UTP Cables – Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable

UTP Cables

Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is a famous category of the cables that are used in creating a network. UTP cable has two unshielded wires (insulated copper wires) as its parts, and these are twisted more or less each other in order to reduce the crosstalk or else electromagnetic field making between the working pairs of insulated wires. Their low cost is making them most suitable cables for the LANs. Besides this, unshielded twisted pair cabling is used widely for the telephone connections. Though, it does not provide a high bandwidth as compared it with the coaxial cables or optic fiber cable. But the main reason of this technology extensive use is its low cost while installation. It is also uncomplicated to work with this cable.

As UTP cable is a standard copper wire which can be used to join different home or business computers along with a telephone company for the communication and information exchange purposes. It has also become the commonly used twisted pair wiring in the Ethernet 10Base-T network and 100Base-T networks. Following are the unshielded twisted pair cable’s standards that are in use, nowadays, these are: Cat 3 UTP, Cat 5 UTP, Cat 5e UTP and Cat 6 UTP.

Actually, all these UTP standards can be differentiated by keeping in view their rates to carry data. Next is the detail of these standards. One can observe that Category 5 unshielded twisted pair can take data for Ethernet with a rate up-to 100Mbit/s but for ATM, this rate is exceeded up-to 155Mbit/s. Few years back, this was the regular cable that was used along with the Ethernet 100Base-TX. Anyhow, CAT 5 twisted pair cable comes into market in two different varieties:

  1. 1.     Solid
  2. 2.      Stranded

First type solid CAT 5 can hold up longer length wire runs. It is best in working for the fixed type wiring configurations such as office buildings wiring. In contrast, second type “Stranded CAT5” cable is more flexible for shorter-distance wiring as well as better for the movable cabling as patch cabling. Cat-5 cable was to some extent introduced as the replacement of Cat-3 cable. And the same cable is extensively used for the structured cabling as in Fast Ethernet computer networks. These are as well best for transporting many other voice services and ATM signals.

But Cat 5e unshielded twisted pair is the improved form of Cat 5 UTP and this is able to transmit data with a speed of around 1000Mbit/s. This is Ethernet 1000Base-T’s standard cable too. Moreover, that can be employed to make bigger the space of 100Base-TX cable, runs over an area of up-to 350 meters. Cat-5 type cable is perfect to meet a specific standard, named as “EIA/TIA 568A-5.

Now come to the Category 6 UTP cables which is a used normally for the Ethernet computer’s networks, telephone services and for specific security systems. Cat 6 cables can transmit data plus voice at the speed of up to 155 mega bits per second. This category cables are enclosed four twisted copper wire pairs within them and every pair is made of the 23 gauge copper. But its installation is more difficult than the other categories of Cat 5 and Cat 5E.


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