Home Technology 3 Types of Physical Media – Qualities of Fiber-Optic Cabling?

3 Types of Physical Media – Qualities of Fiber-Optic Cabling?

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The physical layer represents bits as voltages, radio frequencies or light pulses so various standards organizations have led to the phrase the physical electrical, and mechanical qualities from the media readily available for different data communications. These traits be certain that cables and connectors will work as expected with various data link layer implementations. You will find three primary groups of physical media:


Copper cable Media

Kinds of cable include unshielded twisted-pair (UTP), shielded twisted-pair (STP), and coaxial cable. Copper-based cables are affordable and simple to utilize when compared with fiber-optic cables, but because you’ll learn whenever we enter into the particulars, the primary drawback to copper cable is it provides a limited range that can’t handle the advanced applications.

The most famous physical media for data communications is cabling (copper media) that utilizes copper wires to transmit data as well as control bits between network devices. Cables use for data communications generally includes a number of individual copper wires that from circuits focused on specific signalling purposes. You will find three primary kinds of copper media utilized in networking:

  • Unshielded Twisted-Pair (UTP)
  • Shielded Twisted-Pair (STP)
  • Coaxial

The above mentioned cables interconnect computers on the LAN along with other devices for example switches, routers, and wireless access points. Each kind of connection and also the connected devices has cabling needs per physical layer standards. The physical layer standards also specify using different connectors for various. Physical layer standards also specify the mechanical size of the connectors and also the acceptable electrical qualities of every type.


Unshielded Twisted-Pair Cable (UTP)

Unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling is easily the most common networking media for voice and for data communications. UTP cable includes four pairs of colour-coded wires which have been twisted

Then and together encased inside a flexible plastic sheath that protects from minor physical damage. The twisting of wires helps you to decrease electromagnetic as well as radio-frequency interference caused in one wire to another.

UTP cabling ended with RJ-45 connectors for interconnecting network hosts with intermediate networking devices Much like switches and routers. Within the figure, you can observe the colour codes discover the individual pairs and wires which help in cable termination.


Shielded Twisted-Pair Cable(STP)

Shielded twisted-pair (STP) provides better noise protection than UTP cabling. However, when compared with UTP cable, STP cable is much more costly and hard to set up. Like UTP cable, STP uses an RJ-45 connector.


The additional covering in shielded twisted pair wiring protects the transmission line from electromagnetic interference dripping into or from the cable. STP cabling frequently utilized in Ethernet systems, especially fast data rate Ethernet.

Shielded twisted-pair (STP)  cables also combine the strategy of shielding to counter EMI and RFI, and wire twisting to counter crosstalk. To use the entire benefit of the shielding STP cables also ended with special shielded STP data connectors. When the cable is incorrectly grounded the shield may behave as an antenna and get undesirable signals.


Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is known as “coaxial” due to the fact there are two conductors that share exactly the same axis. The outer funnel works as a ground. A number of these cables or pairs of coaxial tubes placed in one outer sheathing with repeaters, can transport information for any good distance. As proven within the figure, the coaxial cable includes:

  • A copper conductor accustomed to send the electronic signals.
  • A layer of flexible plastic insulation surrounding a copper conductor.
  • The padding encircled inside a woven copper braid or metallic foil that functions because the second wire within the circuit so that as a shield for that inner conductor. This second layer or shield also reduces the quantity of outdoors electromagnetic interference.
  • The entire cable has engrossed in a cable jacket to avoid minor physical damage.


There are various kinds of connectors uses with coax cable.

Although, UTP cable has basically replaced the coaxial cable in modern Ethernet installations, the coaxial cable design:

  • There are various kinds of coax cable that people may use diversely following may be the table of various kinds of coax cable


Fiber optics Cable Media

Fiber Optic cable is another kind of physical media. It provides huge data bandwidth, protection to various kinds of noise and interference, that has been enhanced security.

So, fiber provides obvious communications along with a comparatively noise-free atmosphere. The drawback to fiber is it is pricey to buy also it requires specialized equipment and methods for installation.


Qualities of Fiber-Optic Cabling

Fiber optic cable can send data over lengthy distances with greater bandwidths than every other networking media. Optic fiber cable can send signals with less attenuation and it is totally protected against EMI and RFI. OFC is usually accustomed to connect network devices.

Fiber optic cable is really a flexible, but very thin a transparent strand of very pure glass, not larger than an individual hair. Bits are encoded around the fiber as light impulses. The fiber-optic cable functions like a waveguide or “light pipe,” to transmit light backward and forward ends using the minimal lack of signal.

Being an example, consider a clear paper towel roll using the inside coated just like a mirror. It’s a 1000 meters long, along with a small laser pointer transmits a Morse code signal in the speed of sunshine. Basically that’s the way a fiber-optic cable operates except that it’s smaller sized across and uses advanced light technologies.


Fiber-optic cabling has become getting used in four types:

  • Enterprise Systems: Employed for backbone cabling and interconnecting infrastructure devices.
  • Fiber-to-the-Home: Accustomed to give always-on broadband services to homes and small companies.
  • Long-Haul Systems: The providers make use of this type for connecting countries and metropolitan areas.
  • Submarine Systems: Accustomed to give reliable high-speed high-capacity solutions able to living in harsh underwater environments as much as transoceanic distances.


Fiber Optic Cable structure

The optical fiber consists of 2 kinds of glass (core and cladding) along with a protective outer shield (jacket) implies that figure 3-8.



The main is really the sunshine transmission element in the center from the optical fiber. This core is usually silica or glass. Light pulses traverse the fiber core.



Produced from quite different chemicals than individuals used to help make the core. It has a tendency to do just like a mirror by reflecting light into the core from the fiber. This prevents the sunshine within the core because it travels lower the fiber.



Accustomed to help shield the main and cladding from damage.


Strengthening Member

Surrounds the buffer, prevents the fiber cable from being extended out when it’s being pulled. The fabric used is frequently exactly the same material uses to fabricate bulletproof vests.



Typically a PVC jacket that protects the fiber against abrasion moisture, along with other contaminants. This outer jacket composition can differ with respect to the cable usage.


Kinds of Fiber Media

Light pulses instead of the transmitted data as bits around the media generated by:

  • Lasers
  • Light emitting diodes (LEDs)


Electronic semiconductor devices known as photodiodes identify the sunshine pulses after which convert these to voltages. The laser light transmitted over fiber-optic cabling can harm the eye. Care must automatically get to avoid searching in to the finish of active optical fiber. Fiber-optic cables are mainly classified into two sorts:

  • Single-mode fiber (SMF): its core is extremely small uses very costly laser technology to transmit just one ray of sunshine as proven in Figure Famous lengthy-distance situations spanning countless kilometres for example individuals needed in lengthy-haul telephony and cable television applications. Following is single mode cable characteristics.


o          Small core

o          Less dispersion

o          Use laser because the source of light

o          Suited for lengthy distance application

o          Commonly combined with campus backbone for that distance of countless 1000 meters.


  • Multimode fiber (MMF): Its core is large and this kind of cable uses Brought emitters to transmit light pulses. Particularly, light from the Brought enters the multimode fiber at different angles as proven in Figure 3-10. Famous LANs simply because they operated by low-cost LEDs. It offers bandwidth as much as 10 Gb/s over link lengths as high as 550 meters. Following is single mode cable characteristics.
  • Larger core than single-mode cable
  • Uses LEDs because the source of light
  • Allows greater dispersion and for that reason, lack of signal
  • Suited for lengthy distance application but shorter than single mode
  • Commonly combined with LANs or distances of a few hundred meters inside a campus network.


Wireless Media

Wireless media include radio frequencies, microwave, satellite, and infrared. Deployment of wireless media is quicker and fewer pricey compared to deployment of cable, mostly where there’s no existing infrastructure. There’s a couple of disadvantages connected with wireless. It supports reduced data rates compared to wired media. Wireless can also be greatly impacted by exterior environments, like the impact of weather, consequently, reliability can be challenging to ensure. It carries data by means of electromagnetic signals using radio or microwave frequencies.


Wireless media offers the best mobility options, and the amount of wireless-enabled devices is constantly on the increase. As network bandwidth options increase, wireless is rapidly gaining in recognition in enterprise systems and contains some important indicate consider before planning:-

  • Coverage area: Wireless data communication technologies work nicely in open environments. However, certain construction materials utilized in structures and structures, and also the local terrain, will limit the effective coverage.
  • Interference: Wireless reaches risk to invasion and could be disrupted by such common devices as household cordless phones, some kinds of fluorescent lights, microwaves, along with other wireless communications.
  • Security: Wireless communication coverage requires no use of an actual strand of media. thus, devices and users, not approved for accessibility network, can get access to the transmission. Network security may be the primary element of wireless network administration.
  • Shared medium: WLAN operate in half-duplex, meaning only one device can send or receive at any given time. The wireless medium is shared of all wireless users. The greater users have to connect to the WLAN concurrently, leads to less bandwidth for every user.


Kinds of Wireless Media

The IEEE and telecommunications industry standards for wireless data communications cover both data link and physical layers. cellular and satellite communications can provide data network connectivity. But, we’re not discussing these wireless technologies within this chapter. In all these standards, physical layer specifications put on areas which include:


  • Transmission Frequency
  • The transmission power transmission
  • Data to radio signal encoding
  • Signal reception and decoding needs
  • Antenna construction and designs


Wi-Fi is really a trademark from the Wi-Fi Alliance. The certified product uses owed to WLAN devices that derive from the IEEE 802.11 standards. Different standards would be the following:-


WI-FI standard IEEE 802.11

WLAN technology generally known as Wi-Fi. WLAN utilizes a protocol referred to as Carrier Sense Multiple Access/Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA). The wireless NIC must first listen before transmitting to determine when the radio funnel is obvious. If another wireless system is transmitting, then your NIC must hold back until the funnel is obvious. We discuss CSMA/CA later briefly.


Bluetooth standard IEEE 802.15

Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) standard, generally referred to as “Bluetooth”, utilizes a device pairing tactic to communicate over distances from 1 to 100 meters.


WI-MAX Standard IEEE 802.16

Usually referred to as Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), utilizes a point-to-multipoint topology to provide wireless broadband access.

Wireless LAN (WLAN)


General wireless data implementation wireless LAN necessitates the following network devices:

  • Wireless Entry Way (AP): Inside a wireless lan (WLAN), an entry way (AP) is really a station that transmits and receives data. An entry way also connects users with other users inside the network and may serve as the purpose of interconnection between your WLAN along with a fixed wire network. Each entry way can serve multiple users inside a defined network area, then when people move beyond the plethora of one entry way, they’re instantly paid to another one. A little WLAN may require a single entry way the amount needed boosts the purpose of the amount of network users and also the physical size the network.
  • Wireless NIC adapters: Provide wireless communication capability to each network host.


As technologies have developed, numerous WLAN Ethernet-based standards emerged. So, more care must be drawn in purchasing wireless devices to make certain compatibility and interoperability.

The advantages of wireless data communications technology is obvious, specially the savings on pricey premises wiring and also the ease of host mobility

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