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NBASE-T Alliance Says Save the Cables


September 29, 2017

There are 10 meters of BASE-T cabling for every man, woman and child on Earth. And enterprises are hungry for multi-gigabit bandwidth.

So, back in 2014 a collection of networking suppliers came together to establish the NBASE-T Alliance. Earlier this week, alliance representatives were part of a  panel to detail how NBASE-T enables businesses and service providers to leverage their existing cabling to support 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps connectivity.


The “Save the Cables – Be a Hero!” panel took place at the BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition. It featured:

• Jim Davis, a regional marketing engineer at Fluke Networks;

• Peter Jones, alliance chairman and a principal engineer at Cisco;

• Frank Straka, a product line manager at Panduit Corp.; and

• George Zimmerman, an alliance board member, chief editor of IEEE P802.3bz, and president of CME Consulting.

Jones mentioned the cabling statistic during his presentation. He also said that about 70 billion meters of Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling were sold between 2003 and 2014, and that this type of cabling represents about 90 percent of the installed base.

Today, 1000BASE-T PoE using Cat 5e/6/6A up to 100M connects access switches and Wi-Fi access points, Jones said. But, as I noted in a story earlier this month, that technology tops out at 1 gigabit per second, so NBASE-T can help take enterprise, industrial internet, and service provider networks to the next level with its support for 2.5G and 5GBASE-T connectivity.

NBASE-T technology can be used to address desktop, small cell, storage, switch, and wireless AP applications in the enterprise; for various industrial applications; and for home gateway and small cell installations in service provider networks. NBASE-T shipments surged in the second half of 2016 and research firm Dell’Oro Group raised its 2017 forecast to surpass 5 million ports, Jones noted in his presentation.

“As DX demands that enterprises rely on a broad set of connected devices and network applications over wired and wireless networks, network access infrastructure must evolve to keep the digital enterprise running,” said IDC research analyst Nolan Greene. “IEEE 802.3bz has the potential to help enable the digital enterprise to use not only WLAN but also wired connectivity to its highest potential while deriving maximum value from the cable plant.”




Edited by Mandi Nowitz

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