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Voice and Data Cabling

Data Cabling and Voice Cabling are one of the most important components of any business because of its potential to connect an office to the outside world. For this reason you could have tons of high quality equipment, but it would mean nothing if you were unable to network all of it together cohesively.

The advantage of installing a pre designed structured cabling system is that all the outlets can be used for a multiple of purposes. Thus for the current layout and for future layouts and many different types of technology. By installing a structured cabling system you only need to upgrade your technology. Consequently you could still use the existing data cabling

The cabling itself is more complicated to put in than just drilling holes and cutting cables to attach computers to printers. To begin with professionally installed data cabling involves networking your PC, telephone, printer and fax machine to each other. Wi-Fi may be a staple of our day-to-day lives, but structured cabling is overall much faster and reliable. Furthermore it is necessary regardless if you want to connect your office to the outside world

Upgrading From Analogue Systems

Legacy analogue systems are still in place in many offices. However companies are finally starting to upgrade in order to better network together phones and computers over digital systems. Voice cabling for VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) phone systems are becoming the gold standard for offices. As a result they allow for more portability. Thus as a result, structured cabling is rapidly being adopted.

There are numerous benefits to VOIP systems, some of which are shown below:

  • It is easier to install and maintain
  • VOIP systems are much more scalable
  • There are many more call features
  • Employees can receive and make calls wherever they go

It is possible to future proof your system so that you can employ past cabling systems. Furthermore you can strategically update these systems to meet all your potential needs in the future. This results in much cheaper expenses. At the same time you would require someone with higher expertise to consult you on the best way of executing this sort of an upgrade.

Investing in Voice and Data Cabling

The first consideration is to see if your existing structured cabling is suitable for a VOIP phone system. VOIP requires a Quality of Service and therefore has to be transmitted over data cabling rather than legacy voice cabling. In addition the old style BT wiring to individual outlets is not suitable or usable for VOIP.

Furthermore the presence of data cabling is not a guarantee that it is suitable for voice transmission. This will depend on the quality of the previous installation. Therefore if you have full test results for these outlets then you can be confident it will be suitable. However without test results it is advisable to test these data cabling outlets to ensure they are up to the required standard for consistent voice transmission

Often, when there are problems with the connectivity of the office, the problems lie with the cabling and infrastructure. Poorly executed cabling can result in interference, which can be an echo on the cable, interference from other cables or outside electrical noises such as power, lighting and many other sources. . To this end your company should make sure not to cut corners with cabling solutions.

In summary investing in your cabling is always an intelligent move.  In particular it begins with testing your infrastructure to see what your current capabilities are. Of course voice cabling professionals have the necessary equipment to do this. In addition they are able to provide you with a printout of your cabling specs for future reference.

What are the different types of voice data cabling?

  1. CW1308 telephone cabling – such as BT cable
  2. Cat5e
  3. Cat6
  4. Cat6a

Cat7 and Cat8 are also suitable for telephone cabling but are rarely used in a flood wiring of an office and main found in data centers or high speed applications

For the most part in analogue legacy telephone systems the cabling would be a phone carrier cable such as a CW1308 cable. Generally this cable would have from 2 to 200 plus cores but wouldn’t be twisted like a modern data cable.

Nonetheless it would be suitable for analogue voice but not suitable for data voice systems such as VOIP

Indeed structured cabling outlets would be required for VOIP.  Moreover as most current phone systems don’t exceed 1 gigabit speeds a Cat5e cable is acceptable for data transmission.

However Cat6 and Cat6a are recommended in new buildings for sturctured cabling installations. Furthermore Cat6a is recommended as a minimum to future proof for 10 Gigabit transmission infrastructure.

The consideration is although I need to install cabling for today’s technology do I allow for future systems and install the best cabling system I can

Data Cabling Comparison Chart – Cat5 vs Cat6 vs Cat7

Cat5 Cat5e Cat6 Cat6a Cat7 Cat8
Maximum Bandwidth 100mhz 100.mhz. 250mhz 500mhz. 600mhz 2000mhz
1Gig Distance n/a 100m 100m 100.m 100m 100m
10Gig Distance n/a n/a 55m 100m 100.m 100m
40Gig Distance n/a n / a n/a n / a n/a 30m


Additional advantages of structured cabling for VOIP

In addition to having the correct cabling for your VoIP system, the consideration to install a higher grade of structured cabling will allow smoother relocation and layouts within your offices. For this reason the trend in many offices now is for 10 gig transmission to the computer especially in media and design where the bandwidth requirements are heavy. If you current data cabling is only suitable for 1 gigabit because the phones only require that then a future upgrade of requirements for 10 gigabit will leave you with phones that can function but computers that cannot

Voice cabling for VoIP Technology

In conclusion VOIP phone systems are quickly becoming the gold standard for offices everywhere.  Furthermore although you may not realize it, your firm would greatly benefit from having the correct infrastructure capabilities. Thus your business may be hampered from further growth if it doesn’t have the cabling solutions required to enable continued scaling.

For more information on how to get your data and voice cabling up to standard, don’t hesitate to get in touch and speak to one of our experts.

About NM Cabling Solutions – Computer Cabling Specialist

NM Cabling is a technology and network cabling integrator working throughout the United Kingdom.

We have created a comprehensive Knowledge Centre for our industry which can be viewed at

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