What is OM5 Wideband Multimode Optical Fiber?

Posted by Kevin Miller on Wed, May 24, 2023 @ 11:05 AM

OM5 optical fiber is the latest iteration in the family of multimode fibers that includes prior types OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4. Formally introduced a few years ago in 2016 by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), it is also known as "Wideband Multimode Fiber" (WBMMF) and was specifically designed to enhance optical transmission performance in both data center and enterprise networks.

OM5 Duplex Lime Green Fiber Optic Patch Cable from M2 Optics

The Importance and Advantages of OM5 

OM5 multimode fiber offers several advantages over its predecessors and is important as fiber optic technology continues to advance.

  • Improved Data Transmission: OM5 fiber supports Shortwave Wavelength Division Multiplexing (SWDM) which allows the simultaneous transmission of multiple wavelengths over a single fiber strand. This increases the amount of data that can be transmitted at the same time, improving efficiency for high-speed networks.
  • Higher Bandwidth: OM5 offers higher bandwidth capabilities than its predecessors and is designed to handle at least 28 GHz of modal bandwidth. This makes it suitable for demanding applications like 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) and beyond.
  • Longer Reach: OM5 fibers enable data transmission over longer distances compared to other multimode fibers, which will be highlighted in an example in the next section of this article.
  • Future-proofing: As data consumption continues to grow, OM5 provides a more future-proof solution for data center and enterprise network operators seeking to support this demand. By installing OM5 now, network operators can minimize the need for infrastructure upgrades in the future when seeking to support emerging applications and fiber-based technology advancements.
  • Compatibility: OM5 fibers are backward compatible with existing OM3 and OM4 fibers that are much more prevalent in networks today, helping to simplify migration and integration with existing infrastructure.

Technical Specifications of OM5

While there are many technical and performance-related specifications for every type of optical fiber including this one, below are a few of the key technical specifications for OM5.

  • Core & cladding diameter: Similar to both OM3 and OM4 fibers, OM5 is constructed having a core diameter of 50 micrometers (µm) and a cladding diameter of 125µm.
  • Laser-optimized fiber: Also similar to both OM3 and OM4 fibers, OM5 is optimized for supporting Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) sources, allowing for improved optical transmission performance.
  • Supported distances: OM5 fibers support longer transmission distances compared to prior OM3 and OM4 fibers. As an example, OM5 can support 100GbE to a maximum distance of 150 meters, while OM4 has a maximum distance of 100 meters.
  • Overfilled Launch (OFL) bandwidth: OM5 fibers have a minimum OFL bandwidth of 3,500 MHz*km at 850nm.
  • Effective Modal Bandwidth (EMB): OM5 fibers have a minimum EMB of 4,700 MHz*km at 850nm.
  • Cable Color: OM5 fibers are identified with a lime green color cable jacketing, distinguishing them from OM3 (aqua) and OM4 (violet or aqua) fiber cables.

Brands of OM5 Fiber from Popular Manufacturers

Several well-known optical fiber manufacturers currently produce OM5 fibers around the world. Below is a brief list that includes each manufacturer along with the brand name of their respective OM5 multimode fiber:

  • Corning® ClearCurve® OM5 Wideband Multimode Fiber
  • OFS® LaserWave® Flex 550 Wideband Multimode Fiber
  • Prysmian™ BendBright™ Wideband Multimode Fiber
  • Yangtze Optical FC® MaxBand® Wideband Multimode Fiber

It is important to note that all of the fibers mentioned above are designed and offered with bend-insensitive performance capabilities.

OM5 Multimode Optical Fiber Solutions from M2 Optics

M2 Optics offers custom lengths of OM5 optical fiber in several different formats for advanced networking and testing applications.

Click any solution below to learn more or request information:

1RU Fiber Lab 250 Rack Chassis with OM5 Optical Fiber Spools

Fiber Lab Network Simulators

Exactly replicate OM5 fiber spans for device testing & training

Compact, handheld launch fiber module for any OTDR device

Sidekick OTDR Launch Fibers

OM5 fibers in a rugged module that pairs with any OTDR device

OM5 Duplex Fiber Optic Patch Cable from M2 Optics

Cabling & Connectivity Solutions

Precision OM5 simplex and duplex patch cables for data centers


Topics: multimode fiber, OM5 wideband multimode optical fiber, OM5