Cabling Information

Data and voice communications can be carried by numerous types of cables which require cabling information in order to choose an appropriate cable. In order to make the choice of cabling easier, a number of cabling standards were established, known as “categories”. Each category refers to the physical characteristics and performance characteristics of the cable. Probably the most widely used of these categories is Category 5 and its successor Category 5e, often shortened to Cat 5 and Cat 5e. Cat 5 and Cat 5e can be used for applications such as 100baseT Ethernet, phone/voice, RS-232, RS-485.

Cables are often referred to as UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair), or STP (Shielded Twisted Pair). Shielded (STP) cable should be used in “noisy” radio frequency environments, e.g. in an industrial environment, or in the vicinity of electric motors, fluorescent lights, power tools. Unshielded (UTP) cable is more generally used in office or home environments.

Category Frequency Cable Application
1 UTP Analogue Voice
2 UTP Digital Voice, 1Mbps data
3 10 MHz UTP, STP 16Mbps data
4 20 MHz UTP, STP 20Mbps data
5 100 MHz UTP, STP 1GBbps data
5e 100 MHz UTP, STP 1Gbps data
6 250 MHz UTP, STP 10Gbps data
6a 500 MHz UTP, STP 10Gbps data
7 / Class F 1000 MHz Currently still at proposal stage