What are the advantages of structured cabling

Structured cabling

A structured cabling or universal building cabling (UGV) is a uniform structure plan for a future-oriented and application-independent network infrastructure on which different services (voice or data) are transmitted. This is to avoid expensive incorrect installations and expansions and to facilitate the installation of new network components.
Unstructured cabling is mostly based on requirements or is tied to a specific application. If you want to switch to a new technology or technology generation, the cabling must be reinstalled with the corresponding effort and expense.

Structured cabling is based on a generally applicable cabling structure that also takes into account the requirements of several decades, contains reserves, can be flexibly expanded and can be used regardless of the application. It is common to use the same cabling for the local network and telephony.

Components of structured cabling

  • standardized components such as cables and connectors
  • hierarchical network topology (star, tree, ...)
  • Laying and installation recommendations
  • standardized measuring, testing and documentation procedures

Structured cabling objectives

  • Support of all current and future communication systems
  • Capacity reserve with regard to the cutoff frequency
  • the network must behave neutrally towards the transmission protocol and the end devices
  • flexible expandability
  • Fail-safe due to star-shaped cabling
  • Data protection and data security must be realizable
  • Compliance with existing standards

Structured Cabling Standards

scopestandarddescription
EuropeEN 50173-1 (2003)Information systems cabling standard - application-neutral cabling systems
North AmericaTIA / EIA 568 B.1 (2001) / B.2 1 (2001) Telecommunications cabling standard for building cabling
WorldwideISO / IEC 11801 (2002) Cabling standard for application-neutral building cabling

TIA / EIA 568 B.1 (2001) / B.2 1 (2001)

TIA / EIA have their origins in the specification of unshielded copper connection components. TIA / EIA is not a global standard, but an industry specification that applies to the North American market. However, it also includes the requirements of EN (European standard) or ISO / IEC (worldwide) for the transmission properties of cables and plug connections. Which is why this standard is often adhered to worldwide.

ISO / IEC 11801 (2002) and EN 50173-1 (2003)


In the European standard (EN) and the globally valid ISO standard, structuring takes place in the form of hierarchical levels. These levels are formed by groups that belong together topologically or administratively.

The cabling areas are divided into site cabling (primary cabling), building cabling (secondary cabling) and floor cabling (tertiary cabling). The cabling standards are optimized for a geographical extension of 3,000 m, an area of ​​1 million square meters and for 50 to 50,000 users. In each cabling area, maximum permissible cable lengths are specified and must be observed during installation. Many transmission technologies relate to the defined cable lengths and quality requirements.

Note: All ISO standards are recommendations for action. Compliance with an ISO standard is voluntary. As a rule, compliance with the ISO standards is required by various parties, for example cooperation partners, manufacturers and customers.

Primary cabling - terrain cabling

The primary area is referred to as campus cabling or terrain cabling. It provides for the cabling between individual buildings. The primary area usually covers long distances, high data transmission rates and a small number of stations.
In most cases, fiber optic cables (50 µm) with a maximum length of 1,500 m are used for the cabling. As a rule, it is fiber optic cables with multimode fibers or, for longer distances, fiber optic cables with single mode fibers. Copper cables are sometimes used for smaller distances.
Basically, the primary area should be planned generously. This means that the transmission medium must be open at the top in terms of bandwidth and transmission speed. The same applies to the transmission system used. As a rule of thumb, a reserve of 50 percent applies to the current investment requirements.

Secondary wiring - building wiring

The secondary area is referred to as building cabling or riser cabling. It provides for the cabling of individual floors and floors with each other within a building. For this purpose, fiber optic cables (50 µm), but also copper cables with a maximum length of 500 m, are provided.

Tertiary cabling - floor cabling

The tertiary area is referred to as floor cabling. It provides for the cabling of floor or floor distributors to the junction boxes. While there is a network cabinet with a patch panel in the floor distributor, the cable at the user's workstation ends in a junction box in the wall, in a cable duct or in a floor box with an outlet.
For this relatively short distance, twisted pair cables are provided, the length of which is limited to 90 m, plus 2 x 5 m connection cables, with a total length of 100 m. Alternatively, fiber optic cables (62.5 µm) can also be used.

Structured cabling elements

  • Patch field (patch panel)
  • Patch cord
  • Junction boxes
  • Network cable
  • Distribution cabinets

Other related topics:

Product recommendations

Everything you need to know about networks.

Network technology primer

The network technology primer is a book about the basics of network technology, transmission technology, TCP / IP, services, applications and network security.

I want that!

Everything you need to know about networks.

Network technology primer

The network technology primer is a book about the basics of network technology, transmission technology, TCP / IP, services, applications and network security.

I want that!