I get asked this question a lot by network technicians when they’re deciding what kind of cable to install in their network. The major difference between OM3 and OM4 cables is bandwidth – which has a direct effect on channel distance.
|Fiber Type||Wavelength||Effective Modal Bandwidth|
|OM3 50 µm||850||2000|
|OM4 50 µm||850||4700|
The chart below shows how this additional bandwidth translates to maximum operating distance.
|Cannel Insertion Loss||Max||1.9||1.5||dB|
As you can see, OM4 offers a longer maximum distance of 150 meters versus 100 meters for OM3. You may have also noted that the loss budget for the OM4 channel is lower by .4dB. This is a very important consideration when specifying your network cables.
Choosing between OM3 and OM4 for new installations is critical. OM4 is currently more expensive than OM3. OM4 can be installed for longer channel lengths that may be needed in some data centers. This is a critical decision that should be well thought out. No data center or technology road map is the same – this is not a one size fits all decision!
We’d be happy to answer any questions you have about whether OM3 or OM4 is right for your network – just give us a call at 1.800.913.9465.