PoE Enabling Technology: Hospitality and Retail

PoE Enabling Tech: Hospitality and Retail

Power over Ethernet is being used by both hotels and retailers across the globe to provide the best possible experience to their guests and customers. Several studies have shown that outfitting a hotel with advanced technology – such as mobile apps to control temperature and lighting, for example – results in a better overall stay. Likewise, PoE technology can be used to operate wireless access points, IP cameras, and RFID readers in retail stores and warehouses. PoE is a great way to cut costs, boost efficiency, and maximize ROI.

PoE Explained

Picture Power over Ethernet (PoE) as the technology used by telephone companies. Just like telephone lines carry voice and power through the same cable, PoE technology carries networking data and power over the same Ethernet cable.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows for installation of remote or outside equipment without having to connect to AC power. This allows power to be delivered to more areas without the need to install additional electrical infrastructure or to have power outlets at every endpoint. Equipment can be installed without the need for an electrician and because ethernet cable costs less and is often already installed in buildings, PoE-based systems are far more cost-effective and efficient.”
Needless to say, PoE technology creates a whole host of new networking possibilities in a plethora of different industries, including both hospitality and retail. PoE Injector Application DiagramPoE is based on a universal standard, the most recent of which is the 100W, IEEE 802.3bt standard. There have been several PoE standards created since PoE’s inception – each successive generation allowed for more power to be carried over a single PoE cable

Hotel Technology: PoE Applications in Hospitality

When guests check into a hotel, they expect a luxurious stay. Needless to say, having a technologically up-to-date building is a big part of their experience. Nobody has to go down to the lobby to use a public computer just to check their email. In today’s day and age, we’ve grown accustomed to having – hopefully fast – WiFi access everywhere we go, and hotels are no exception. Moreover, hotel staff is now more reliant than ever on their hotel’s network. It’s never been more important to have a fast, secure, and stable network in the hospitality industry. Whether they’re checking someone in, checking someone out, or looking at their IP security cameras, just about every day-to-day task depends on their network. Nowadays, using one of the best cable modems isn't going to cut it.  A fast network improves service times, resulting in happier guests. Here are a few ways PoE is revolutionizing the hospitality industry: Smart hotels that utilize IoT (Internet of Things) technology can use sensors to alert hotel staff when guests have left their rooms. Once they have left, lights can be turned off and temperatures can be turned down automatically, thus reducing energy expenditure and cutting costs. The same can be said about other rooms in the hotel like the gym, work center, conference room, etc. PoE and IoT technology have combined, giving guests the ability to control lighting, HVAC, locks, window shades, and entertainment, all from their smartphone. Furthermore, hotel staff can use the same technology to control lights, temperature, and locks remotely after a guest checks out of the hotel. Technology plays a big part in all of our lives, every day. We’ve grown accustomed to it, and now we expect it when we travel. According to the J.D. Power 2017 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study, guests are more satisfied when hotels use mobile apps and IoT technology.

PoE Hotel Technology in Action

Luxurious hotels across the globe are implementing IoT technology in their guest rooms, enhancing their guests’ experiences and improving their business’ efficiency. When hotels add more IoT devices to their rooms, they must also enhance their network to allow all of the devices to communicate efficiently. Hilton CEO Christopher Nasetta, for instance, described Hilton’s “Connected Room” at the Skift Global Forum in September. The room knows you, and you know the room. Picture walking into your guest room, and being greeted by the television: “Hey John, how are you?”. Everything you need to control the room will be in the palm of your hand. Through your mobile device, you can control the room’s lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning), and entertainment streaming content as well. PoE Smart Hotel Room As the Internet of Things (IoT) makes its way into our everyday lives, people are starting to expect the same technological luxuries in their hotel rooms as well. Voice controlled technologies like Amazon Alexa and Siri are already well-developed – that’s not the issue for hotels. Rather, it’s expensive and difficult getting the Internet of Things properly connected to existing hotel’s networks. It’s expensive to retrofit everything in a hotel.

Additional Applications

Other hotel groups aside from Hilton are experimenting with new networking technology as well. Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, for example, is an award-winning company that owns and operates prestigious hotels all over the world. In fact, they run 45 hotels with over 11,000 rooms in more than 25 different countries.Mandarin Oriental, Boston Mandarin Oriental, Boston recently decided to update their hotel’s infrastructure. They installed Universal Power Over Ethernet (UPOE) devices in their rooms to accommodate even the most tech-minded guests. Network stability is critical in any setting, especially in the hospitality industry. If the network goes down, hotel staff won’t be able to serve their guests, resulting in a dissatisfactory stay. Mandarin Oriental, Boston needed new to increase power across the property. They also needed color-displayed phones and an access point to remain operable in the event of a power outage. This way, they could maintain phone operability and provide internet access, even without power. After all, a power outage is a fantastic way to lose loyal customers. Due to the hotel’s limited IT personnel, they needed a solution that was easy to install and configure. Their solution? They chose to install switches with UPOE capabilities. UPOE is the only PoE option on the market capable of in-room switching that can provide up to 60 watts of power to each port. The result? A few weeks after Mandarin Oriental, Boston upgraded its infrastructure with UPOE technology, the city suffered a power outage. Luckily, the hotel was able to maintain phone and internet access for its guests despite the loss of power. If it weren’t for UPOE technology, they would’ve lost their ability to keep their network online and, as a consequence, they would’ve lost guests as well.

Using PoE Lighting in the Hospitality Industry

PoE technology can prove useful in more than just one scenario. In another instance, West Baden Springs Hotel used PoE technology to create a magnificent lighting display in their hotel, staying true to the building’s original design: What’s the bottom line here? Hotels that use PoE technology have happier guests, end of story.

PoE Applications in Retail

In addition to the hospitality industry, PoE also proves to be quite useful in the retail industry as well. Nowadays, many retailers need to install wireless access points, IP cameras and RFID readers in their stores and warehouses. The equipment is usually installed in hard-to-reach places – with that being said, it’s easy to see how PoE can come in handy. By utilizing PoE technology, the installation of these technologies is not only easier but more cost effective as well. You can even use PoE technology with POS (Point of Sale) systems such as electric cash registers and integrated computer systems that record business transaction data. You can use PoE to manage all of the devices on your store or warehouse’s network, including IP security cameras, VOIP phones, POS systems, and wireless access points. PoE is cheaper in the long run than other networking solutions and it's far more efficient as well. If you want to invest in your business’ future, then you’ll have to first invest in PoE tech.
100 Watt PoE Standard

IEEE 802.3bt – The 100 Watt PoE Standard

The maximum power output per port of PSE (Power Sourcing Equipment) – the components that supply power to PDs (Powered Devices) – has been improved over the years to keep up with the ever increasing demand of new technology. Likewise, as the PoE market continues to grow and IoT (Internet of Things) is becoming more popular, the universal PoE standard has also been improved and increased to accommodate the expanding industry. If a device is “PoE compatible,” it adheres to the universal standard for PoE, which up until recently was IEEE 802.3at. The PoE standard ensures all PoE devices are on the same page, so they can be safely connected to other PoE devices on the network. Evidently, not all devices on a network are PoE compatible. According to the PoE standard, all powered devices must display a signature to the PSE to make sure it is indeed PoE compatible. Otherwise, the PSE will not supply power to the device. It was a long time in the making, but the latest PoE standard – IEEE 802.3bt – was finally ratified and approved on September 27th, 2018. The new standard supports 100W of Power over Ethernet, enough to operate the newest and most power hungry devices on the network. The ratification process took a bit longer than first expected because IEEE wanted to make the new standard backward compatible with all PoE devices.

PoE Types

All PoE devices must adhere to the universal PoE standard. This way, all PoE devices can properly communicate with one another on a network, even if some devices on the network aren’t PoE compatible. For example, if you connected a PoE Ethernet cable for gaming to a console, it would supply only data, and not electricity. Since the console is not PoE compatible and cannot send a digital signature to the PSE for power, your switch will know not to send electricity down the line. As of January 2019, there are four PoE types – in this section, we’ll be taking a closer look at each one of them.

IEEE Standard Type Chart

Type 1

The first PoE type is normally referred to as – yep, you guessed it – PoE. It conforms to the IEEE 802.3af standard and it can supply maximum power to port of 15.4 Watts. It was an early PoE standard created back in 2003, meant to supply electricity to low-powered devices on a network, including VoIP phones, sensors, wireless access points, and simple static surveillance cameras that can’t move from side to side or up and down.

Type 2

The second PoE type is commonly referred to as PoE+ and PoE Plus. Type 2 PoE conforms to the IEEE 802.3at standard, and it can supply maximum power to port of 30 Watts. This newer standard is backward compatible, meaning it also supports Type 1 PoE devices. Type 2 PoE can power PDs such as wireless access points with six antennas, biometric sensors, LCD displays, and more advanced cameras that have pan, tilt, and zoom functionalities.

Type 3

Type 3 is the third PoE type, and it is also known as 4-pair PoE, RP PoE, PoE++, and UPOE because it uses all four pairs in a copper cable. It conforms to the IEEE 802.3bt PoE standard, and it can supply maximum power to port of 60 Watts. PoE++ has enough power per port to operate management devices and video conferencing systems.

Type 4

Commonly referred to as higher-power PoE, Type 4 also conforms to the newest IEEE 802.3bt standard, but it can supply maximum power to port of 100 Watts in order to accommodate the growing power requirements of network devices and IoT. It can even support power hungry laptops and TVs.

The 100 Watt PoE Standard (IEEE 802.3bt)

As mentioned above, the newest 802.3bt standard calls for both Type 3 (60W) and Type 4 (100W) power variants. Now, you can carry nearly 100 Watts of electricity over a single PoE cable. If your network uses PSE compliant to the new 100W PoE standard, you’ll be able to power devices like thermal cameras with PTZ features, large display screens, and large LED lighting fixtures, just to name a few. Although 100W of PoE power may seem excessive, it’s actually quite the contrary – with the growing IoT market and the emergence of smart homes and buildings in addition to rising power demands, 802.3bt has arrived in the nick of time. 100W PoE is a stepping stone along the path towards making complex networks in smart homes and buildings a reality. Smart buildings would be far more expensive to design – let alone build – without high power PoE capabilities. IEEE and 802.3af standards used a four-pair cable, but the old standards only called for power delivery from two of the pairs. It used either pairs 2 and 3 or 1 and 4, but not both pairs at the same time.Cat. 6A Cable Conversely, IEEE 802.3bt uses all of the pairs in a four-pair cable, which allows current to flow evenly among them. This innovation drastically improves the amount of power that can be transmitted over a single PoE cable, in addition to the higher data rate of up to 10GBASE-T. If you’re using the new standard, you won’t be able to use CAT 5e cabling anymore. Instead, you’ll have to upgrade to category 6A 4-pair balanced twisted-pair cabling in order to achieve the best possible thermal and power efficiency. This upgrade is necessary because less power is dissipated in a CAT 6A cable, meaning your PDs (Powered Devices) will receive more power as opposed to it being wasted due to the inefficiency of an old CAT 5e cable. If you’re using power hungry devices, you may even want to consider a special CAT 6a cable designed to withstand the extra heat generated when cables are bundled together. Upgrading your network to 100W PoE Power Sourcing Equipment, devices, and CAT 6a cable is the only surefire way to future proof your network for the growing power demands that are already at your doorstep.
10 Things Everyone Should Know on How NOT to Install a Cable

10 Things Everyone Should Know On How NOT To Install A Cable

There is definitely a right way to do a cable installations. This knowledge, however, is not known by everyone. The homeowner has been known to “wing it” when the pressure of a looming kick-off was weighing on their minds. That said, even the most seasoned veteran of the installation trade may have occasionally found him or herself having to “bend” the rules to bring an installation in on time and on budget. Life happens. Nobody on our end is judging, but for the sake of clarity and in support of the current wave of digital transformation, Versa proudly presents a 10-point infographic on how NOT to install a cable. Just as a disclaimer, we are serious but our presentation might be a little bit tongue-in-cheek.

1. Do not think it’s okay to “wing it.”

The smartest way to start a project is to map it out in its entirety on paper. This process has the potential to raise important questions and obstacles you may not have considered. Many is the day a simple installation grew to monster proportions because the installer or DIYer got waylayed by an unforeseen glitch. Poor planning can cost time and money. The discipline of having to draw out the end-to-end process in advance can actually spotlight troubles before they happen and to allow you to get advice on beforehand. That way, you don’t find yourself in a situation where your job site is ripped apart and your client is breathing down your neck. Not pretty. Some points a pre-plan can help ensure:
  • That you have more than enough cable to span the distance
  • That your cable delivers 1 Gbps where required
  • That you have enough of the right connectors
  • That you can easily access the full distance you need to run the cable
  • That your client knows the full scope of the operation and can pay you what your worth for your time
  • And finally, that you’ve identified potential sources of interference along the cabling route
Getting the proverbial “skunk” on the table, has allowed many a project to proceed without unnecessary stress. In the long run, this process will actually make your life simpler. SOLUTION: Get the job on paper before you start.

2. Do not assume you know the PoE compliance of the devices you’re connecting to.

An installer must always double-check every device they are connecting to ensure they have the right cable. It is also helpful take a look at the switch to see that it can properly support the power requirements of the device. That might include power budget per port when connecting a switch. It’s important to know whether power can be delivered over the same cable as data. An installer also needs to be aware if an injector is needed for a legacy device, and finally, whether an extender is required for pulls that exceed the 100m distance limitations for data over Ethernet. SOLUTION: Go through your network devices to verify compatibilities to be sure to have the right things like SFP plugins or injectors on hand on installation day.

3. Do not buy the cheapest equipment available.

The old saying penny wise is pound foolish exists for a reason. It is better to buy and install the finest quality IT networking equipment you or your client can afford. First quality products tend to last longer and they generally perform better while they do.Quality Cable If you’re going to all the trouble of opening walls, and purchasing top-of-the-line components, make sure you’re connecting those devices with solid high-performance cabling options. Indeed, make sure cables can out last the next couple of technology refreshes. Ethernet cabling typically has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Look at the warranty label for manufacturer specifications. Inferior quality cables will begin to fail sooner. Well insulated cables of a better grade are often worth the added expense throughout the lifecycle of the installation. SOLUTION: Think 10 and even 20 years ahead. Things are going to change. Determine how your network will make these transitions. Don’t be afraid to ask an expert if you need help. Technology is transforming rapidly.

4. Do not assume you don’t need to know the latest standards.

Realistically, it’s a good idea to stay current on the state of industry products. For instance, knowing the latest Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) standards for power over Ethernet can help the installer make informed choices. The IEEE recently ratified the 802.3bt standard, also known as Type 4. What’s new about Type 4 is that it can deliver up to 95W of power per device per port over 4-pair Ethernet. SOLUTION: Read up on blogs and go to product labels to see how much power your devices require. That way you can install switches and cabling to support the more sophisticated, feature-laden devices becoming available right now. Your client will see the value of the money spent for the installation in direct correlation to the benefit delivered by the end device that cable supports.

5. Do not assume your installation is a one-and-done.

Instead, assume that things could change and that others will need to get to your installation to adjust or add to it. Add a door rather than sheet rock. Mount your hub inside of a utility room or IT closet. Know that the easier it is for the next guy to make repairs, the easier it will be on your client. Nothing inspires the desire to rehire quite like a job well done. Besides the person who comes in later to do more work might actually be you. SOLUTION: Plan in the ease of administration into your original design. Even if you’re not the original designer, be sure to add ways to capture that ease of access into your proposal. Your client will be grateful in the long run.

6. Do not run cable near devices that generate electrostatic.Office Blueprint

That means electrical closets, microwaves, and noisy manufacturing floors. It is a good idea to review the building plans before designing your topology. A stitch in time saves nine. It’s easier to avoid trouble than have to constantly manage it. SOLUTION: Check with the facilities manager to see where power sources, kitchens and labs, and manufacturing “hotspots” are for electrostatic. They may know of upcoming renovations that might not appear on a set of building blueprints. Save yourself a headache and ask.

7. Do not ignore the potential for the future.

Running an extra cable or two could save expense and time down the road. Find out from your client where potential expansion may happen and the future and plan that into your installation. Labor is one of the most expensive parts of a cable installation. Your client will think very highly of this kind of advice. SOLUTION: Understand how more cable up front could save a bundle down the road. Be ready to explain this to your customer. You’ll not only make their lives easier but make them look good to their management team.

8. Do not ignore networking terminology.

Many of your clients will be IT networking insiders, but some definitely won’t. Be ready to explain some of the basic concepts to your client. Terms like backbone and segment should not only appear in your conversation but also on your plans.  It will show them that you know whereof you speak and will help themconcepts to to communicate within their company. SOLUTION: This tip isn’t bad for the DIY homeowner either. The more you know, the better the choices you will make.

9. Do not ignore the benefits of different media.

Each type of cable offers different features. Coaxial and existing copper may also play into this picture. These may be easily repurposed for some of the upcoming technologies. For this article, though, we will look at the following.Fiber Cable Fiber optic is expensive but it is fast, can span long distances, and weather harsh temperature extremes. It’s an excellent choice for industrial environments. Read more here. Ethernet is much less expensive and is becoming faster and more powerful. It offers the potential to deliver power and data over a single cable. It cuts down on installing additional power sources, and the devices it supports are becoming much more sophisticated. More here. Wireless is getting ready for the big 5G boom. The wireless access point can be connected with either Ethernet or fiber. There are plenty of advances headed our way. One notable ability to recharge smartphones over wireless. SOLUTION: The possibilities are many. Pick the option that gives your client the biggest bang for the buck.

10. Do not forget to take advantage of the real estate overhead.

One of the cabling options that is disrupting business as usual is the overhead modular option. You can read more about it here. Simply put, this option will allow work spaces to become much more responsive to the people doing business. SOLUTION: Discuss the possibilities with your client. This approach is sure to become a standard for campus new builds because of its phenomenal versatility. That’s it for this piece. If you need help putting together an equipment sheet for your next installation, we would love to assist you.
The New IEEE 802.3bt Compliant 100W per port 24-Port PoE5 Tester by Reach Technology

The New IEEE 802.3bt Compliant 100W per port 24-Port PoE5 Tester by Reach Technology

Why the PoE5 Tester will help IT managers transition networking equipment to support the new IEEE 802.3bt compliant higher-powered Type 4 PoE.

On September 27, 2018, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) ratified their latest PoE standard. This new 4 pair, high powered IEEE 802.3bt Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) distribution technology has now reached a stunning power level of 100W to enable the next generation of intelligent devices. “This amendment to IEEE Std 802.3-201x increases the maximum PD power available by utilizing all four pairs in the specified structured wiring plant. These enhancements solve the problem of higher power and more efficient standardized PoE delivery systems.”  Approved Draft Standard for Ethernet, Amendment 2, Power over Ethernet over 4 Pairs. Millions of devices are currently receiving data and power from this single cable solution. Expect to see these numbers mushroom in all sorts of areas. This includes smart buildings in sensing cities where lighting, HVAC, and occupancy relies upon the intelligence of PoE enabled sensors. PoE is rising to the challenge of providing the wall-outlet AC equivalent to the IoT devices ecosystem now emerging on the scene. Another challenge will come in determining if existing infrastructure is up to the task of these higher levels of power. IT admins, integrators, and installers will want to have a quick, reliable way to check if their IT networks can support higher power budgets, which is why Versa thought this article would be of interest.

What the PoE5 100W Power-over-Ethernet Tester Does

Last week, Reach Technology officially launched their PoE5 100W 24-port tester to allow networking teams a way to measure if switches are fully functioning at the port-level, and if not, at what levels of power they are delivering. While this unit is essential for manufacturing product tests, it definitely has a place in enterprise IT where admins need to maintain optimal network performance. The Reach Technology PoE5 100W tester provides a cost effective per-port test unit which verifies the Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) is properly functioning. PSE manufactures adopting IEEE 802.3bt PoE used in many Multiport Ethernet Switch, Midspan, and other new IEEE controllers will want to test to this new standard. Reach Technology PoE5 100W Tester The PoE5 can help identify equipment failures before they happen by allowing a clear way to determine what upgrades are required to keep LANs functioning at peak through the transition to higher powered PoE-device ecosystems. Some specification highlights of the PoE5 are:
  • Compliant to four pair standard
  • Up to 100w total per-port adjustable load
  • Supports single and double signature implementations
  • Datapath rated to 10Gbase-T
  • Supports autoclass options for LED lighting applications
Additionally, the PoE5 supports multirate traffic of 2.5G, 5G, and 10G speeds. All channels on all units are verified to provide a Cat6A compliant data path. The PoE5 Tester is used to verify a Multiport Ethernet Switch (PSE side) is functioning properly testing power load on each port. While the RT PoE5 tester doesn’t not provide compliance and LLDP testing it can achieve a low cost-per-port and repeatable testing on your development and testing needs.  Many PoE customers are using this tester for R&D development, firmware changes, port setup and in production manufacturing for Go, No Go testing.

How the PoE5 Will Be Used

Reach Technology provided a real-life situation to help understand ways IT staff can utilize the tester. If a central 24-port high-power switch has a single port failure, not only is the end user inconvenienced (no lights!), but the whole switch may need replacing. The tester gives a final stress test to ensure that the complete unit, from internal power supply and cabling to the RJ45 jack connectors, and avoids common initial installation failures and provides the level of reliability that is expected of power infrastructure. PoE5 Tester and VX-GPU2626 UPOE Switch This unit will help enterprise professionals measure the performance levels of their existing switch equipment and replace those units that aren’t up to the task. Versa offers an excellent upgrade optionthe Versa VX-GPU2626 L2+ 24-Port Managed GbE UPOE Switch. For networking professionals, the goal is always 100 percent uptime. It’s a big deal especially when you realize some of the ways IEEE 802.3bt will support intelligent technology and make life better and safer.

Technologies 802.3bt Supports

The 802.3bt PoE 100W power increase now opens remote and lower cost installation alternatives to a host of new devices. To paint a picture of the technologies where IEEE 802.3bt will appear, here is a list of the device networks where having this tester will help ensure you have the robust capability your system requires.

Smart LED Lighting NetworksSmart LED Lighting

Smart lighting adapts to changing work environment, enhancing well-being and productivity. LED bulbs can last up to 50K hours. That is an average of 50 times longer than incandescent, 20-25 times longer than halogen, and 8-10 times longer than CFL, and at substantial energy savings. It can share a network switch and be upgraded or reprogrammed inexpensively. Additionally, the Ethernet infrastructure that supports LED lighting solutions, like the SmartCast Intelligent Lighting System manufactured by CREE, and is super simple to install eliminating the need for costly electricians.

Digital Signage NetworksDigital Signage

The benefit, variety of implementation, and beauty of digital signage is extraordinary. These technologies have come a long way in a very short time. A content manager at a PC with the right software and a digital sign and do amazing things to improve the quality and value of outward facing business communication. And, it usually only takes a couple of hours to get a system up and running.

Smart Door Locks /Security Access Points/ IP Camera SystemsIP Camera

Having 24/7 access to the entry point security control into a home or business from one centralized device, such as a smartphone, can give a parent or manager peace of mind. Smart access points store security policies, aggregate historical data, and other features to protect people and vital assets. CCTV and IP camera systems operate in a similar fashion. Ethernet has long been associated with security system installations because it allows remote placement of devices without the need for additional power sources.

Medical Displays

A medical display, like a Thinlabs PoE monitor, is a light screen with special image-enhancing capabilities and brightness that allow high-Medical Displayresolution reading and automated compliance for use in diagnostic testing. Lower quality devices lose their brightness over time. A good medical display will retain the brightness required to detect subtleties in a patient x-ray. In other words, not only will IEEE 802.3bt make the places we live and work safer, brighter and more comfortable, but it will also help doctors save lives. Not a bad result for an increased limit of 100W power per port.

Final Thoughts

This new IEEE standard opens the floodgates, for the PoE market and powered switch (PSE) suppliers and PoE power LED lighting controllers, IP camera and other PoE powered devices. And, although a mountain of brand new devices are coming our way, the infrastructure that will support them is going to be a little more checkered, at least when it comes to newness. Installation customers will need to stretch their budgets and prioritize networking equipment updates while we transition. That is where the PoE5 comes in. It will give networking pros a tool to measure the “life” that’s left in their existing infrastructure and support the marvelous things end users are doing with that 100W power increase. To learn more about the PoE5 Tester by clicking on this link. As always, if one of Versa's analysts can assist you with putting together a bid, we’d love to hear from you.

Fiber Optic | Maximizing Speed and Distance in PoE Networking

In a previous article, Versa discussed hybrid fiber-and-copper blended cabling and the power-over-fiber cabling options that are in development. These solutions have their place in network deployments, but like anything that is specialized can be costly to purchase. In this article, we will look at reasons for deploying fiber in segments of an installation, and why this less expensive approach makes sense. For other parts of an installation, copper is king. It’s a green alternative. It’s also pre-existing and thereby much less costly, which causes less friction for approval within organizations trying to stretch a dollar. Pre-existing coaxial, too, has found a place in the geography of Power over Ethernet (PoE). There remains a position within the illustrious cabling stratosphere, though, that only fiber optic can fill. Because of its speed and resistance to harsh environments, it is especially well suited to ultra-long distances and high-noise industrial deployments. To begin this discussion, it’s useful to recap some of the main points in Power over Ethernet (PoE) copper cabling and understand its limitations.

Power over Ethernet Using Copper

Electrical signals over copper [PoE] need a refresh at a distance of 100 meters. That means without the use of extenders and other long reach technologies that’s the limit of power and data on a single cable.
IEEE 802.3bt (PoE ++, or Type 3) provides up to 80 watts of power by using all four twisted copper pairs to transmit data and power at a maximum supported distance of 100 meters. Copper is able to transmit power over longer distances; transmitting data over copper, without the use of boosting devices, is limited to ranges of 100 meters.
  Happily, there are plenty of networking devices allow IT administrators and installers the luxury of sending signals for much longer distances and combining multi-cable networks with ease.
  • Extenders - can be used to extend an Ethernet network up to distances of 6,000 meters. The VX-VEB160G4 (V2) can achieve 300Mbps [downstream up to 190Mbps and upstream up to 110Mbps.]. Extenders also work for wireless and coax networks.
  • Injectors may be used to inject power at midspan for legacy equipment deployments where power needs to be combined with data.
  • Fiber media converters are used to combine segments of a network where fiber and twisted pair cabling appear in the same network stream.
Extenders, Injectors, Media Converters Each of these technologies can add considerable distance to the reach of a LAN. But they aren’t able to span ultra-long distance like fiber can.

Some of the Benefits of Fiber

The optical fiber transmits up to 100 Terabits per second and can easily surpass 100-meter distances. Singlemode fiber can reach distances over 120 km but it’s more expensive than multimode. The primary reason for this is the tightness of the single mode connection required. Connectors have to be ceramic. That makes labor more expensive as installers must finely polish and splice connections. Multimode is less expensive to install but single mode has a higher capacity. In either case, fiber outdistances copper and coax dramatically. And they offer speeds that are much faster because they travel over light pulses.

A Side-by-Side Comparison of Features

There are good reasons why single mode and multimode cabling types are so popular. The glass in fiber optic cable is less susceptible to harsh temperatures than copper which can expand or contract significantly. And though glass tends to be brittle, it can also handle loud noise and electrostatic emissions found in industrial environments. Let’s take a closer look at how they work.
Single Mode FiberSingle mode fiber uses the 9/125 ratio in its construction. The core to cladding diameter is 9 microns to 125 microns.

Single mode Fiber

The reason single mode is called “single” is that it carries a single ray of light. At the center of this fiber optic cable is a small diametral core. The core will only allow one mode of light to propagate. As the light transmit down the core, the number of reflections decreases. This also lowers the rate in which a signal attenuates or weakens. The narrowing action propels the signal further. This is what makes single mode ideal for long distance deployments.
Multimode FiberMultimode fiber uses the 62.5/125 ratio in its construction. The core to cladding diameter is approximately 62.5 microns to 125 microns.

Multimode Fiber

The reason multimode is called “multi” is because it carries multiple rays of light. At its center, as you probably guessed by process of elimination, is a large diametric core. This allows light to propagate in both directions. The number of light reflections that this additional space allows increases as the signal passes through the core. More data is able to transmit at a time. For the same reason, though, the wider core can also lead to a high rate of dispersion reducing signal quality over long distances. Radio frequencies don’t transmit over multimode fiber.

Power Over Fiber and Copper / Fiber Hybrids

Manufacturers have been busy. Besides copper, coax and fiber there are other options availablehybrid and composite cables. They are nothing new but in a discussion about network cabling, they definitely need to be mentioned.

Hybrid cables

The hybrid factor is based upon the type of fiber being usedusually multimode and single mode. Installers deploy them in contained areas like a campus or premises backbone where single mode may be used in future deployments.

Hybrid cable vs Composite cable

Composite cables

The composite factor refers to cables that contain both fiber and electrical conductors. This variety is referred to as a powered fiber cable system (PFCS). These cables are grounded for safety. Note: These cables may be used for underwater tethered vehicles, remote wireless antennas, and CCTV cameras.

Summary | Why Use Different Cables

Connecting together an enterprise network, whether business, governmental, or academic, can be like piecing together a puzzle. The wisdom as to why an installer chooses a particular cable not only rests on its function but also how much it costs to deploy. Keeping costs down has allowed organizations the ability to afford frequent upgrades. One of the most exciting solutions of the present day has definitely been PoE and its satellite components. Along with much repurposing of Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a, though, there seems to be a resurge in coax and a steady proportionate deployment of fiber. If you’re piecing together a network of diverse cabling and would like some help in understanding the best option for your deployment, please feel free to reach out.
Oct Sensing City Strategies and Versa’s VX-VEB160G4 (V2) 300Mbps Ethernet Extender Kit

Sensing City Strategies and Versa’s VX-VEB160G4 (V2) 300Mbps Ethernet Extender Kit

Memory fails as to who actually coined the phrase, but living in a smart home will eventually feel like living inside of a robot. The flow of life, work, and travel will become so tailored that we might begin to wonder how those who lived in earlier times survived. Imagine how much easier life would have been for Ben Franklin. “Alexa, dost thou know when thunder and lightning will overflow the skies?” “Okay, Ben,” Alexa replieth, “There’s a seventy percent chance of rain this afternoon.” “I thank thee.” “You’re welcome.” But, I digress. As our homes, workplaces, and cities become increasingly connected and smart, what technology will innovators rely on to drive this transformation? The answer is sensors. The “linchpin” to these “self aware” environments will definitely be the sensor. These devices will read our reality and supply billions of data points to super computers for analysis to help developers innovate. It’s going to be interesting to watch. Many of us have witnessed this phenomenon on our roadways. Street lights adjust to the flow of traffic. An announcement of an accident appears on a roadside marquee redirecting motorists to the fastest alternate route to their destination.Sidewalk Labs - Quayside Tech giants like Alphabet Sidewalk Labs have witnessed this. The Google parent company is tapping into sensors to find ways to improve city life. The team is immersed in a 12-block test project along the waterfront in the city of Toronto in Canada, to see how a sensing city can inform design and accessibility for the citizens there. The waterfront or Quayside project is going to be built from the ground up. Installers don’t always have that luxury. So how do organizations and cities “back-fill” getting sensing devices into the odd places they’re needed to collect data?

Solving the Problem of Remote Sensors

As an IT networking pro easing your way into the Internet of Things (IoT), you’re probably thinking about practical and effective ways you and your team will be installing sensors.
  • Around a client’s home
  • In an office or government building
  • On a college campus
  • Across municipal infrastructure like atop a bridge or cell tower
Whenever a remote installation is required, Ethernet extenders are able to provide a simple, one-cable solution.
Versa's VX-VEB160G4 (V2) is an Industrial, wall mounted, 300Mbps Ethernet Extender Kit. It’s our best in class, providing data rates of 190 Mbps downstream and 110 Mbps upstream via legacy copper lines.

What Is An Ethernet Extender?

Also known as a repeater, an Ethernet extender is an IEEE 802.3 compliant device that allows a connection to a local area network (LAN) that is beyond the standard cable distance of 100 meters [330 feet], the distance that data can travel over copper. An Ethernet extender is commonly used to connect remote devices, such as, CCTV cameras, sensors, wireless access points (WAPs), display screens, point of sales kiosks, and security access technologies like retinal scanners or badge readers. Ethernet extenders are used for copper Ethernet cabling solutions like twisted pair and 4-wire options. They help connect devices that would otherwise access a wireless area network (WAN) but do not have a clear sight line (wireless signal path).

Our Extender, The VX-VEB160G4 (V2)

The VX-VEB160G4 (V2) is a best in class PoE compliant device with the fastest speeds for this type of device anywhere. It can be deployed at distances of up to 9,000 feet (2,743.2 meters). It’s the perfect option to implement a remote sensor in a variety of settings and can weather temperature extremes between -40°C/F to 75°C (167°F). Essentially, the VX-VEB160G4 (V2) is a perfect option for that remote sensing device indoor or out, that needs to deliver data and power over one single legacy copper cable.

Where Sensing City Sensors Will Be Deployed

Smart cities and sensing cities are in varying degrees of development around the globe. Toronto isn’t the only place a sensing city is being implemented. Christchurch in New Zealand is another project. Sensing cities monitor flows of people, traffic, quality of water and other essential services. Some of the ways that sensors are collecting data are listed.
  • Electrical grid management
  • Smart parking facilities
  • Public safety management
  • Water quality management
  • Electric vehicle charging stations
  • Real-time scheduling and tracking of local transportation
  • Public information access points
  • Air quality control
  • Noise reduction management
All of these factors will be monitored and managed to make quality of life better for residents.

Sensing City Dashboard Simulation

To give you an idea of how this might be communicated to decision makers, here’s a sensing city dashboard simulation developed by MIT Portugal that shows an overhead grid and power consumption levels within different sectors of a city. Power consumption spikes indicate the presence of a local event or it could be an alert that informs authorities of infrastructure problems. This could save time and considerable amounts of money as it not only identifies location but could also diagnose problems and remove delays and guesswork as to the proper resolution.

Development in Toronto

Developmental Sequence for the Alphabet project in Toronto. Not surprisingly, infrastructure is the first layer of this project. You have to have the bones to support all of the services.

Quayside Sensing City Sidewalk labwSmart, Slow Development Over Time

It’s probably not realistic to think that a project like building a sensing city from the ground up has an end date. It’s just one of those things in life that will continue to evolve as needs become apparent and technology is developed. One of the reasons Rohit Aggarwala, the project lead for Alphabet Sidewalk Labs, is calling the Quayside a sensing city is that he feels the term “smart city” is obsolete. The term smart city is too closely associated with software products focused on wringing maximum efficiency out of cash-strapped city services. Makes sense. Sensing brings with it the idea that conclusions that are drawn and implemented in design will be based on empirical data from the sensors. It will remove human bias based on pre-conceived notions and stay true to fact. If you would like to learn more about Power over Ethernet and the capability to deliver power and data over one cable, please check out our Power over Ethernet page.  
Forward-Looking Cable Infrastructure and SMART Building for the Future

Forward-Looking Cable Infrastructure and SMART Building for The Future

Amazon AlexaIf you happened to jump on the Amazon site this past weekend, you might have noticed something new. Amazon has started to roll out their Alexa compatible ecosystem. The next stage in the Internet of Things (IoT) apparently is not more connectivity to the Internet, but the ability of devices to talk to one another. One interesting addition to this somewhat predictable gadgetary body is a microwave. I mean, what good is having a digital assistant, security cameras, car access, and a sound system if you can’t have Alexa heat your burrito while you enjoy it? We predict this little device will amass a small fortune for Amazon. Can’t you just see the junior engineers suggesting it when their project leaders asked which products they wanted to develop next? As September 2018 winds down, get ready. We are poised to enter 2019 and the IoT is mushrooming into reality before our eyes. It’s no longer just a list of predictions from research houses like Gartner or Frost & Sullivan. Manufacturers are excitedly releasing their pre-holiday product lines, and inadvertently opening a window into the spectacular future. With Pandora’s box now open, it shines a light on what lies ahead for us infrastructure folks. We need to prepare for the next level of IT networking.

A New Approach to Cable Installations

Cabling a home is one thing, but cabling in an ever-shifting office building or campus where the needs are in constant flux requires greater design flexibility. With that in mind, installation experts are turning their eyes to the ceiling, literally. The real estate above our heads offers the greatest forgiveness and ease when it comes to redeployment options. One such technique that planners are relying on is the universal connectivity grid (UCG). A group called CommScope has developed this innovative methodology and in this article, Versa will explain some of the reasons it’s catching the attention of weary IT and facility managers. Universal Connectivity Grid (UCG) To understand the importance of this new approach, let’s consider some of the expanding technology that office networks currently support.
  • Wireless access points
  • Security and access control systems
  • Facility management systems including lighting and temperature controls
  • Energy tracking
  • LANs
Building design professionals are on the search for a better, more flexible approach to help them pre-plan for the inevitable changes that occur throughout the life of buildings. What was once a lunch room may convert to a lab as other space maxes out and customers driven projects come to a business. Let’s begin with the traditional method.

Traditional Commercial Building Networks

Traditionally, building networks consisted of 2 networking-infrastructure segments called point-to-point. The vertical distribution, called the backbone, acts like the trunk of a tree and is a place where cabling for the floor converges. The horizontal distribution acts like branches and reaches out to specific networks across each floor within the building structure. The problem is that office structures are highly changeable and when a space needed to be reconfigured walls, notoriously, needed to come down in order to re-cable for the new needs of that area.

Zone Cabling

The next “generation” of cabling relies on consolidation points and common pathways to run cable around the circuit of a floor. The zone system allows facilities managers greater flexibility but still requires designers to utilize predetermined pathways. Any distances beyond the 100m Ethernet limit could be handled with fiber-optic cabling and then linked through a media converter technology to less expensive and often preexisting Ethernet cabling. Any wireless networking would be done on the fly.

What is a Media Converter

A Media Converter is a network device combining two types of cable infrastructure within the same connection. It supports fiber-to-copper signal conversion to support devices requiring both power and cable. A media converters can be deployed as both a stand-alone device or port-level insert.
Zone CablingThe vertical portions might run along centrally located points like near stairwells or elevator shafts and then spread outwards. Zone cabling definitely covers more ground from a pre-thought perspective, but many a facilities worker or installation contractor still had a lot of cables to pull when walls needed to shift. Thankfully, there’s an easier approach that gets the bulk of the work done ahead of time and provides the spatial support for great infrastructure as needs arise within a business.

The Universal Connectivity Grid

The UCG approach takes zone cabling a step further. It distributes a honeycomb or grid of cells across the entire ceiling the length of the building. This construction is uniform and pre-integrated. Further, it deploys low voltage technologies like PoE and preplaces wireless access points. These zones are fully staged to support all of the SMART building systems that are being retrofitted these days:
  • Fire and security alarm systems
  • Access controls
  • LAN cabling
  • Lighting systems
  • Wireless
It simplifies changes and ongoing operational costs can be reduced.


UCG is a smart move toward the the next stage in device support. As you’ve seen and as Versa has mentioned in a number of our posts, pre-integration is the move of all technology. It’s what customers are seeing with Alexa and Amazon’s new wave of digital assistant lifestyle products and it’s the direction that infrastructure is taking to support the device rich landscape we see in front of us. For those of us that love technology, these are exciting days. If you’re in the process of constructing a bid or home project and would like a little help putting together your product list, we’re always happy to assist.
Why 4G LTE Gateway Is Still A Win, And Will Be For Sometime To Come

Why 4G LTE Gateway Is Still A Win, And Will Be For Sometime To Come

We hear a lot about 5G these days. Currently 5G is or is about to go live in major cities around the U.S: such as, Houston, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Washington D.C. Still others will go live in early 2019. It all depends upon your provider and location. In some ways, 5G is still a ways from becoming a fully-realized technology but it’s definitely on its way. Yet IT networking device manufacturers don’t appear to be slowing down on 4G development. To get to the heart of their reasoning, we need to ask a few questions. Namely, what is 4G and is it still a viable alternative to the coming 5G upgrades? 4G is simply the 4th generation of wireless broadband. It is 10x faster than 3G wireless, and a cost effective way of delivering wireless broadband. 4G LTE wireless broadband offers speeds between 5Mbps and 12Mbps downlink, and between 2Mbps and 5Mbps up. In either case, speed depends upon the distance the signal is sent. Shorter distances are faster. 5G currently offers 10Gbps downloads and 2.5Gbps uploads, so clearly, 4G is still competitive. What do organizations looking to upgrade their wireless networking infrastructure do while they wait for 5G? The answer to this question may be found in the much used acronym: LTE. These letters stand for Long Term Evolution (LTE). LTE infrastructure is not a short-term solution. LTE is designed, specifically, to get end users through the rest of 4G and well into the 5G stage of wireless. NOTE: a gateway is the device that supports your wireless area network. LTE Gateway offers end users a cross-generational solution in this vibrant stage of 4G wireless, while the developers work out the 5G bugs. What exactly does 4G offer?

The need for speed

LTE uses Orthoganal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) for the downlink and Single Carrier-Frequency Division Multple Access (SC-FDMA) for the up. OFDMA fully captures the frequency ranges it employs by taking advantage of both carrier and subcarrier waves in the downlink direction. It’s super efficient. Here’s an excerpt from one of our earlier articles describing this process:
In Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDM), bandwidth available in a communication medium divides into non-overlapping frequency sub-bands. All frequency resources are allocated to a single user. In each timed segment, one user gets the full allocation of the sub-band. In OFDMA, timed bands are actually divided between multiple users.The ORTHOGONAL aspect controls the timing of bands so that no signals or data interfere with other signals sharing the same frequency. With SC-FDMA, data transmissions are shorter and therefore save on battery life. Together, these schemes work together for optimal outcomes and end-user experiences.
  Additionally, LTE uses multiple antennae at the tower to support high data rates at speeds of 1 millisecond.

What’s the latency for LTE wireless technology?

Another benefit to LTE technology is low latency or lag time between when data onboards carrier and when it’s received.Latency a.k.a. buffering First, let’s define latency. Latency is signal time. It’s the time between when the train leaves the station and when it arrives at the final destination. It’s also known as buffering. Grrr. Most people don’t think about latency until they see that little wheel turning on their video screen waiting for their video to resume. Experts say 4G latency speeds can reach as fast as 2 milliseconds for LTE. These speeds seem almost ridiculous. Can the human eye even perceive the difference between 100 and 2 milliseconds? Yet there are sound reasons why these speeds are relevant. They are important when streaming high resolution video like 4K and 8K. When we get to 3D it’ll become even more important for images to appear realistic. The other thing is accommodation of traffic on busy networks. When you start to increase network user density, physical resource blocks can fill up quickly. The timing aspect of shared bands, though, solves this problem.

4G LTE sounds good in theory but what about actual delivery?

Phone Arena compares 4G LTE speeds for broadband providers across various US marketsupstream and downstream:
  • AT&T
  • Verizon Wireless
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile.
Each one of these providers is giving their customers excellent mobile streaming speeds. “4G LTE has brought blazingly fast Internet to our mobile devices,” states PhoneArena, “with speeds often higher than what home Internet connections offer. However, not all carriers are equal in their offerings.” Sadly, this disparity is due, in part, to Internet throttling, something cable providers may not be able to remedy. Infrastructure rollouts including fiber installations and technologies like G.Fast will improve things relatively quickly. That said, 4G is performing well.   Current data rates vary city-by-city and depend upon which carriers are active, but the results are stunning for the 4G user and competitive with what 5G is going to be offering over the next few years at least as 5G rolls out. It promises to eventually reach speeds 10x faster than 4G, but for now is pretty much the same.

LTE and data

LTE moves multiple data streams at once. The ability to add more users and data streams onto a wireless network simultaneously, is akin to safely removing traffic lights from the roads in your city. You’re able to go fast because it’s easier to get and stay on a network. LTE Gateway devices also provide good Internet where broadband is either antiquated or non-existing. 4G is a fantastic alternative to cable, which explains why hotspots have become so popular.

How this data efficiency works

By packing as much digital data as they can onto each radio signal, radio frequency engineers maximize the speed and efficiency of an entire network. 4G networks use standard communications IP-based protocols (Internet protocol) to send and receive data in packets. This includes voice data aka voLTE (Voice Over LTE). AI and mobile texting are growing in popularity. This is called the all-IP standard. Standardized IP packets allow data to traverse all sorts of networks without being scrambled or corrupted.

The signal process soup to nuts

A mobile device begins the sequence by first communicating with the cell tower or base station. The tower is fitted with antennae. Once the LTE link is established, data packets are sent and received at the same time due to the different frequencies used for data in either direction. Signals travel via radio sub-channels, and are pieced together by processors at the other end. LTE networks are called long-term evolution because carriers have invested in LTE infrastructure design for the long haul. This “long-term” option offers outstanding scalability. It’s a long-term solution with optimized capacity and performance capabilities that will stay current for some time.

Versatek LTE Gateway products

Versa Technology offers a series of 2-port and 4-port industrial 4G LTE Routers that provide excellent, long-term WAN solutions for places like shopping malls, college campuses, hotels, food courts, government buildings and the like. Operating temperatures for these sturdy, high-end solutions begin at -20°C to cap at 70°C [-4°F to 158°F], making them perfect for outdoor deployment in warmer climates and equally useful in extreme settings like manufacturing environments. We invite you to request a custom quote if you’d like help piecing together equipment for a wireless network installation.
G.Fast Gen2 Faster Speeds Zooming on the Horizon

G.Fast Gen 2: Faster Speeds Zooming on the Horizon

Thanks to the ongoing competition between Telcos and Cable Providers, broadband technology—the technology that allows high speed internet services over existing infrastructureis getting a whole lot better. The questions these companies have been trying to answer is: how you get faster service to subscribers while still keeping costs down?

The answer is: G.Fast.

G.Fast has been 3-4 years in the making. What’s truly great about this ultra-fast solution is it allows organizations and their installers to reuse existing copper, fiber, and coax, while giving providers the ability to stay competitive by cutting down on overhead and then passing those savings along to customers. Versa had the opportunity to speak to Mileend Gadkari, VP of Business Development at Sckipio, about the current state of G.Fast and what’s coming down the speedway to customers.
Mileend Gadkari, Vice President of Business Development at Sckipio TechnologiesDo things right the first time. That’s what keeps customers satisfied. That’s the axiom of

Getting to the need | Gen 1 versus Gen 2

The 1st iteration of G.Fast reaches 1 Gbps on Cat3 [existing phone wiring in buildings] at a distance of 100m. Installers are using coax, too, and finding it’s even better. The good news is, 2nd generation speeds are clocking at 1.5 Gbps and higher over twisted pair. Remarkably, the design team at Sckipio is able to do this because of a simple change of frequency. The first generation chipsets operated at a 2-106MHz frequency; the second generation operates at a frequency range of 2-212Mhz. This new spectrum allows providers the ability to reach 2-gigs of combined upload and download speed. People can move a lot of data, quickly with that kind of responsiveness. Generation 2 G.Fast is helping us reach our objectives, while helping customers do the same.

Gen 1 vs Gen 2 G.FastKey Objectives for G.Fast Deployment

Recently, Broadband Trends ran a survey among operators that revealed the top reasons providers have for deploying G.Fast. Listed from most unanimous to least here are some of the solutions that G.Fast is solving.
  1. The push for faster speeds (more than 250 Mbps but less than 1 Gbps)
  2. Deployment of Advanced Broadband (BB) in multi-dwelling units (MDU) with copper infrastructure
  3. Deployment where Fiber drops won’t work
  4. Time to market
  5. Lower cost than Fiber to the Home (FTTH)
  6. Enables 1 Gbps speeds
  7. Deployment of Advanced BB in MDUs with coax infrastructure
  8. Extend life of existing copper plant
(Source: Broadbandtrends)

Why G.Fast is so popular across the board

Damaged walls in the last mile has been a nightmare for building owners, installers and their customers who simply want to enjoy better Internet speeds and quality signals. The whole idea behind G.Fast is to prevent installers from having to pull more cables. It prevents hassle. You can see it deployed in a number of situations.
  • Multi-dwelling units
  • Single-family units       
And, we are now achieving Fiber to the Street at 100-300m. That’s a clear indicator of how this technology continues to improve. End results are important but developers have taken this a step further. They’re helping installers assess the starting point of an installation better, too.

G.Fast enhances site assessment capabilitiesSckipio DPUs

One use case problem that G.Fast solves is HOW an installer can know if existing copper is good enough for a fresh installation. Sckipio has developed a Digital Processing Unit (DPU), a single-port device that acts like an extender, that simplifies site surveys. NOTE: those who have pulled-their-hair-out in VDSL wiring experiences should not equate these experiences with what will happen with G.Fast.

Benefits to installers

This is definitely an instance where time-to-market can help installers make more money while saving time. With help from the DPU installers can:
  • Survey sites ahead of time.
  • Handle installs more quickly.
Data from the DPU alerts the installer to ensure there are no problems. Do it right the first time. That’s the axiom with G.Fast. That way, there are NO headaches and NO angry customers. Using this device, installations tend to be done for the whole building the same day. G.Fast uses existing infrastructure and yet provides better quality outcomes. Speeds of 750 Mbps are not uncommon. Speed tiers jump depending on locations.

Who is rolling out this technology?

G.Fast currently caters to two tiers of customer:
  1. Telcos - ATT, Century [these are level-1 backbone ISPs]
  2. Cable companies - Spectrum, Sonic
Make no mistake about it. Competition is tough. Fiber will definitely yield the best results but it’s also very expensive, and many people want alternatives for the last mile with no disruption. They don’t want to deal with holes in their walls, and they want to keep costs down. Gadkari reports that there are 2 basic problems that hinder broadband upgrades: cost and right of way disputes. This is what is preventing the use of fiber—not only in the US but also Europe.

Current results with G.Fast

Gen 1: A big success. Much has been learned. The Telcos are highly motivated. We’re finding, though, that quarterly earnings are going to the Cable companies. Gen 2: This version is in final stages of development and is in trial phase and soon to appear. Stay tuned.

Final thoughts

As with media conversion technology, coax is emerging as a viable contender in the reuse of infrastructure and plenty of it remains as a legacy of earlier Internet installations. The ability to do site surveys also cuts down on hassle later when the potential for infrastructure fails has been eliminated. As word of mouth continues to percolate due to the stunning results of G.Fast technology, the hope is that right of way disputes will be overridden by plain common sense. At the end of the day, it’s the customers who suffer when red tape slows down advancement. We trust you enjoyed learning more about the current state of G.Fast. Our thanks goes to Mileend Gadkari, Vice President of Business Development at Sckipio Technologies, for taking time out of his busy schedule for this discussion.  
Versa Transceiver Technologies Make Multi-Cable Networks Click

Versa Transceiver Technologies Make Multi-Cable Networks Click

Network installers and IT administrators continue the move toward green. To recapture and use existing cabling infrastructures, and allocate the money in their budgets to purchase better devices, savvy thinkers are opting to deploy transceivers. As you probably already know, a network transceiver spans the gap between Ethernet and coax, Ethernet and fiber, and between coax and fiber. It also links single-mode and multi-mode cabling deployments. This article is going to pull together the pieces for a quick view resource. It’s not rocket science, but it is sophisticated enough where a one-stop reference might make life easier.

What is SPF+?

Small Form-factor Pluggable PLUS (SFP+) is a small, second-generation optical transceiver used to convert back and forth between optical and electrical signals. They plug into the SFP port of a network switch. It is used to connect to Fiber Channel and Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) optical fiber cables together in one network. They are plug-and-play devices following the trend toward simplification. They are part of the GBIC transceiver family. They are specificially designed to support 10G performance.

What is the difference between SFP and SFP+?

The primary difference between the two technologies is data rate. The SFP maxes out at 5 Gbps, while the SFP+ is designed to reach 10 Gbps. Both are used in applications for both telecom and datacom. Impedance is better in the plus design.

Why is the faster 10 Gbps speed better?

At present, 1000BASE technologies are still in the 2.5 Gbps to 5 Gbps range, so no apparent difference. Over the next 5 years, though, expect devices to start cracking through that ceiling. The Internet, however, is a different matter.

What is 10 Gbps Internet?

Does 10 Gbps Internet even exist? Blame it on Bitcoin and the mining community because not everyone can afford to pay $300 a month for this kind of service. According to the media outlet Motherboard, ISPs began to offer this type of service sometime around 2016. One man with a radiology based business in Chattanooga TN was one of the first to purchase it. Internet Speed TestTest Your Internet Speed. G.Fast and VDSL2 are going to be the technologies that bring higher broadband speeds into reality. Stay tuned.

What is the difference between an SFP and a GBIC?GBIC vs SFP

Gigabit Interface Converters (GBIC) and SFP, their miniature cousins, are both optical transceivers. They convert signals to and from optical and electrical forms. The perception is that SFPs are an upgrade because their smaller size allows more of them to be deployed on a single switch than the GBIC. If you already have a line card for GBICs, you can continue to fill it with GBIC compatible connections. If you don’t have a GBIC line card, then SFPs are a super-easy alternative.

What is a transceiver and what does it do?

“Transceiver” is a combination of the words transmitter and receiver, and the melding of that capability within a single housing is what you get within these devices. An optical transceiver chip transmits and receives data over fiber instead of wire. Information pulses over light beamed along transparent fibers or cables.

Cable and technology glossary

To simplify this further, here are some of the alphabetical standards and a quick view of what each of signifies.

What does the “X” in 1000BASE-X mean?

The X refers to FAST ETHERNET. Also known as IEEE 802.3z, the X refers mostly to Ethernet transmission over fiber optic cable, although shielded copper is sometimes used. One of the many benefits is the multi-directional ability that this standard provides. You can use 1000BASE-X for both single-mode and multi-mode deployments. Here are what some of the “X” combinations mean:
1000BASE NameCable Specs aka MediaDistances of up to:
CXShielded copper25 meters
KXCopper backplane1 meter
SXMulti-mode fiber/ 770 to 860 nm wavelengthFDDI 220 meters OM1 275 meters OM2 550 meters
LXMulti-mode fiber 1,270 to 1,355 nm wavelength550 meters
LXSingle-mode fiber 1,270 to 1,355 nm wavelength5 kilometers
LX10Single-mode fiber 1,260 to 1,360 nm wavelength10 kilometers
EXSingle-mode fiber 1,310 nm wavelength~ 40 kilometers
ZXSingle-mode fiber 1,550 nm wavelength~ 70 kilometers
BX10Single-mode fiber, single-strand: 1,480 to 1,500 nm downstream, 1,260 to 1,360 nm upstream10 kilometers
The information in this table comes from IEEE 802.3-2008, clause 39.

What does the “T” in 1000BASE-T mean?

1000BASE-T refers to Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7 Ethernet cable. No surprise there. These are cables that send signals using electrical energy. The same is true for coax. An SFP is needed between Ethernet and coax on the same switch, just to be clear. More alphabet glossary, this time for “T.”
1000BASE NameCable Specs aka MediaDistances of up to:
TTwisted-pair cabling (Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7)100 meters1
T1Single, balanced twisted pair15 meters
TXTwisted-pair cabling (Cat6 and Cat7)100 meters1
1 These distances are stretched through the use of Ethernet Extender Kits and Injectors.

What does the “RHx” in 1000BASE-RHx mean?

1000BASE-RHX refers to optical plastic fiber.
1000BASE NameCable Specs aka MediaDistances of up to:
RHxPlastic optical fiber15-50 meters

Final Thoughts In addition to SFP micro transceivers, Versa Technology offers 100BaseFX and Fast Ethernet 10/100BaseTX media converters. These devices also connect different networks utilizing different mediums. They support a maximum distance of 2km in a Multimode fiber connection and up to 80km in a Single mode fiber connection. Versa Technology’s media converters are fully compliant with IEEE 802.3 and 802.3u standards. Click here to learn more about our Media Converters and SFP devices.
NOTICE: We will be closed Thursday the 28th & Friday the 29th for the Thanksgiving Holiday