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Advantages of OFC | Disadvantages of OFC, Optical Fiber Cable

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of OFC (Optical Fiber Cable). It mentions benefits or advantages of OFC and drawbacks or disadvantages of OFC.

Introduction: As we know Fibers have become common for providing broadband internet connectivity. Optical fiber communication use OFC as transport medium to carry modulated light waves from one end (i.e. transmitting end) to the other end (i.e. receiving end).

fiber optic communication system

The OFC is made of plastic or glass material. LED or Laser diodes is used at the transmitter side to convert electrical signal to light signal. Photodiode is used at the receiver side to convert light signal to electrical signal. Refer Fiber optic communication system.

What is OFC ?

OFC consists of more than one bundles, each carrying multiple optical fibers. All these bundles are covered in their respective protective covers along with strength member. All the bundles will have core of hair like silicon covered with cladding used to prevent light leakage. All the bundles are covered with outer jacket. Coating and jacket helps cable from damage. This is shown in the following figure.

The core is the thin glass which is used for light transportation between two ends. Light gets reflected due to cladding and hence it can be easily transported through the core.


There are two types of OFCs viz. single mode and multimode.
• Single mode OFC : It uses single strand of glass fiber with 8.3 to 10 microns in diameter. It carries single mode and supports higher bandwidth than multimode OFC. It offers higher transmission rate and upto 50 times more distance than multimode. Single mode OFC is often used for inter-city telephone trunks and video applications. Light waves of 1300 to 1320 nm wavelength can propagate through single mode fiber.
• Multimode OFC : It is made of glass fibers with 50 to 100 microns diameter. Multimode OFC offers higher bandwidth at greater speeds over medium distances. Light waves with 850 or 1300 nm wavelength can travel through the core of multimode OFC.

Benefits or advantages of OFC

Following are the benefits or advantages of OFC:
• Data can be transmitted at Gbps speed over glass threads of OFC in the form of light pulses. This is higher than copper wire. OFC supports much wider bandwidth (> 10 GHz).
• Light waves in OFC are not affected due to EMI and hence it is more secured way of transmission.
• OFCs provide total electrical isolation.
• Data can travel for miles without signal degradation using OFC. To support more distance without degradation, appropriate repeaters or amplifiers are used.
• OFCs are highly immune to various environmental parameters such as temperature, corrosive liquids and gases.
• OFCs do not provide any shock hazards as they are non-conductors.
• OFCs attenuate signal less than other wired medium of transmission.
• OFCs are smaller in size and lighter in weight.
• Installation of OFCs is easier.
• OFCs are less expensive compare to other cable based systems.
• It offers longer life time e.g. 30-50 years.
• Energy consumption per user is less than copper wires.
• OFCs are highly durable.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of OFC

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of OFC:
➨The initial installation cost of OFCs is higher.
➨OFCs are difficult to splice compare to wires usually at the starting joint and end joint. Splicing is specialized technique which requires skilled man power and expensive equipments or tools.
➨Weak strength of cable i.e. physical & tensile.
➨It requires remote electric power.
➨It requires expensive connectors and tools. Hence it is difficult for maintenance and expensive to repair.
➨OFCs require more protection around cable than copper wires.

Refer copper vs fiber to know difference between OFC and copper and advantages and disadvantages of OFC over copper and vice versa.


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