What is the difference between MTP and MPO cables?

What is the difference between MTP and MPO cables?


MTP and MPO cables are both types of high-density fiber optic cables, typically used in network infrastructures, such as data centers, where the need for high data transfer rates and bandwidth is paramount. An MPO (Multi-fiber Push On) cable is essentially a bundle of fiber optic cables, each capable of transmitting and receiving data. On the other hand, MTP (Mechanical Transfer Push-on) is an enhanced version of MPO cables, offering superior performance and reliability. The primary difference lies in their respective designs: MPO cables have flat ends, while MTP cables have a rounded, floating ferrule that ensures better physical contact at the fiber tips.


Both MTP and MPO cables utilize optical fibers that transmit data through light pulses. These fibers, made primarily from silica glass with protective cladding, are fragile yet capable of carrying vast amounts of data over long distances with minimal loss. The primary difference between MTP and MPO cables in relation to the fibers used lies in the precision of fiber alignment. MTP cables offer superior alignment thanks to the floating ferrule, which facilitates improved fiber tip contact, ultimately resulting in lower loss and higher performance of data transmission compared to MPO cables.


The connector is a critical component of both MTP and MPO cables, as it’s responsible for aligning and connecting the fibers to ensure optimal data transfer. MPO connectors can accommodate up to 72 threads, whereas MTP connectors, designed by US Conec, can accommodate up to 216 lines. Both types of connectors utilize push-on technology for quick and efficient connections. However, MTP connectors offer superior performance due to additional features like removable housing, elliptical-shaped guide pins, and a floating ferrule for precise alignment and contact. These enhancements lead to less insertion loss and better return loss, making MTP connectors the preferred choice for high-performance networks.


MTP (Mechanical Transfer Push-on) technology, developed by US Conec, represents a significant advancement in the field of fiber optic connectors. As outlined above, it provides distinct improvements over the older MPO standard, including enhanced fiber alignment, higher capacity, and better overall performance. The key to MTP’s superior performance lies in its floating ferrule, which ensures optimal physical contact at fiber tips, resulting in lower loss and higher performance. Additionally, MTP connectors feature removable housing and elliptical guide pins, which further contribute to precise alignment and superior data transfer. As a result, MTP has become the preferred choice for high-speed, high-performance networks worldwide.


While MPO (Multi-Fiber Push On) technology laid the groundwork for multi-fiber connections, it has certain limitations in comparison to the more advanced MTP standard. Despite being able to connect multiple fibers simultaneously, MPO connectors often exhibit higher insertion loss and lower return loss due to less precise alignment. They lack the features that MTP connectors provide, such as removable housing and elliptical guide pins. These shortcomings can impact the overall performance of a network, particularly in high-speed applications. Therefore, while MPO connectors remain a viable choice for specific applications, the enhanced features and superior performance of MTP connectors make them the preferred option, particularly in high-performance network environments.

How do MTP and MPO connectors compare in terms of performance?

How do MTP and MPO connectors compare in terms of performance?

As we continue our comparison between MTP and MPO connectors, one of the critical areas to consider is the physical contact list. This refers to the various physical interactions between fibers that ensure data transmission. For fiber optic connectors, accurate physical contact is of utmost importance as it directly impacts performance.

Insertion Loss: MTP connectors, with their superior design, typically exhibit lower insertion loss than MPO connectors, thus ensuring more efficient data transmission.

Return Loss: The advanced engineering of MTP connectors results in a higher return loss, signifying less signal reflection and better performance.

Multiple Fiber Connection: Both MTP and MPO connectors support multiple fiber connections simultaneously. However, MTP connectors, with their floating ferrule and removable housing, ensure better alignment and fewer losses.

Durability: The robust design of MTP connectors ensures they are more durable than MPO connectors, providing longevity in high-performance networks.

Ease of Use: The removable housing feature in MTP connectors allows for easier handling and maintenance compared to MPO connectors.

In conclusion, while both MTP and MPO connectors have their place in optical communication, the superior physical contact list of MTP connectors often makes them the preferred choice for high-performance, high-speed networks.

What are the specific applications of MTP and MPO cables?

What are the specific applications of MTP and MPO cables?

MTP and MPO cables find widespread use in high-speed network infrastructure, particularly within data centers.

Datacenter: In data centers, high fiber count cables are essential to handle the immense data traffic. Here, MTP and MPO cables are often employed due to their ability to support multiple fiber connections simultaneously, enhancing transmission capacity and efficiency.

Fiber Optic Cable: MPO fiber optic cables are commonly used in situations where space and cost are of concern. Their compact design can accommodate a higher fiber count in a given diameter compared to traditional cables.

Cabling System: Both MTP and MPO cables play pivotal roles in structured cabling systems, enabling streamlined management and flexibility. They support various types of data transmission, making them suitable for a range of applications, from data centers to telecommunications.

Fiber Counts List: The fiber counts in MTP and MPO cables can vary. MPO cables typically come in 12, 24, 48, and 72 fiber counts, while MTP cables are available in 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72 fiber counts. The choice of fiber count largely depends on the specific requirements of the network infrastructure.

How do MTP and MPO connectors differ in design and construction?

MPO Connectors: Multi-fiber push-on (MPO) connectors are designed to bundle multiple fiber connections into a single device, reducing the space required for high-density fiber networks. They are available with different fiber counts, typically ranging from 12 to 72.

Pin Clamp: The pin clamp in MPO and MTP connectors is a crucial component that ensures the proper alignment of the fibers. It helps to maintain precise positioning of the threads, which is vital for achieving high-quality signal transmission.

MTP Cables: MTP cables, or Mechanical Transfer Push-On cables, are an advanced version of MPO cables. They are engineered to support high-speed, high-performance networks and are commonly used in data centers due to their superior physical contact and performance. MTP cables are available in a variety of fiber counts, including 8, 12, 24, 48, and 72.

MTP Connectors: MTP connectors are designed with enhanced features compared to MPO connectors, with superior physical contact and improved housing design for better performance. They are available in the same fiber counts as MPO connectors and offer enhanced alignment thanks to their floating ferrule, which helps to maintain better physical contact during mating.

What are the key factors to consider when choosing between MTP and MPO connectors?

What are the key factors to consider when choosing between MTP and MPO connectors?

Performance when compared

When comparing the performance of MTP and MPO connectors, several factors come into play:

Signal Loss: Both MTP and MPO connectors are designed to minimize signal loss. However, due to its enhanced design features, MTP connectors typically offer lower insertion loss, making them more suitable for high-speed data transmissions.

Durability: MTP connectors have been reported to provide improved durability because of their superior design and construction. They can withstand more mating cycles than MPO connectors, resulting in a longer lifespan and potentially lower replacement costs.

Compatibility: MTP connectors are backward compatible with MPO connectors. This means you can integrate MTP connectors into an existing MPO-based network without facing compatibility issues.

Cost: While MTP connectors may offer superior performance, they come at a higher price compared to MPO connectors. The decision between the two ultimately depends on the specific requirements of the network and the budget available.

In conclusion, while both connectors have their strengths, the choice between MTP and MPO will largely depend on the specific application, budget, and performance requirements.

Differences between MPO

MPO Connectors, despite having similarities with MTP connectors, possess unique features worth noting:

Design: MPO connectors have a flat ferrule design that aligns fibers in a row. This can potentially lead to more signal loss due to less precise physical contact during mating.

Durability: Typically, MPO connectors may not endure as many mating cycles as MTP connectors. As a result, the longevity of these connectors is often less.

Compatibility: While MPO connectors are compatible with MTP, it’s important to remember that not all MPO connectors can mate with other types of MPOs due to differences in alignment pins.

Cost: MPO connectors are generally more affordable compared to MTP connectors. This lower cost makes them a popular choice for applications with tight budget constraints but also demands a trade-off in terms of performance and durability.

These differences should be carefully considered when deciding on the most suitable connector for a particular application.

MPO based infrastructures

MPO-based infrastructures have a wide variety of applications due to their scalability, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness. Here are a few notable examples:

Data Centers: MPO connectors are often used in data centers due to their ability to support a high density of connections, thereby saving valuable space. The lower cost of MPO connectors also makes them an attractive option for these environments where budgets can be tight.

Telecommunications: In telecommunications, MPO connectors are employed in the backbone cabling systems, where they provide quick and reliable connections.

Enterprise Networks: MPO connectors and cables are utilized in enterprise networks to provide high-speed connections between servers and switches.

Cloud Computing: Cloud service providers use MPO connectors to ensure quick and efficient data transmission between servers in a cloud environment.

Fiber to the Home (FTTH) Applications: MPO connectors are used in FTTH applications to provide high-density and high-bandwidth solutions.

Remember, the choice to use MPO will depend on various factors, including data transmission requirements, available space, and budget.

Interconnect directly with other MPOs.

Another salient advantage of MPO connectors is their ability to interconnect directly with other MPO components. This functionality simplifies the structure of complex networks and makes system upgrades more efficient. Here are a few instances where this feature proves beneficial:

Modular Systems: MPO connectors can directly connect with other MPO connectors within modular systems, facilitating easy expansion and modification of the network.

Parallel Optics Transmissions: In parallel optics transmissions where multiple data streams are sent simultaneously over different fibers, MPO connectors’ direct interconnection capability ensures consistency and reliability.

High-Density Applications: In high-density applications where a large number of fibers are bundled together, direct interconnection with MPO connectors simplifies cable management.

System Testing: MPO connectors’ direct interconnection capability facilitates system testing by making it easier to isolate and troubleshoot specific parts of the network.

Cable Consolidation: The ability of MPO connectors to interconnect directly with other MPO connectors allows for more efficient cable consolidation, reducing clutter and optimizing space utilization.

In sum, the direct interconnection capability of MPO connectors not only simplifies network design but also improves system performance.

Compared to generic MPO connectors

Compared to generic MPO connectors, brand-specific MPO connectors may offer several advantages:

Better Performance: Brand-specific MPO connectors often undergo rigorous quality control checks, ensuring superior performance and less signal loss.

Durability: They typically have a robust build that can withstand harsh environmental conditions and heavy usage, ensuring a more extended lifespan.

Guaranteed Compatibility: With brand-specific connectors, compatibility with the same brand’s equipment is guaranteed.

Technical Support: Brands often offer dedicated technical support to their customers, aiding in installation and troubleshooting.

Warranty: Many brands provide warranties for their MPO connectors, safeguarding against potential defects or performance issues.

While brand-specific MPO connectors may come at a higher price point, the benefits they offer often justify the investment, especially for networks that demand high reliability and performance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between MTP and MPO?

A: MTP is a registered trademark of US Conec and is a type of MPO connector. MTP connectors are built to higher performance standards and are fully compliant with all MPO specifications. So, when people talk about MTP vs MPO, they are actually comparing MTP connectors with the generic MPO connectors.

Q: What are MTP connectors?

A: MTP connectors are high-performance, high-density fiber connectors that are widely used in data center and telecommunications environments. They are designed to provide quick and reliable connections for multiple fibers.

Q: What is an MTP cable?

A: An MTP cable is a type of fiber optic cable that uses MTP connectors on both ends. It is commonly used for high-density interconnection within data centers and telecommunication networks.

Q: How does MTP vs. MPO cable differ?

A: The main difference between MTP and MPO cables is the performance and precision. MTP cables are built to higher performance standards with tighter tolerances, making them more reliable for high-speed and high-density applications.

Q: Is there a difference between MTP and MPO connectors?

A: Yes, while MTP connectors are specific brands that meet higher performance standards, MPO connectors are a generic type of multi-fiber push-on connector. MTP connectors offer enhanced performance and reliability compared to standard MPO connectors.

Q: What are the advantages of MTP connectors over MPO connectors?

A: MTP connectors typically offer higher precision, better performance, and more excellent reliability than generic MPO connectors. They are designed to meet the needs of high-speed and high-density applications.

Q: Can MTP and MPO connectors be used interchangeably?

A: In most cases, yes. MTP connectors can typically be mated directly with other MPO-based connectors without any issues. However, it’s essential to ensure that the connectors are compatible with performance and functionality.

Q: How are MTP connectors constructed?

A: MTP connectors have a metal pin on their tips, which provides precise alignment when mating. They also feature a stainless steel elliptical guide pin to ensure accurate alignment and connectivity in high-density situations.

Q: What are the critical applications of MTP cables?

A: MTP cables are commonly used for high-density interconnection in data centers, telecommunication networks, and other environments where quick and reliable fiber connections are needed.

Q: How does an MTP cable differ from an MTP vs MPO cable?

A: The term “MTP vs MPO cable” generally refers to comparing the performance and precision of the cables. MTP cables are built to higher standards and tighter tolerances compared to generic MPO cables, making them more suitable for high-speed and high-density applications.


  1. Understanding MTP/MPO Cable Assembly – This blog post provides a detailed explanation of the MTP/MPO cable assembly, its features, and applications. It’s valuable for a basic understanding of these connectors.
  2. MPO Vs. MTP: What’s the Difference? – An online article that discusses explicitly the differences between MPO and MTP connectors. It provides a clear comparison that can help readers differentiate between the two.
  3. IEEE Xplore – An academic database that contains numerous technical papers on the subject. These resources would provide a more scientific and detailed analysis of MPO and MTP connectors.
  4. The Evolution and Importance of MTP/MPO Technology in Today’s Data Center – A white paper from Siemon, a manufacturer of network cabling. The article discusses the evolution and importance of MTP/MPO technology.
  5. Corning MTP vs MPO Connectors – This page from Corning, a renowned manufacturer, compares their MTP connectors with generic MPO ones. It’s an excellent source for understanding the benefits of choosing branded products.
  6. Anixter – MTP/MPO Fiber Cabling Guide – A comprehensive guide from Anixter that provides in-depth information on MTP/MPO fiber cabling systems.
  7. Fiber Optics For Sale Co. – MTP and MPO Fiber Cables – This blog post offers a comprehensive understanding of MTP and MPO fiber cables and their usage in various networking environments.
  8. The Role of MPO-Type Connectors in Data Center… – Belden – This blog post by Belden, a cable technology company, discusses the role of MPO-type connectors in data centers.
  9. CommScope – MPO Connector Types – CommScope’s blog provides detailed insight into the types of MPO connectors and their functions.
  10. MPO vs. MTP: What’s the Difference and Which to Choose? – FS.COM – This blog post discusses the differences between MPO and MTP and guides readers on how to choose between them.
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