Should I use singlemode or multimode OM4 in a fibre network?
Jun 2023 5 min read

Should I use Singlemode or Multimode OM4 in a Fibre Network?

Single-mode fibre optic cable is typically used when longer distances or higher bandwidths are required in a network, while multimode fibre is suitable for shorter distances and lower bandwidths. This informative article will highlight some specific scenarios where single-mode fibre may be preferred over multimode.

At the beginning of the article, you’ll learn when to use a Single-mode rather than multimode fibre. In the second half of this article, we will explain what an OM4 Fibre cable is and will also mention its benefits. 

Scenarios where single-mode fibre may be preferred over multimode

Long-distance transmission

Single-mode fibre can transmit signals over longer distances than multimode fibre. For example, single-mode fibre will likely be the better choice if you need to transmit data over several kilometres. 

Higher bandwidth  

Single-mode fibre has a much higher bandwidth than multimode fibre, allowing it to carry more data at high speeds. So, if your network requires very high bandwidth, always use single-mode fibre. 


Single-mode fibre has a smaller core and uses a single beam of light to transmit data, making it more difficult to tap or intercept. On the other hand, multimode fibre is easier to tap or intercept since it uses multiple beams of light. 

Future scalability

If you expect your network to grow and require higher bandwidth or longer distances in the future, it may be wise to choose single-mode fibre so that you don’t have to upgrade your network later.

What is an OM4 fibre cable? 

OM4 fibre, also known as Laser-Optimized Multimode Fiber, is an optical fibre cable specifically designed to support high-speed data transmission in optical networks. It is an enhanced version of multimode fibre (OM1 and OM3), so it offers improved performance compared to its predecessors.  

Main benefits of OM4 fibre cables

High Bandwidth

OM4 fibre has a higher bandwidth than previous generations of multimode fibre, allowing it to support faster data transmission over longer distances.

It can support data rates of up to 100Gbps over a distance of 100 meters, making it ideal for high-bandwidth applications such as data centres, cloud computing, and video streaming. 

Transmission Distances

OM4 fibre can transmit data over longer distances than previous generations of multimode fibre. So, it is a good choice for building and campus networks where longer distances are required.

Lower Power Consumption

It requires less power to operate than other types of fibre, reducing energy consumption and costs. 


Installing OM4 fibre cable ensures your network can support future technological advancements and bandwidth requirements. It is compatible with OM3 fibre, allowing you to upgrade your network in stages as needed.  


Usually, OM4 fibre is more expensive than older generations of multimode fibre, but it is generally more cost-effective than single-mode fibre, due to the cost of transmission equipment, and can offer better performance for certain applications.


As promised at the beginning of this article, we have revealed the scenarios where it is best to use Single-mode fibre rather than multimode. Moreover, we have also explained what OM4 fibre cable is and also mentioned its benefits.

Finally, we can say that OM4 fibre cable is a good choice for network applications that require high-speed data transmission over shorter distances. Its higher bandwidth, lower power consumption, and future-proofing capabilities make it a versatile and reliable option for several network environments.

It is also worth noting that installing single-mode fibre is generally more expensive than multimode fibre, and it requires more precise installation and alignment of the optical components, which can increase installation costs.  

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2023-06-20 04:03:00
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