Comparing Copper Trunk, Copper Patch, and Fiber Trunk Cables

Posted on Mar 26, 2024 by

Copper trunk cables, copper patch cables, and fiber trunk cables are integral to networking infrastructure. This article will compare these three types of cables, revealing their different roles and characteristics in networking infrastructure.

Introduction of Copper Trunk Cables vs Copper Patch Cables vs Fiber Trunk Cables

Copper Trunk Cables:

Pre-terminated copper trunk cables are specialized cables consisting of bundled pairs of twisted-pair cables, with each pair terminated with connectors at both ends. These cables are pre-configured and pre-terminated with connectors, such as plugs or jacks, which eliminates the need for on-site termination during installation.

Copper Trunk

Copper Patch Cables:

Copper patch cables, also known as Ethernet patch cables or network patch cables, are flexible cables used to connect network devices. These cables typically have connectors, such as RJ45 connectors, on both ends, allowing for easy and quick connections between devices like computers, routers, switches, and other networking equipment.

Copper Patch Cable

Fiber Trunk Cables:

  • MTP/MPO Trunk Cables: MTP/MPO trunk cables are terminated with an MTP®/MPO connector (female/male) on both ends. Typically, these multi-fiber MTP®/MPO trunk cables are ideal for creating a structured cabling system, including backbone and horizontal interconnections.

  • MTP/MPO Harness Cables: MTP/MPO harness cables are terminated with a female/male MTP®/MPO connector on one end and 4/6/8/12 duplex LC/FC/SC/ST connectors on the other end. Typically, these breakout cables are ideal for short-range direct connections or for connecting backbone assemblies to a rack system in the high-density backbone cabling.

    MTP Cable

Difference Among Copper Trunk Cables vs Copper Patch Cables vs Fiber Trunk Cables

Copper Trunk Cables vs Copper Patch Cables

Understanding the differences between Copper Trunk Cables and Copper Patch Cables is pivotal for optimizing network infrastructure. Below, we compare these two cable types, highlighting their distinct features and applications.

Feature Copper Trunk Cables Copper Patch Cables
Appearance Multiple cables bundled together A single cable
Connector RJ45 plug or jack modules on both ends RJ45 modular plugs on both ends
Flexibility Relatively poor Better
Installation Quicker Slower
Replacement Requires reconnecting multiple cable bundles, time-consuming Simply replace individual cables, more convenient and quick
Application High-density applications in data centers Data centers, commercial buildings, telecommunications rooms, etc.

Copper Trunk Cables vs Fiber Trunk Cables

Trunk cables are divided into copper trunk cables and fiber trunk cables. The table below illustrates the differences between the two types of cables from various aspects, providing a better understanding of their distinctions.

Feature Copper Trunk Cables Copper Patch Cables
Connector RJ45 plugs or jacks LC, SC, or MTP/MPO fiber connectors
Outer Diameter Larger Smaller
Flexibility Relatively poor Better
Transmission Speed Faster Slower
Transmission Distance Longer transmission distances, covering tens to hundreds of kilometers Relatively shorter transmission distances of about a hundred meters
Application Data Center High-density Applications Data Center High-density Applications


In summary, each cable type serves a specific role in networking infrastructure. Copper trunk cables are used for high-speed connections between switches, copper patch cables facilitate connections within local networks, and fiber trunk cables are employed for high-speed, long-distance transmissions. The choice between them depends on distance, bandwidth requirements, environmental conditions, and budget. For more information about FS Pre-terminated Solution, please read Data Center Pre-terminated Copper Trunk Cable Solution.

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