Guide to Pre-terminated Trunk Cable Assemblies

Pre-terminated cabling systems have been around since the beginning of computing, well before the inception of structured cabling. They were considered as a somewhat quirky or an alternative kind of cabling solution when first launched on the telecommunication market, but nowadays, they are regarded as building blocks for the data center, following and connected extremely cable lengths. These systems are the ideal solution for data centers, storage area networks (SANs), or any networking environment where downtime is not an option and rapid deployment, reliability and performance are critical. Pre-terminated trunk cable is the most commonly used cable types in pre-terminated cabling system to provide ultra low loss and high performance in connectivity.

Benefits of Pre-terminated Trunk Cable

It is known that field termination is the most time-consuming, labor-intensive part of the cable installation process, but with pre-terminated trunk cable, installation time will be shorten up to 75 percent over field termination. And with it, data center managers can make changes quickly based on network growth, business decisions, or shifting requirements. Besides, pre-terminated trunk cable contributes to data center modularity and consistency, making cabling more accessible and organized.

Not All Pre-terminated Trunk Cables Are Created Equal

Many data center managers are investing in pre-terminated trunk cable assemblies that reduce downtime and the need for on-site field termination and electrical verification testing while providing better performance and sustainability. But not all pre-terminated trunk cables are created equal. Basically, there are pre-terminated fiber and copper trunk cable for different applications.

Pre-terminated Fiber Trunk Cable

Pre-terminated fiber trunk cable, here we refer to MPO or MTP trunk cable, is a cost-effective alternative to time-consuming field termination. It facilitates rapid deployment of high density backbones cabling in data centers and other high fiber environments reducing network installation or reconfiguration time and cost. This trunk cable has 12-fiber or 24-fiber MPO/MTP connectors terminated at its both ends, available with 12 to up to 144 fibers, which provides permanent fiber links between patch panels in a structured cabling. Besides, it is capable of offering the flexibility in case any decision is made to change the connector style in the patch panels, new cassettes can be installed with the new connector style on the cross-connect side of the patch panel without having the change the connector on the cable trunk. The following image shows MTP trunk cable terminated with one or two MTP connectors at both ends.


Pre-terminated Copper Trunk Cable

Pre-terminated copper trunk cable is a bundle of category cables, which are usually built with a choice of 6, 12, or 24 cable bundles and are factory-terminated with modules like jack and plugs. In recent years, this high-performance trunk cable has become a popular plug-and-play solution in the horizontal distribution area (HDA) to connect switch cabinets to server cabinets, and in the zone distribution area (ZDA) to run from the HDA to zone boxes. The image below shows the deployment of pre-terminated copper trunk cable.


To meet different requirement of specific applications, the pre-terminated trunk cables are available with a wide variety of category cable, jack, plug, breakout leg designs, cable jackets and other assemblies. To choose the right pre-terminated copper trunk cable, you have take three factors into consideration—cable type, cable count, and termination type of the breakout legs of the copper trunk cables. Generally, cat5, cat5e, cat6, cat6a and cat7 cable are the most widely used copper category cables for data transmission, and all of these cables can be found in FS.COM. For the cable count, as we have mentioned above, copper trunk cables are often bundled with 6, 12 and 24 cables that you can choose the suitable one according to your need. For the third factor, the termination leg is usually terminated with RJ45 plug or jack, some copper trunk cables might also leave one or both ends unterminated for customers to DIY according to their practical applications.


Pre-terminated trunk cable assemblies are the ideal solution for data centers and other applications where speed of installation is important. For fiber or copper cabling network, you can choose pre-terminated fiber or copper trunk cable for your practical needs. Do make sure that the pre-terminated trunk cables purchased through a manufacturer use components that have been tested.

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