Updated: Jul 23
Over the last 5 to 8 years, Category 6 (CAT6) cable and Connectors Modular Plugs have become a basic requirement for new buildings in order to support Gigabit network applications and support bandwidths of up to 250MHz. CAT6 is also beginning to replace CAT5E in residential environments. Category 6A (CAT6A) which supports data rates of 10G up to 100 meters and a bandwidth of up to 500MHz has begun to grow in popularity. Many Data Centres, hospitals, and universities have adopted CAT6A as a new minimum requirement. Other developments in CAT7, CAT7A, and also CAT8 are continuing,
which will support even higher data transfer rates and bandwidths.
The dramatic growth in data center throughput has led to the increasing usage and demand for 10G network. Category 6a, also named Cat6a cable, is currently the preferred Ethernet cable designed to meet and exceed the requirements for the next generation 10GBASE-T applications. At present, there are various types of Cat6a network cables like UTP, F/UTP, F/UTP, and F-FTP or S-FTP. Which one is best suitable for the 10GBASE-T network? And other considerations will be given in this article too.
Comparison of CAT6 vs CAT6A cabling
CAT6 cabling provides many advantages and benefits over the CAT5E cabling infrastructure.
When CAT6 was first introduced it was approximately 50% more expensive than CAT5E, which made it cost-prohibitive for many installations.
However, CAT6 costs have reduced substantially over a number of years to the point where costs are almost on par. CAT6 provides greater bandwidth over CAT5E and allows for higher data transfer rates.
Therefore, CAT6 has now become the minimum standard for new cabling installations. As well as being able to easily support 1 Gbps network speeds, CAT6 can also support higher data rates of 10Gbps. However, 10Gbps is only supported over shorter distances of 37-55 meters.
CAT6A is capable of supporting data transfer rates of up to 10Gbps at a maximum bandwidth of 500MHz.