Tag Archives: Single mode Fiber Optic Cable

What’s the Difference Between Twisted Pair vs Coaxial Cable vs Fiber Optic


As we know, communication system usually uses a wire or cable to connect sending and receiving devices. Currently, the most common network cable types deployed in communication system are twisted pair vs coaxial cable vs fiber optic cable. Since each of them can be equally applied into network communication, what’s the difference between twisted pair vs coaxial cable vs fiber optic? This article may give some answers.

Twisted Pair Cables
Twisted PairTwisted pair cable consists of a pair of insulated wires twisted together, which is adapted in the field of telecommunication for a long time. With the cable twisting together, it helps to reduce noise from outside sources and crosstalk on multi-pair cables. Basically, twisted pair cable can be divided into two types: unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) and shielded twisted-pair (STP). The former serves as the most commonly used one with merely two insulated wires twisted together. Any data communication cables and normal telephone cables belong to this category. However, shielded twisted pair distinguishes itself from UTP in that it consists of a foil jacket which helps to prevent crosstalk and noise from outside source. It is typically used to eliminate inductive and capacitive coupling, so it can be applied between equipment, racks and buildings. There exist following several different types of twisted pair cables:

Twisted Pair Cables

Coaxial Cables
Coaxial-CableCoaxial cable acts as a high-frequency transmission cable which contains a single solid-copper core. A coaxial cable has over 80 times the transmission capability of the twisted-pair. It is commonly used to deliver television signals and to connect computers in a network as well, so people may get more familiar with this kind of network cable. There are two coaxial cables: 75 Ohm and 50 Ohm. What’s the application of them respectively?

  • 75 Ohm coaxial cable

The primary use of a 75 Ohm cable is to transmit a video signal. One of the typical applications is television signals over network cable, sometimes called signal feed cables. The most common connector used in this application is a Type F. Another application is video signals between components such as DVD players, VCRs or Receivers commonly known as audio/video (A/V) cables. In this case BNC and RCA connectors are most often found. In both of these applications RG59 with both solid center conductor (RG59B/U) and stranded center conductor (RG59A/U) as well as RG6 are often found.

75 Ohm coaxial cable

  • 50 Ohm coaxial cable

The primary use of a 50 Ohm coaxial cable is transmission of a data signal in a two-way communication system. Some common applications for 50 Ohm coaxial cable are computer ethernet backbones, wireless antenna feed cables, GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) antenna feed cables and cell phone systems.

50 Ohm coaxial cable (1)

Fiber Optic Cable

Picture of optical cables pluged in network server

Computing and data communications are fast-moving technologies. There comes a new generation of transmission media—fiber optic cable. It refers to the complete assembly of fibers, which contain one or more optical fibers that are used to transmit data. Each of the optical fiber elements is individually coated by plastic layers and contained in a protective tube. Fiber optic cable transmits data as pulses of light go through tiny tubes of glass, the transmission capacity of which is 26,000 times higher than that of twisted-pair cable. When comparing with coaxial cables, fiber optic cables are lighter and reliable for transmitting data. They transmit information using beams of light at light speed rather than pulses of electricity.

Nowadays, there are two fiber optic cable types widely adopted in the field of data transfer—single mode fiber optic cable and multimode fiber optic cable. A single-mode optical fiber is a fiber that has a small core, and only allows one mode of light to propagate at a time. So it is generally adapted to high speed, long-distance applications. While a multimode optical fiber is a type of optical fiber with a core diameter larger than the wavelength of light transmitted and it is designed to carry multiple light rays, or modes at the same time. It is mostly used for communication over short distances because of its high capacity and reliability, serving as a backbone application in buildings.

Singlemode-vs-Multimode Fiber Optic Cable

Conclusion of Twisted Pair vs Coaxial Cable vs Fiber Optic
As the technology in the field of the network is developing rapidly, network cable seems to become the trend for the increasing demand of the market. After learning the difference between twisted pair vs coaxial cable vs fiber optic, we know how to choose network cable. However, whether to choose twisted pair cables, coaxial cables or fiber optic cables still depends heavily on applications, which is subject to the cost, transmission distance and performance.

Related Article: Which Patch Cable Should I Choose for My Optical Transceiver?

Fiber Optic Cable vs Twisted Pair Cable vs Coaxial Cable

More Characteristics of Fiber Optic Cable


When light from a source is sent through a fiber-optic cable, the ligth wave both bounces around inside the cable and passes through the cable to the outlet protective jacket. When a light signal inside the cable bounces off the cable wall and back into the cable, this is called reflection. When a light signal passes from the core of the cable into the surrounding material, this is called refraction. Figure 3-9 demonstrates the differece between reflection and refraction.

Light can be transmitted through a fiber-optic cable using two basic techniques. The first technique, called single-mode transmission, requires the use of a very thin fiber-optic cable and a very focused light source, such as a laser. When a laser is fired down a narrow fiber, the light follows a tight beam, and so there is less tendency for the light wave to reflect or refract. Thus, this technique allows for a very fast signal with little signal degradation (and thus less noise) over long distances. Because lasers are used as the light source, single-mode transmission is a more expensive techique than the second fiber-optic cable signaling techique. Any application that involves a large amount of data transmitted at high speeds is a candidate for single-mode transmission.

The second signaling technique, called multimode transmission, uses a slightly thicker fiber cable and an unfocused light source, such as an LED. Because the light source is unfocused, the light wave experiences more refraction and reflection (i.e, noise) as it propagates through the wire. This noise results in signals that cannot travel as far or as fast as the signals generated with the single-mode technique. Correspondingly, multimode transmission is less expensive than single-mode transmission. Local area networks that employ fiber-optic cables often use multimode transmissions.

Single-mode and multimode transmission techniuqes use fiber-optic cable with different characteristics. The core of single-mode fiber-optic cable is 8.3 microns wide, and the material surrounding the fiber – the cladding – is 125 microns wide. Hence, single-mode fiber optic cable is labeled 8.3/15 cable. The core of multimode fiber optic cable is most commonly 62.5 microns wide, and the cladding is 125 microns. Multimode fiber optic cable is labeled 62.5/125 cable. Othe sizes of multimode fiber optic cable include 50/125 and 100/140 microns.

Bulk fiber optic cable comes in lots of types, depending on where it will be installed. Where to buy fiber optic cable? As the best OEM fiber optic cable manufacturer, Fiberstore provides a wide range of quality optical fiber cables with detailed specifications displayed for your convenient selecting. Per foot price of each fiber cable is flexible depending on the quantities of your order, making your cost of large order unexpected lower. Customers can also have the flexibility to custom the cable plant to best fit their needs. Only fiber cable that meets or exceeds industry standards is used to ensure quality products with best-in-class performance. Fiberstore offers an extensive line of off the shelf bulk fiber optic cable to address your fiber installation needs. We stock 62.5/125, 50/125, and 9/125 bulk fiber optic cable in simplex, duplex (zip cord), breakout, and distribution styles.

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