What is OM5 fiber and what are the advantages over OM3/OM4?

OM5 is a multimode fiber cable designed for high bandwidth and short to medium range applications. Is the first approved as WBMMF (Wide Band Multimode Fiber) designed to specifically handle high-speed data center applications.

It was created to support shortwave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM) applications that reduce parallel fiber count by transmitting multiple VCSEL wavelenghts in the 850-950nm range.

OM5Comparison OM5 fiber with others optical fiber

OM5 fiber is backward compatible with OM3 and OM4 fiber cabling. The attenuation has been reduced and the bandwidth requirement of 953nm wavelenght has been increased.

The limits to be met for cabled optical fiber transmission performance are specified in the following table:Table OM5


Multimode optical fiber modal bandwidth:Table OM5


Operational distances supported by optical fibre applications for multimode optical fiber:

Table OM5

In multimode IEEE applications, the maximum transmission distance supported by OM4 and OM5 is the same.


According to SWDM4 MSA technical specifications, the expected maximum operational distances are specified in the following table:

Table OM5According to a testing with 40G-SWDM4 transceivers, it shows that 40G-SWDM4 could reach 400 meters over OM4 fiber, while over OM5 cable, the module can achieve link length up to 500 meters. If a datacenter is using non-IEEE-compliant 100G-SWDM4 transceivers, it proven that OM5 can support only more 50 meters than OM4.

The optical fiber and cable subcommitee, TR-42.12, approved lime green as the OM5 official jacket color cable.



Wideband multimode fiber is a reliable medium to expand your data center or enhance network capacity. With the capability of managing multiple wavelengths, it effectively reduces the number of fibers and enhances total channel capacity, proven to be a cost-effective solution for increasing network bandwidth.

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José Perdiz
José Perdiz

Networking System Consultant at barpa

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