IEC 60794-2, IEC 60794-1-20 and IEC 60794-5 Introduction

July 01,2021

IEC 60794-2, IEC 60794-1-20 and IEC 60794-5 are sub-parts of IEC. Most people know IEC as the general technical specification for fiber optic cables. But many may have questions about the exact purpose and scope of its regulations. That's why we will introduce IEC before we explain IEC 60794-2, IEC 60794-1-20 and IEC 60794-5 in details.


In fact, IEC is not a standard or specification. IEC is an worldwide organization that issues international standards and technical specifications for the electrical and electronic industries.

As a global standardization organization, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is made up of all national electrotechnical committees (IEC National Committees).

IEC 60794-2

Its aim is to promote international collaboration on all issues about standardization in the electrical and electronic fields. In addition to organizing activities, the IEC also publishes international standards, technical specifications, technical reports, publicly available specifications (PAS) and guiding principles. The preparations of these publications were delegated to the Technical Committee; Any National Committee of IEC, which is interested in the subject and international, can join the preparations. Besides, both governmental and non-governmental organizations which are in contact with IEC can also participated in the preparatory work. Working closely with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on terms agreed by both sides. 



the cover page of IEC 60794-1-20

Things to Consider When Using IEC Publications

To promote international harmonization, IEC Member States must ensure as much transparency as possible in the use of IEC publications within their countries or regions. If a disagreement is encountered, it should be clearly stated in the appropriate national or regional publications. The correct use of this publication must be in accordance with the standards cited in IEC publications. In addition, all users should ensure that the IEC publication they have is the latest edition.



Sectional Specifications Described by IEC 60794-2, IEC 60794-1-20 and IEC 60794-5

(1) IEC 60794-2 (For optical fibre cable-indoor cable)

IEC 60794-2 gives the requirements that apply to indoor optical fibre cables with applications for transmission, telephone, data processing equipment and communication & transmission networks. 

Tests in IEC 60794-2:

Tests shall be performed in accordance with the relevant cable specifications to verify compliance with the specifications. It's not all testing; The frequency of testing shall be agreed between the customer and the manufacturer. 

Note: Testing of cables used as jumpers is being considered.


IEC 60794-2 stipulates that the cable shall be supplied on reels or in coils. If necessary, seal the cable end to prevent moisture from entering.

Quality assurance :

By the tests specified in IEC 60794-2, verify the conformance of the cable product to the specification requirements. It is not required that all tests be performed on each segment of the cable and the frequency of tests should be agreed between the customer and the manufacturer.


(2) IEC 60794-1-20 (Basic optical cable test procedures of Optical fibre cables)

Scope and object:

IEC 60794-1-20 is suitable for use with telecommunications equipment and equipment using similar technologies, as well as for cables consisting of a combination of optical fibers and electrical conductors. IEC 60794-1-20 Defines test procedures. The aim is to establish uniform requirements for the geometrical, transmission, material, mechanical, aging (environmental exposure) and climatic characteristics of fiber optic cables, as well as appropriate electrical requirements. The word "optical cable" in IEC 60794-1-20 can also include optical fiber units, microconduit fiber units, etc.


Tests and Test Procedures in IEC 60794-1-20:

Depending on the application and the detailed specifications, the tests required for a cable design are decided. The general order for each test method is as follows.


 general order of tests referred in IEC 60794-1-20

object ➡️ sample apparatus procedure ⤵️
details to be reported ⬅️ details to be specified ⬅️ requirement




(3) IEC 60794-5 ( Microduct cabling for installation by blowing)

IEC 60794-5 specifies the requirements of microduct optical fibre cables, microduct fibre units, microducts and protected microducts for installation by blowing either for outdoor or indoor use or for both uses. In order to support installation and to provide protection over the design lifetime, the microduct optical fibre cables and microduct fibre units utilize the structure of the microduct or protected microducts. The cabling structures described in IEC 60794-5 are uniquely designed to facilitate installation by blowing into the microducts.  



As IEC 60794-5 mentioned, If required, the microduct, protected microduct, microduct optical fibre cable and microduct fibre unit shall be marked in accordance with the agreement between the customer and supplier.


Considerations of Installation and operating conditions:

There are three key points when planning, designing, or specifying a blown system pointed in IEC 60794-5. They are the details of the installation process, the equipment to be used and the prevailing operating conditions.The last point refers to the operating environment within and surrounding the microduct assembly to which the fibre-bearing product, namely, the microduct optical fibre cable or microduct fibre unit, will be exposed.