Category 6A

  • CAT6a is the improved version of the CAT6 cable
  • CAT6a is rated for up to 10Gigabits while CAT6 is only rated for 1Gigabit
  • CAT6a operates at 500Mhz as compared to 250Mhz for CAT6
  • CAT6a has twice the bandwidth of CAT6 cables
  • CAT6a is better at resisting alien crosstalk compared to CAT6
  • CAT6a cables are much thicker compared to CAT6
  • CAT6a costs a lot more compared to CAT6

Category 6

  • Backward compatibility to categories 5e, 5 and 3
  • Open standard that allows products from different vendors to work together
  • Patch cord plug and jack interoperability for modular (RJ-45 type) connections
  • Full system specification including testing of components, patch cords, channels and permanent links
  • Twice the bandwidth of category 5e with positive Power Sum Attenuation to Cross-Talk Ratio (PSACR) up to 200 MHz
  • 23 AWG conductors makes Cat 6 a better system to handle PoE+ (25 Watts per channel)
  • All specifications for components and cabling are tested to 250 MHz
  • Both Category 5e and Category 6 will support Gigabit Ethernet (1000-BaseT)
Category Performance Comparisons at a Glance
TIA Cat 5e TIA Cat 6 TIA Cat 6A
Maximum Test


100 MHz 250 MHz 500 Mhz
NOTE: Values for all performance categories are stated @ 100 MHz:
Insertion Loss* (The lower the number, the better the solution) *Also referred to as Attenuation
(dB) (dB) (dB)
Cable 22.0 19.8 19.1
Connecting Hardware 0.40 0.20 0.20
Channel 24.0 21.3 20.9
NEXT (The higher the number, the better the solution)
Cable 35.3 44.3 44.3
Connecting Hardware 43.0 54.0 54.0
Channel 30.1 39.9 39.9
ACRF (The higher the number, the better the solution)
Cable 23.8 27.8 27.8
Connecting Hardware 35.1 43.1 43.1
Channel 17.4 23.3 23.3
Return Loss (The higher the number, the better the solution)
Cable 20.1 20.1 20.1
Connecting Hardware 20.0 24.0 28.0
Channel 10.0 12.0 12.0


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