Network Communication Speed Comparison Chart

Posted by Kevin Miller on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 @ 09:01 AM

As the demand for faster speeds has grown rapidly over recent decades, new communications networking equipment and systems are constantly being developed to accommodate these requirements. One result of these efforts is a series of established networking protocols and terminology that are used to identify various speed thresholds and the related equipment.

The comparison chart below is intended as a quick reference guide to help readers associate the various networking speeds with their respective protocol/service names.

Network Communication Speed Comparison Chart

Max Throughput Speed

Protocol / Service

64 kbps

DSO / Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

1.5 Mbps

DS1 / T1

10 Mbps

10Base-T Ethernet / RS-422

45 Mbps

DS3 / T3

100 Mbps

100Base-T Ethernet (Fast Ethernet) / FDDI

155 Mbps

OC-3 / STM-1 Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) / Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)

200 Mbps

ESCON (Enterprise Systems Connectivity)

622 Mbps

OC-12 / STM-4

1 Gbps

Gigabit Ethernet and Fibre Channel

2 Gbps

Fibre Channel

2.5 Gbps

OC-48 / STM-16 / OTU1 (Optical Transport Unit)

4/8 Gbps

Fibre Channel / Infiniband

10 Gbps

10G Ethernet / OC-192 / STM-64 / OTU2 /

Fibre Channel (Serial and Parallel)

16 Gbps

Fibre Channel / Infiniband

40/43 Gbps

OC-768 / OTU3

100/112 Gbps

100GE / OTU4


Video and proprietary protocols

> 1 Tbps

Wavelength Division Multiplex

Chart courtesy of ONPATH Technologies 
Whitepaper “Optical Switching: Implementing a Future-Proof Infrastructure” 

The M2 Optics engineering team is also here to answer any questions related to network speed, fiber optics cable, or fiber monitoring and testing. If you are looking for other free resources, be sure to check out our downloadable white papers and latency calculator.


Topics: fiber monitoring