Characteristics of IT Cabling

Selection criteria for components for network cabling

A lot helps a lot?

Many an IT cabling is made up of individual components of different manufacturers. According to the principle of "a lot helps a lot", users, planners and professional installers select components with very high individual values. But instead of the efficient infrastructure they hope for, they often get much poorer results with these mix & match solutions than with a cabling consisting of adapted system components of one product series with less spectacular individual values. This is not surprising when one asks critically what the individual values mean.

Maximum frequency and nvp value come up in every discussion about IT cablings. With the support of keen marketing departments of individual manufacturers, the data sheets of individual components are taking on almost inflationary dimensions. Users, installers and planners love the feeling of security that large reserves suggest in comparison with the standard values. Investment security and future safety due to the allegedly longer endurance are favourite arguments.

In actual fact, the values specified in the pertinent standard are only minimum requirements which have been agreed on after long discussions. Product solutions with appropriate reserves in comparison with these values not only work reliably in the protected laboratory environment but also under harsh practical conditions.

Nevertheless it is common, in practice, for individual components with excellent technical values and enormous reserves to deliver disappointing results in their interaction with each other.

The reason is as simple as it is obvious: The components are not mutually adapted. They usually belong to different product lines, more often than not even from different manufacturers. If one component is situated near the top end of the permissible tolerance range and the other at the bottom, technical transmission problems can occur even though each component by itself has significant reserves.

It is therefore worth asking what exactly lies behind the individual values.

The Characteristics

Maximum frequency - the overused term

nvp - the much quoted

Return loss - the often neglected

Adapted systems offer security

Quality is indispensable for efficient IT cabling. This also means that the used components have appropriate reserves in comparison with those defined in the pertinent standards. But not the individual components with as high values as possible are ultimately decisive for the quality and performance of an infrastructure but their interaction.

Adapted components offer clear advantages over a wild mix & match cabling. This is underlined by corresponding system guarantees which last up to 25 years.


State-of-the-art measuring technology in the Telegärtner laboratory ensures product quality.