What is Fiber Optics & How does it Work?

Fiber optic cable has become increasingly popular in recent years as the demand for faster data transmission speed in networks has grown. Some people, however, may still be unsure what fiber optics cable is. For example, how does fiber optic cable work, and what is it used for? To learn more about fiber optic cable definition and how it works, read the following article.

What Is Fiber Optics Cable?

Fiber optic cable, also known as optical fiber cable, is a type of Ethernet cable that contains one or more data-transmitting optic fibers. Fiber optic cable is an assembly that looks like an electrical cable but is used to carry light instead of electricity. As a result, the price of fiber optic cable is much higher than that of copper cable.

Fiber optic cables use light pulses to support long-distance communication and high-speed data transmission. Fiber optic cable can typically transmit data at speeds of 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, and even 100 Gbps. As a result, its find in many of the world’s internet, cable television, and phone systems.

What Makes Fiber Optics So Special?

A fiber optic cable typically consists of five components: core, cladding, coating, strengthening, and outer jacket. Optical fibers are skinny strands of glass or plastic that make up the “core.” The “cladding” is an insulated casing that surrounds the “core” and lowers the refractive index, allowing the optical fiber to function.

The optical fiber’s “coating” is a protective layer. During installation, the “strengthening,” or strengthening member, helps protect the core from crushing forces and excessive tension. Finally, an outer jacket is used to protect the cable from environmental hazards, as the name implies.

How Fiber Optics Does It Work?

After determining “what is fiber optic cable,” “how it works” may be the next most pressing concern. Light travels down a fiber optic cable by bouncing off the walls repeatedly. With their refractive index, the fiber core and cladding bend the incoming light at a specific angle. When light signals are sent through fiber optic cable, they bounce back and forth between the body and cladding in a process known as total internal reflection.

Types of Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optics cable is typically divided into two types: single-mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF) (MMF). The core diameter of a single-mode fiber is about 5-10 microns, whereas the core diameter of a multimode fiber is about ten times that of a single-mode fiber. Single-mode optical fibers used in telecommunications typically operate at 1310nm or 1550nm, while multimode fiber operates at 850nm and 1300nm.

Because it has a large core size and supports multiple light modes, multimode fiber has a limited transmission distance by model dispersion compared to single-mode fiber (from OM1 to OM5). Therefore, Multimode optical fiber is used for short-distance transmission within buildings, such as computer network linking. In contrast, single-mode fiber is suitable for long-distance applications such as 100km between buildings.

Fiber Optic Cable Uses:

You may have seen colored lights carried by plastic fibers in decorative applications. The proper glass fiber optic cables that are today the core of our communication and computing networks may not have been seen. Thousands of miles of fiber optic cable are buried underground, in tunnels, building walls, ceilings, and other areas where you can’t see them. Optical fiber is used in a variety of applications in our daily lives, including:

  • computer networking
  • broadcasting
  • medical scanning
  • military equipment

Other fiber-optic applications have emerged in recent years. MANs, WANs, and LANs have all adopted fiber optic cables as their backbone. The use of “FTTX” or “Fiber to the XXXX” applications has become increasingly popular. Fiber to the: is an excellent example of this.

  • Home (FTTH)
  • Curb (FTTC)
  • Premise (FTTP)
  • Building (FTTB)
  • Node (FTTN)

Initially, fiber optics were used mainly for trunk cable lines that carried signals to more densely populated locations. Over time, these cables have expanded their reach to include the home, building, and other areas, resulting in the FTTX trend.



It would be best if you now had a basic understanding of what fiber optics cable is and how it works based on the information presented above. Optical fiber, which uses light pulses to transmit data, has a faster data transmission speed. Furthermore, with both SMF and MMF, it can meet a variety of transmission distance requirements.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.