Communicating with Category 6A Cable

In today’s business environment high speed communication is a critical parameter in determining your success. The ability to respond quickly is limited by the slowest part of your business, which oftentimes may be your cabling system. 

Based on the established and reliable Ethernet protocols used in traditional CAT5E and CAT6 systems, CAT6A cabling infrastructure is able to support communications speeds that are significantly faster than anything previously available. Characterized up to 500MHz, and allowing for transmission speeds of up to 10GBit/sec, CAT 6A cabling systems are fast becoming the system of choice for today’s high speed network cabling.

In order to meet the 500MHz performance required for these applications, crosstalk issues had to be addressed both within and between cables; this has led to several design options being available.

  • U/UTP – The traditional unscreened approach. Crosstalk within the cable is addressed by improved twist rates whilst cable-to-cable crosstalk (alien crosstalk) is addressed by unique or patented jacket profiles designed to increase cable separation. U/UTP systems are quick to install but can be more bulky than other solutions due to the cable size.
  • F/UTP – An overall screened approach in which a single overall laminated foil screen is used in the cable to reduce alien crosstalk. F/UTP cables can be similar or smaller in size than their U/UTP counterparts because cable separation is no longer a design consideration. Installation is similar to U/UTP systems as the added screen is easily terminated via a drain wire and should not add significant amounts of time to the installation process.
  • S/FTP – A solution that uses both individual and overall screened cables. The combination of foil screens over the individual pairs as well as an overall braided screen gives this approach the potential for maximum crosstalk minimization. However without careful design and manufacturing control, this approach can be the most costly, bulky and difficult to install.

Irrespective of whether you choose a U/UTP, F/UTP or S/FTP cabling system, the advantages of CAT6A cabling cannot be underestimated.

These benefits include:-

  • A cabling system characterized up to frequencies of 500 MHz
  • Support for transfer rates of up to 10 GBits/second.
  • Can be used for all common Ethernet protocols including 10Base-T, 100Base-T, 1000Base-TX and 10GBase-T
  • Also suited to PoE (Power-over-Ethernet) applications.
  • Preservation of the industry standard 90 meter maximum run length.
  • Backward compatibility with CAT3, CAT5E and CAT6 systems.

Madison is continually working with experts and engineers in the field of communications to ensure a range of options for your CAT 6A cabling solution. Contact a rep today to discuss the solution that will best meet your business needs.