CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7, & CAT7A Low Voltage Cabling Facts

CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7, and CAT7A Low Voltage Cables are all manufactured with 4-twisted pairs. All major cable manufacturers make their cable to meet or exceed the minimum industry standards for each type of low voltage cabling.

The Maximum Distance for CAT5e, CAT6, CAT6a, CAT7, and CAT7A cable is 100-Meters or 328’.


CAT5e cabling supports up to Gigabit Ethernet by transmitting at a frequency of 100-MHz.


CAT6 cabling supports 10-Gigabit Ethernet by transmitting at a frequency of 250-MHz.

CAT6 cabling uses 23 AWG conductors and more pair twists per inch to reduce signal noise and interference.

CAT6 specifications guarantee that 100-Meter runs of Category 6 cable are capable of Gigabit transfer speeds. (10GB speeds are limited to 164 feet with CAT6)


CAT6A cabling doubles the capacity of CAT6 by transmitting at a frequency of 500-MHz.

CAT6A cabling supports full 10-Gigabit Ethernet speeds up to the max cable length of 100 meters (328’).


CAT7 cabling supports 100GB speeds up to 15-Meters/49’

CAT7 cabling supports 40GB speeds up to 50-Meters/164’

CAT7 cabling supports 10GB speeds up to 100-Meters/328’

CAT7 cabling transmits at a frequency of 600-MHz.


CAT7A cabling supports 100GB speeds up to 15-Meters/49’

CAT7A cabling supports 40GB speeds up to 50-Meters/164’

CAT7A cabling supports 10GB speeds up to 100-Meters/328’

CAT7A cabling transmits at a frequency of 1,000-MHz.

CAT7 and CAT7A are the newest cable standards for Ethernet cabling

CAT7 cable was developed with strict specifications on crosstalk and EMI protection.

CAT7 and CAT7A cabling are REACH and RoHS compliant.

CAT7A cable has conductor pairs that are individually wrapped in foil and surrounded by an overall braid.

CAT7/CAT7A applications include 10-gigabit Ethernet, PoE+, HDBaseT and more.

CAT7/CAT7A provide exceptional noise immunity.

CAT7/CAT7A have all pairs individually shielded.

CAT7/CAT7A have four (4) individually shielded pairs as well as an overall cable shield to protect the signals from crosstalk and EMI


CAT7 cable is commonly terminated using a GG45 connector, which is a connector that it backwards compatible with the 8-Pin/8Conductor RJ45 connectors used on CAT6/A or CAT5e cables.

The GG45 connector has four additional conductors that provide support for frequencies up to 600MHz, and 1000MHz using CAT7a. The higher frequencies allow CAT7 cable to support 10-Gigabit Ethernet.

CAT7 cable may also be terminated using TERA connectors, which was developed by Siemon. The TERA connector has a unique footprint and is not compatible with a standard 8-Pin/8Conductor RJ45 connector. The TERA connector is also capable of supporting frequencies of up to 600MHz, up to 1000MHz using CAT7A cable. The ability to support the higher frequencies allows CAT7 and CAT7A cable to carry more data. This allows CAT7 and CAT7A cable to support Ethernet applications up to 10-Gigabit Ethernet.

CAT7 and CAT7A cabling will be used for backbone connections between servers within a data center. This will provide a high-speed interconnect used for data transfer within the network.

This also provides an alternative to using fiber optic cabling within the data center. CAT7 and CAT7A cabling will provide similar performance to some fiber solutions. The cost of equipment that supports copper cabling is typically less than equipment that supports fiber cabling. Another advantage is that the copper cabling is not as fragile as fiber cabling.


UTP = Unshielded Twisted Pair

F/UTP = Unshielded Twisted Pair (a single foil screen encasing the four pairs collectively)

STP = Shielded Twisted Pair

FTP = Foiled Twisted Pair

SFTP = Shielded Foiled Twisted Pair

SSTP = Shielded Screened Twisted Pair

ECS is a Licensed, Bonded Low Voltage Contractor located in Seattle, WA & Portland, OR.

ECS provides local technicians for on-site work installing and servicing a variety of voice/data equipment, ie; Low Voltage Cabling, CAT5e/CAT6, Fiber Optic, IP Office Telephone Systems, Voicemail, Telephones, Firewalls, Ethernet Switches, Circuit Extensions, Wireless Networking, Video Surveillance, Point of Sale, Overhead Paging, Avaya Aura Servers, Gateways, etc. 

ECS provides services in Washington & Oregon, primarily in the greater Seattle & Portland areas.

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