Characteristics of Category 6a (CAT-6A) Ethernet Cable

Without the right cables and connections, high-performance data networks and local area networks (LANs) cannot function properly. It is difficult to believe that high-speed data networks like Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet are descended from telephone networks when we look at them. LAN technologies have advanced significantly over time, with Ethernet now being the most widely used LAN technology.

Cable and components that can transfer faster rates over longer distances have been created as a result of technological advancements. And increased demand for higher networking speeds. Copper categories were created in order to precisely identify network characteristics and ensure that the proper connection equipment was installed. Category 3 can accommodate both voice and 10BASE-T Ethernet.

By the mid-1990s, however, this would have been obsolete, as Category 5 had become widely accessible. And was capable of supporting network rates of up to 100Mbps. CAT-5e, which could more effectively accommodate Gigabit network applications, was the next wave of cable and connector development. CAT-5e is an improved version of Category 5. However, it included new and more strict crosstalk rules.

Allowing Gigabit network applications and high data transfer situations to perform more reliably, therefore rendering Category 5 obsolete. Category 6 (CAT-6) cable and connectors have become a standard need for new buildings. In order to handle Gigabit network applications and bandwidths of up to 250MHz during the previous 5 to 8 years. Cat6a and cat6 plenum copper cable which offers data speeds of 10G up to 100 meters. And a bandwidth of up to 500MHz. And has begun to gain popularity, with the “a” standing for augmented. CAT-6A has become a new minimum requirement for many data centers, hospitals, and institutions.

Ethernet Cat6a Cable Features

The enhanced CAT-6, is also known as CAT-6A. It can allow data transmission speeds of up to 10Gbps at a maximum bandwidth of 500MHz. CAT-6A has more twists and is more tightly twisted, with more insulation to prevent cross talk. Although CAT-6A is backward compatible with CAT-6 and CAT-5e. Speeds are always restricted and the link will perform to the lowest category cable or connector fitted. As a future-proof cable system, CAT-6A is quickly becoming the most cost-effective option. Class EA networks, as specified by ISO/IEC 11801 and TIA/EIA 568, employ CAT-6A components.

The real size and weight of the cable is one of the perceived downsides of CAT-6A. When it first launched in 2008, CAT-6A was 50 percent bigger. Since then, cable diameters have been lowered and thinned down by 10% to 20%. The increased weight limits the quantity of cable. That can be placed in a cable tray and where it may be placed. As a result, the cable tray and conduits are larger, and the bundle size is less. The cable bend radius in the cable tray, patch panel, and behind a wall outlet all require more space.

Termination methods and times were previously considered a disadvantage of CAT-6A installation. However, new modular jacks and outlets that can be terminated in as little as 2-3 minutes have reduced installation time and cost. The ability to future-proof the network is one of the key advantages of building CAT-6A infrastructure now. As a result, a new cabling system is expected to last five years or longer. CAT-6A should be considered as an option. If the network is expected to last ten years or more, CAT-6A looks to be the preferred option.


Consider the following cat6a and cat6 plenum cable features when evaluating the usage of CAT6A components in a 10Gbps, Class EA network:

  • CAT-6A is suggested for new healthcare installations.
  • For new installations in education, Cat6a Solid Copper Cable is suggested.
  • CAT-6A delivers improved Power over Ethernet performance (PoE).
  • Wireless systems that rely on 10Gigabit Ethernet are supported via CAT-6A.

When determining which cabling network to establish, there are several aspects to consider. However, because of its ability to future-proof against rising networking speeds, CAT-6A is proving to be a sensible choice. Due to the continuous usage of the RJ45 connection, CAT-6A is also backward compatible with CAT-6 and CAT-5e. Because it enables larger bandwidths and 10Gbps network speeds up to 100 meters. CAT-6A is proving to be a cost-effective choice for present and new applications.

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