Category 5 (CAT 5E), Category 6 (CAT 6 and CAT 6A) and Category 7 (CAT 7) cables are structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet. Their specification cover their construction, performance characteristics and test requirements. Category 7 cables are specified in CENELEC EN 50173:2002 and ISO/IEC 11801:2002 standards for installation cables only, however Category 7 cables are not yet recognised by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA/EIA). Category 7 cables, in addition to the approved Cat 5e, 6 and 6a LAN cables, form part of a wide range of cables used for the transmission of Gigabit Ethernet.
|Cat 5E||Category 5E supports a frequency range of up to 100MHz and is designed for transmission speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gigabit Ethernet).|
|Cat 6||Category 6 supports a frequency range of up to 250MHz and is designed for transmission speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gigabit Ethernet). Cat6 offer improved performance and transmission reliability, especially in connection with the 1000BaseT and 1000BaseTX protocols.|
|Cat 6A||A very high performance data cable designed for transmission speeds of up to 10GB per second. Developed specifically with the new 10GBaseT Ethernet protocol in mind. Category 6a offers 500MHz bandwidth and so is suitable for the most data-intensive applications used on metallic computer networks.|
|Cat 7||Category 7 cables are very high performance data cable designed for transmission speeds of up to 10GB per second over 100m, and supporting frequency ranges up to 600MHz. They are backwards conmpatible with Cat 5e, Cat 6 and Cat 6a, and have individual and overall screening to meet strict crosstalk requirements.|