your bespoke requirements.