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Part 4 - Advantages of Optical Fibers Over Copper Cable
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Part 4 - Advantages of Optical Fibers Over Copper Cable

Views: 7     Author: Fibertel     Publish Time: 2023-12-14      Origin: Fibertel

Fiber optic cables were initially introduced to improve upon for the bandwidth and distance limitations of copper cables. However, the advantages of fiber optic cable are far more than just bandwidth and distance.

Infinite Bandwidth

Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that can be moved (uploaded or downloaded) through a network over a given time and is critically important for Data centres, and all Network users. As previously mentioned, single-mode fiber is not limited by modal dispersion, having a very small core size, and therefore the bandwidth of single-mode fiber is in theory infinite. In the case of multimode fiber, the most widely used OM3 multimode fiber provides a bandwidth of more than 2,000 MHz-km, and OM4 multimode fiber provides at least 4,700 MHz-km. Meanwhile, the latest highest specification Cat 8 copper cable supports a bandwidth of up to 2,000 MHz-km. Both single-mode fiber and multimode fiber therefore provide far more bandwidth than most traditional copper cables.

Longer Distance

The higher the bandwidth, the longer the distance. For 40/100 Ethernet, OM4 multimode optical cable supports a link length up to 150meters, whilst single-mode fiber provides up to 80km distance communication. Cat 8 copper cable by comparison only provides a limited distance of 30 meters according to the 40GBase-T standards. However, most backbone link distances for data centers are more than 30 meters - so fiber optic cables have necessarily replaced copper cables in backbone links.

Faster Speed

Fiber Optic Cables transmit data by modulating the analog signals into optical signals, the light is then guided based on the principle of total reflection of light, and different optical signals do not interfere with each other. As for copper cable, its data transmission relies on electrical signals, and there is interference between electrical signals. This is why fiber optic has the speed advantage over copper cable.

In practical applications and according to the IEEE 802.3bs standards, fiber has proved to enable 200/400G Ethernet. However, the latest Cat 8 copper cable by comparison, only supports 40GBASE-T and at a limited transmission distance of 30 meters.

At this time, Copper Cables typically offer Speeds of 300 Megabits per second (Mbps), whilst most Internet Service Providers (ISP's) using Fiber Optic Cables provide Speeds as fast as 1,000 Mbps. Many experts believe however, that one strand of fiber optic cable can transmit up to 44Tbps - equal to 1 million Mbps.

Thinner and Lighter.

Compared to copper cables, optical cables have a much smaller fiber core size, the multimode fiber core is about 50 to 62.5μm, the single-mode fiber is even smaller up to 9μm, whereas the diameter of the conductor of standard copper cables would typically be 0.5mm - 0.9mm. (1 micron (1μ) = 1/1000 mm )

In addition, of course Optical fiber is made of fiberglass while copper is made by metal, and the fiber cable is much lighter than copper cable. The characteristics of thin and lightweight therefore make the fiber more convenient and easier to install - at least up until the point where it requires connection.

Strong Anti-interference.

Quartz is the basic component of optical fiber, which only transmits light, and neither conducts electricity nor is it affected by the electromagnetic field, therefore optical fiber provides a strong defence against EMI (Electromagnetic Interference) and also power interference. And this is exactly why the signal transmitted in optical fiber cable cannot easily be interfered with or hacked. Optical Fiber cables therefore have the advantages of stability and security over copper cables.

Higher and Longer Term Reliability.

The reliability of a system is critically important to any communications system. And the more devices connected, the greater the possibility of failure. An optical fiber system is simple, compared to a copper cable system, which might typically require many amplifiers. In addition, an optical fiber system also has the advantage of a long operational life, particularly because of its largely untapped potential to transmit at speeds far greater than the current 1,000 Mbps.


Fibertel's products are extensively used in Telecom, FTTx, Networks, Security Surveillance, Intelligent
Systems, Broadcast, Process Control, and Digital Video applications.


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