Wired Intelligent Edge (Campus Switching and Routing)


Two doubts about cabling

Hi guys,


Please can you clarify these two doubts I have about cabling:


  1. The bandwidth of the different cable categories are specified in MHz, but the data rates they support are specified in Mbps. For example, cat 5e has a bandwidth of 100 MHz, but it can support up to 1 Gbps (100 meters). When does it make sense to talk about cables bandwidth when we always talk about data rates they support?
  2. Both cat 5e and cat 6 support 1 Gbps , assuming there are no Smart Rate or multi-gigabit compliance equipment, which can support up to 5 Gbps with cat 6. Why then I would pay for a more expensive cat 6 cable system rather than installing less-costly cat 5e if they are going to provide the same performance?



MVP Guru

Re: Two doubts about cabling

Please check https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethernet_over_twisted_pair


If you have more bandwidth (in MHz), you can transfer more data through a single cable or over a longer distance. That is nicely illustrated on the Wikipedia page:


So, if you are 100% sure that you won't use anything above the Cat5e specifications (and have your cabling certified so it really meets the specifications), like only 1000Mbps, I don't see a need to invest in higher class cable. As with time the Smart Rate equipment costs will come down, if you have invested in Cat6 or better, you can get the higher speed or over longer distances than with Cat5.


In general, the additional investment is much smaller than a wire replacement later on, but its up to you to make up the balance. See it as part of future proofing.

If you have urgent issues, please contact your Aruba partner or Aruba TAC (click for contact details).

Re: Two doubts about cabling

Hi Herman,

Thanks for clarifying, nice explanation!

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