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Twisted-Pair Cable Categories

Twisted-Pair Cable Categories

In an environment where twisted pair cables are used, a pair of wires form a circuit, that can transmit data and this is done to minimize cross-talk, which is a phenomenon where data on one cable creates an undesired effect on the nearby cable. The twisted pair cable is a commonly used cable in the Local Area Network (LAN). It also connects network nodes to network devices or interconnection network devices. These twisted pair cables geographically offer a PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and plenum cabling.
But before you proceed on to the different categories of the twisted pair cable based on the speed and the technology they support, kindly read on the two major types of twisted pair cables we have. There are two major types of twisted pair cables namely;

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

It is a type of twisted pair cable which is the most commonly used type of twisted pairs in Ethernet networks because of their relatively low cost and easy installation and are considered as the fastest copper-based medium today. On the other hand, these cables support transmission up to a distance of 100 meters and data transfer rates up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps).
The demerit is that these cables are susceptible to signal interference and for transmitting longer distances, these cable need repeaters.

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

An STP cable include a foil wrapper shielding around its conductors to improve the cable’s resistance to interference and noise.it contains four pairs of stranded or solid conductor. And besides, it is more expensive that UTP and also support transmission distance up to 100 meters and supports data transfer rates of 10 to 100 megabits per second (Mbps).
Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) cables prevents signals interference better than a UTP cable. STP cables are more difficult to connect to terminating ends and are more expensive than UTP cables.

Categories of Twisted Pair Cables.

CATEGORY NETWORK TYPE MAXIMUM NETWORK SPEED DESCRIPTION

Category 1(CAT 1)

Voice Transmission

1 Mbps It’s not suitable for networking.

CAT 2

For digital telephone an   low-speed

networks

4 Mbps

Its commonly not used on networks.

CAT 3

Ethernet

10 Mbps

This category is currently used for telephone wiring.

CAT 4

IBM token ring

10 Mbps

It may also be used for 10Mbps Ethernet.

CAT 5

Fast Ethernet Connection

100 Mbps

CAT 5e

Gigabit Ethernet

350 Mbps

CAT 6

Gigabit Ethernet

1 Gbps

It does supports a signaling rate of 250 megahertz (MHz).

CAT 6a

Gigabit Ethernet

1 Gbps

It also supports a signaling rate of 500 megahertz (MHz).

CAT 7

Gigabit Ethernet 1+ Gbps

It support a signaling rate of 2 gigahertz (GHz).

 

Furthermore, some of the twisted pair cabling standards that normalizes the designing and managing of cabling system are:

T568A: It is a standard that is used in commercial buildings and cabling systems that support data networks, voice, and video.

T568B: It purposely defines the standards for cables, such as 100 ohms, and shielded twisted pair cables and optical fiber cables.

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