Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, optical fiber cables can be used for outdoor applications as well as commercial consumer applications. Some cables used for indoor applications have a fire-retardant jacket or layer.
Single-mode optical fiber cables are the backbone of long-haul communication networks as they are characterized by a low attenuation loss over long propagation distances. They are also used in submarine networks.
The key advantage of single-mode optical fibers is their ability to transmit optical pulses over long distances without significant distortions. Their relatively simple construction makes them the primary choice for networking applications
Due to the small diameter of the core, accessories and coupling equipment such as connectors tend to be more expensive. In particular, lasers that can work with such cables are typically more expensive. Other accessories and conversion opto-electronics also tend to be more expensive.
The main difference between the two technologies is the size of the core. Single mode fibers are characterized by core diameters as small as 5 µm while the cores of multimode fibers are at least tens of micrometers wide. Compared to multimode mode fibers, single mode fibers have smaller attenuation losses and unlike multimode fibers, they do not suffer from modal loss or dispersion.
Optical fiber cores are typically made of fused silica or plastic.
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