Fast Ethernet vs. Gigabit Ethernet in Public Transport Vehicle Networks
22 Mar, 2022

Ethernet technology forms the backbone of communication in modern IT applications, including on-board networks in local public transport. Two widely accepted technologies in this domain are Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet. In this article, we explore both technologies, their capabilities, and their applications in public transport vehicle networks. Additionally, we delve into the differences between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet switches to help you make informed decisions.

Ethernet Technology for Public Transport Networks

Ethernet, also known as the IEEE 802.3 networking standard, is the foundation of modern IT systems. It encompasses a range of network technologies that connect multiple IT applications or subscribers across different locations, forming local area networks (LANs). Ethernet technology stands out for its robustness, scalability, standardization, and high bandwidth capabilities. Let’s see how Ethernet impacts public transport networks.

Understanding Fast Ethernet

Fast Ethernet builds upon the original Ethernet technology, which came onto the market in 1995. With Fast Ethernet, the initial transmission speed of 10 megabits per second (10 Mbps) for Ethernet was boosted up to 100 Mbps. Fast Ethernet offers enhanced data transfer capabilities. It supports full-duplex transmission, allowing simultaneous data sending and receiving. Fast Ethernet utilizes one twisted pair for transmitting (TX) and one for receiving (RX), resulting in a total of four line cores.

Exploring Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet, as the name implies, offers even higher speeds, reaching 1 gigabit per second (1 Gbps) or 1000 Mbps. This makes it up to ten times faster than Fast Ethernet. Introduced in 1999, Gigabit Ethernet gained prominence as internet requirements escalated. It employs an 803.2 frame format and operates in both half-duplex and full-duplex modes. Gigabit Ethernet utilizes four twisted pairs, totaling eight wires, with bidirectional communication across each pair.

Choosing Between Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet for Public Transport Switches

Ethernet switches are essential components of modern on-board networks in buses and trams, ensuring stable, secure, and controlled networks. Their use is explicitly prescribed by the ITxPT Organization to enable networks with a high degree of stability, security and control.

For most onboard end devices, Fast Ethernet switches are adequate for data exchange. However, as IP networks in public transport vehicles become more complex due to digitalization, the use of Gigabit Ethernet switches becomes increasingly relevant. Bandwidth-intensive applications like video surveillance cameras and public Wi-Fi demand a Gigabit backbone.

To meet present and future network requirements, we recommend utilizing Ethernet switches that combine Fast Ethernet and Gigabit ports. TRONTEQ’s ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet switches offer a majority of Fast Ethernet ports along with 2-4 Gigabit ports, catering to specific network needs. Furthermore, 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

Discover ROQSTAR M12 Gigabit Switches

  • 8-16 Ports
  • With/without PoE
  • Pure Gigabit Ethernet or a combination
  • Push-pull ports available
Discover the range

Related Topics

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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