Advantages of Optical Fiber Cable / Communications:
  • Optical Fiber Cables can run massive distances like 40 KM or much more (Single Mode Fiber Cables) without having to repeat the signal anywhere in-between.
  • Normally, the Optical Fiber Cables do not have speed limits or bandwidth limitations. They can support any speed/ bandwidth depending only on the type of optics (active components) used at either end. But the distance over which they can support such speeds varies for each fiber material.
  • Its normally enough to replace the optics (active components) at either end in order to upgrade the fiber communication to support higher bandwidths. There is no need to change all the underlying cabling.
  • Optical Fiber Cables support duplex communications (simultaneous upstream and downstream), but they use two cores for doing so. One core is used for Transmission (Tx) and the other core is used for Reception (Rx).
  • Optical Fiber Cables are flexible and can be laid both within the buildings (Indoor Fiber Cables) and outside the buildings (Shielded Fiber Cables). In most of the cases, they are buried under the ground (with a depth of minimum 3 feet) using a Trench and protective materials.
  • Multiple cores are built into each optical fiber cable(like 6/12/24 cores) and hence each optical cable can support multiple individual connections (3/6/12).
  • Optical Fiber Cables are not affected by EMI ? Electromagnetic Interference as they carry light, and hence can be used even for the most demanding industrial applications.
  • They can also be used in lightning prone areas as they do not carry the electrical signals as such to affect switch ports, etc during a lightning.
  • The danger of ignition during a fire is much less with optical fiber cables.
  • There are optical taps that can be inserted in-between long running optical cables. There are two types of taps ? Passive optical taps that do not require electrical power and are used for simple monitoring of OFC networks & Active optical taps that require electrical power and are used for manipulation or boosting of signals sent to the monitoring port.
  • The low cost 850 nm Laser optimized 50/125 micro meter Multi-Mode Fiber (OM3 type) gives 10 GE performance for up to 300 meters. The optics associated with it are also moderately priced. So, these fibers can be used in the enterprise LAN segment for short distances, where the single mode optics might turn out more expensive. OM4 Laser Optimized Multi-Mode Fiber supports even higher bandwidths like 40/100 Gbps.
  • Even if many fibers run along side each other, the chances of cross talk (and hence signal loss) is very less, unlike Copper UTP Cables.
  • Wire tapping with Optical Fiber Cables is more difficult.
  • Optical Fiber Cables (Especially Passive Optical Networks) are used for providing high speed broadband to homes, these days (FTTH).
  • Trouble shooting an Optical Fiber Network is possible with equipments like the OTDR Tester (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer). Using this, one could measure the optical power loss and locate the faults caused due to fiber breaks, connectors or splicing.
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