Copper cabling

Conditions for the use of cables in buildings in relation to the reaction to fire requirements.


*  technically unreachable for data cables
** inadmissible for data cables according to EN 50174-1 / A2: 2015

* only for classes B1ca , B2ca , Cca , Dca


Relationship between transmission properties and performance categories of cables


International standards have defined five cabling categories - Cat.5E, Cat.6, Cat.6A Cat.7, and Cat.7A. However, there are only two performance levels represented by two transmission speeds - 1 Gigabit/s and 10 Gigabit/s.Cat.5E is efficient for networks with transmission speed of 1 Gigabit/s. Cat.6A is optimal for networks with transmission speed of 10 Gigabit/s.

A transmission speed of 1 Gigabit/s complies with the fastest protocol, 1000BASE-T, where a bandwidth of 100 MHz is required for the transmission. A transmission speed of 10 Gigabit/s complies with the fastest portocol, 10GBASE-T, where a bandwidth of 500 MHz is required for the transmission. The diagram below illustrates the relationship between the performance of structured cabling and the standardized categories: 


As indicated in the diagram, it is clear that the same performance can be achieved by several cabling categories. A required safety margin of 20% is already included in both 100 MHz and 500 MHz bandwidths required. Therefore it is not possible to utilize a bandwidth above this value, nor does it contribute to the enhancement of transmission reliability. However, installing Cat.7 and Cat.7A interoperable cables is reasonable and appropriate due to their increased resistance to electromagnetic interference.


New high-speed transmission protocols,yet with a big question marks.

In the year 2016 two new protocols 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T were standardized which should allow the transmission speed to be increased to 2.5 or 5 Gigabit / s. for structured cabling Cat.5E and Cat.6. However, tests on installed wiring showed that it was more of a wish than a real prospect. Because of the overlap between Alien Crosstalk cables these protocols did not work on most cabling.
Therefore, the only way to achieve a higher transmission speed than 1 Gigabit/s is to continue installing the Cat.6A structured cabling.


The IEEE 802.3 standardization commission has been working on protocols with a transmission speed of 25 and 40 Gigabit / s for several years. Due to these protocols, new performance categories Cat.8.1 and Cat.8.2 are about to be introduced. The maximum transmission channel length will be 30m only. Therefore, Cat.8.1 and Cat.8.2 are practically unusable in horizontal structured cabling. Even in the data centers, for which these high-speed protocols are being developed, it will be hard to compete with fiber optics. Fiber optics generate less heat. Cooling costs are one of the highest expenses in data centers 




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