MTP®/MPO vs Traditional LC Fiber Cables: Which One to Choose?

Posted on Oct 31, 2023

In today's rapidly evolving networking landscape, MTP®/MPO fiber cables have become crucial for efficient, high-performance data transmission. These fiber cables offer numerous advantages over traditional options, making them increasingly popular in various industries. Understanding the structure and different applications of MTP®/MPO vs LC fiber cables is crucial for data center cabling choices.

MTP®/MPO vs LC Fiber Cables: What Are They

MTP®/MPO cables are fiber cables with MTP®/MPO connectors. The MTP®/MPO fiber optic connector also known as the Multifiber Termination Push-on connector, is a high-density, multi-fiber optical connector. It can accommodate multiple fibers within a single connector, typically ranging from 8 to 144 fibers. MTP® is a registered trademark of US Conec and is fully compliant with the MPO standards, achieving higher performance levels when compared to generic MPO connectors. With special fiber connectors, MTP®/MPO fibers are commonly used in high-density environments like data centers and telecommunications networks.

LC fiber cable is a common type of fiber optic patch cable that utilizes LC connectors for fiber optic connections. LC connectors are small-sized fiber connectors, and each LC connector can only accommodate one optical fiber. Therefore, LC fiber cables are suitable for single-channel fiber optic connection requirements. LC fiber cables can be used to connect fiber panels, equipment, and other fiber connection points.

MTP®/MPO vs Traditional LC Fiber Cables

MTP®/MPO vs LC Fiber Cables: What Are the Advantages

MTP®/MPO Fiber Cables Used in Throughput Data Centers

With their ability to terminate multiple fibers in a single MTP®/MPO connector, MTP®/MPO fibers enable efficient cable management and optimized space utilization. For example, plugged into one FS 1U fiber enclosure, almost 1,152 fibers (MTP®-24 cables) can be managed in 1U rack space. This makes the best use of MTP®/MPO fiber connectivity infrastructure to improve wiring density.

Additionally, MTP®/MPO fibers can offer notable advantages like seamless high-speed upgrades. When it's decided to upgrade to 40G from 10G, an MTP®-12 to LC duplex breakout fiber cable with one QSFP-SR4-40G transceiver and four 10G SFP+ transceivers can achieve this connection. MTP®/MPO breakout fibers ensure simplified connectivity and high-speed data transmission while meeting specific network upgrade requirements.

LC Fiber Cables Used in Point-to-Point Links

Traditional LC connector offers compatibility with existing wiring systems. Many networks are already equipped with LC connectors, especially in 1G (Gigabit) applications. Even when upgrading to higher speeds like 10G (10 Gigabits), the LC fiber cables can still be used by connecting SFP+ transceivers or employing media converters or other compatible equipment. This compatibility allows for a seamless transition and utilization of the existing infrastructure without the need for extensive rewiring.


In summary, MTP®/MPO connector is multi-fiber connectors used for high-density applications, while traditional LC connector is single-fiber connectors used in various networking and data communication scenarios. The choice between MTP®/MPO vs LC fiber cables depends on factors such as the required fiber count, available space, and the specific application requirements.

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