What are the different types and characteristics of fiber optics?

Optical fiber is the modern element or medium by which data networks are transmitted, it is commonly made of very light, transparent and glassy materials, commonly used for telecommunications and internet services. In addition, there are many types and characteristics of optical fiber.

Something extremely interesting is that this element can send information or transmit very valuable signals at the speed of light, which makes it very necessary today.

But, what are the types of fiber optics that exist? Are there differences? Well, in this post we will teach you everything you need to know about fiber optics. We hope that all the information provided is very useful to you, let’s continue.

Different types and characteristics of optical fiber

We know very well that there are two types of fiber optics , but what are they for? What is its usefulness and durability? We will explain that to you below.

Single mode fiber optic (SM)

  • Single-comfort fiber is that optical fiber that only allows one propagation mode, that is, a beam of light to transmit information. This type of light fiber is commonly characterized by having a low attenuation in the signal and a higher transmission speed as well as a greater distance.

Multimode fiber optic (MM)

It is the fiber where the light phases can take various propagation paths , transmitting the information through several phases, this will generate greater attenuation and lower transmission speed.

How can we identify singlemode and multimode optical fibers?

It’s very simple, you just have to look at their colors . The single comfortable is characterized by a yellow color and the multimode by an aquamarine green, orange or purple color.

They are also differentiated by the wavelength of both for example; the single-mode units have about 1310 and 1150 nanometers, and for the multimode they are 850 and 1310 nanometers.

Characteristics that differentiate the two types of optical fiber

Singlemode fiber:

In this fiber we can find two corresponding types known as; os1 and os2 . As we explained previously, there is less attenuation in this fiber, therefore, the input pulse is very similar to the output pulse.

How are OS1 and OS2 different?

  • Os1: It is made with a tighter tube. Why? Simply because it is designed for internal applications such as; a campus or data center, having greater attenuation and less distance.
  • Os2: It is manufactured with a thinner tube , since it is designed for exteriors such as street, aerial or underground connections.

Multimode fiber

There are two corresponding types , as well as monomode , step index and gradual index, let’s see what they are:

  • Stepped index: It is the first fiber that was manufactured in multimode and is characterized by having a fairly large diameter, but has a lot of attenuation. Why? Because its core is designed with one type of optical material and its coating on a completely different one.
  • For this reason, when transmitting the light pulses can be done in a straight way or they can simply collide with the walls of the same, thus attenuating the signal. For this reason, its input pulse is very different from that of its output.
  • Gradual index: When designed, it was considered an improvement over the previous fiber, and is characterized by the refractive index, which makes the input pulse very similar to the output pulse.

Advantages and disadvantages of the different types and characteristics of optical fiber

By knowing a little more about fiber optics, you will surely be eager to know some advantages and disadvantages of use.


  1.  A very flattering advantage is that fiber optics is lighter in weight than other common cables. Therefore, it favors the configuration in VLAN networks .
  2. You can rest easy with its lifespan as it resists thermal and corrosive materials .
  3. You will have the information you need very quickly . Even one of the differences is that it is faster than ADSL connections.


  1. They are very sensitive, which makes it fragile .
  2. When they have the presence of water, they may be damaged.
  3. They cannot provide electrical power

Without a doubt, fiber optics came to improve the quality of our telecommunications. Symmetric fiber is also discussed, but how it differs from optical fiber, we will explain it to you in another section . Leave us your valuable opinion in the comments, we will be happy to read what you think about it.


Leave a Comment