Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Ethernet in Public Transport Networks?
22 Mar, 2022

Ethernet network technology lays the foundation for communication between modern IT applications – on-board networks in local public transport are no exception. Two technologies have gained acceptance: Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. In this article, you will get to know both technologies better so that you can use them efficiently. We will also discuss the differences between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet switches.

Ethernet Technology

Modern IT as we know it today would not have been possible without the IEEE 802.3 networking standard, also known as Ethernet. Ethernet is a summary of network technologies used to connect multiple IT applications or subscribers from different locations to create a local area network (LAN). Ethernet technology is particularly convincing in terms of robustness, scalability, degree of standardization and bandwidth.

What is Fast Ethernet?

Fast Ethernet is the further development of the original Ethernet technology, which came onto the market in 1995. The initial transmission speed of 10 megabits per second (10 Mbps) for Ethernet was raised to 100Mbps thanks to Fast Ethernet. Fast Ethernet technology supports full-duplex transmission, which allows data to be sent and received in both directions. For this purpose, Fast Ethernet uses one twisted pair each for transmitting (TX) and receiving (RX) and thus a total of 4 line cores.

What is Gigabit Ethernet?

As the name suggests, Gigabit Ethernet has a transmission speed of 1 Gigabit per Second (1Gbps) or 1000Mbps, making it up to 10 times faster than a Fast Ethernet LAN. Gigabit Ethernet was introduced in 1999 just a few years after Fast Ethernet, but received little attention until Internet requirements increased around 2010. Gigabit Ethernet uses an 803.2 frame format and runs in half-duplex and full-duplex modes. It requires 4 twisted pairs and therefore 8 wires. With Gigabit Ethernet, each pair is used bidirectionally.

When Fast Ethernet and When Gigabit Ethernet for Switches in Public Transport?

Ethernet Switches are the mainstays of modern on-board networks in buses and streetcars. Their use is explicitly prescribed by the ITxPT Organization to enable networks with a high degree of stability, security and control. Both Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet switches are used in IP networks in public transport.

Typically, Fast Ethernet Switches are sufficient to provide data exchange between most onboard end devices. With increasing digitalizing and corresponding complexity of IP networks in buses and streetcars, it makes more and more sense to install and operate a Gigabit backbone in public transport vehicles. In particular, cameras for video surveillance and public Wi-Fi increase bandwidth requirements and thus necessitate the use of Gigabit switches.

In order to meet the current and future requirements for on-board networks, we recommend the use of Ethernet Switches that have a combination of Fast Ethernet and Gigabit ports. The ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet Switches by TRONTEQ are in their majority Fast Ethernet Switches with 2-4 Gigabit ports. Special network requirements are met by our pure Fast Ethernet or Gigabit Switches.


Technology Fast-Ethernet Gigabit-Ethernet
Speed Up to 100Mbps Up to 1000Mbps
Round-trip delay 100-500 bit times 4000 bit times
Cable Fiber optic cable or copper media such as Cat5/Cat5e Fiber optic cable or copper media such as Cat6a/Cat7
Cost Cheaper More expensive
Application in public transport Connection of end devices Backbone as data highway for connection between switches

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Our products are fundamental for the digitalization in public transport. ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet Switches provide the network infrastructure for e-ticketing, passenger counting systems (PCS), dynamic passenger information (DPI) and closed-circuit television (CCTV).


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