Meta: Wondering if you should buy singlemode fibers or multimode fiber cables? Here are some key differences to keep in mind.

Fiber optic cabling is one of the most crucial processes in the telecommunication or data industries. It requires a lot of focus among integrators who are assigned the task of developing a cable management program that helps them run their networks as seamlessly and simply as possible.

Since fiber optic cabling involves so many decisions and brainstorming, many people struggle to choose between single-mode and multimode fiber cables. While they both perform the same tasks, choosing the right one can make all the difference to your network’s affordability, bandwidth, distance, and overall quality.

This increases the need for people to not only find dependable fiber optic cables for sale but also to make sure they understand the key differences between single-mode and multimode fibers. The best way to do so is to break down all the areas of major differences and make an informed decision accordingly.

Whether you’re about to purchase new fiber patch cables for your data center or are starting the fiber optic cabling process from scratch, keep all the differences between single-mode and multimode fibers in mind. Here are some factors to help you get started.


If you frequently buy single-mode fiber cables, it might be easier for you to understand how they’re well-suited for long-distance networks than multimode optical fibers. However, multimode fibers are an excellent choice if you’re looking to establish a fiber optic cabling system in a limited space.

It’s because multimode optical fibers improve the network’s ability to undergo short-distance runs, reducing all the risks of running a data center in small spaces. Single-mode fibers pave the way for networks to run from 40G to 100G of distance, while multimode fiber optics offer a distance from 1G to 10G.

a blue multimode cable

Core Diameter

Sometimes the primary difference between single-mode and multimode fibers comes down to their size and core diameter. This is a significant difference to keep in mind when making a cable management plan for your data center.

The core diameter of single-mode fibers is significantly small than multimode fibers. You can expect it to be somewhere around 9 µm, which is a lot less than the 50 to 60µm of multimode fibers.

The higher the core diameter of a fiber cable, the better its ability to gather more light and make network connections more seamless. However, if you choose to work with both single-mode and multimode fibers, you may be able to benefit from a core diameter of over 100 µm.

multimode fiber cables

Wavelength & Light Source

Now that we know the core diameters of both single and multimode fibers, it becomes much easier to learn about their respective wavelengths and light sources. The large diameter of multimode fibers allows the cable to source light from LEDs and VCSELs. The wavelengths of these sources range from 850nm to over 1000nm.

Similarly, single-mode fibers rely on light sources like a laser, which carries a much heavier wavelength of up to 1500 nm. Knowing these light sources can easily equip you to make the right choices between both single and multimode fibers.

green fiber patch cables

Whether you’re looking to buy fiber patch cables with single-mode fibers or multimode fibers, you can now get everything you need at Fibermart. Primarily known for the quality and reliability of its fiber optics tools for sale, it’s one of the top companies to buy single-mode cables, fiber couplers, LC and SC pigtails, and a wide range of other fiber optic solutions. Check out their products here or get in touch with them to learn more about the quality, price, and durability of the fiber optic cables for sale they offer.