2016_Winter_BICSI_Bob_MathewsWireless networking has evolved over time. The improved performance of Wi-Fi has resulted in the “bring your own device” (BYOD) explosion for business enterprises. Network managers must assess what this increased wireless demand will do to their wired infrastructure. Can they support higher data rates on aging infrastructure?

The vast majority of installed structured cabling is Category 5/5e and Category 6 with 10/100 and 1G Base-T switches. NBase-T includes new switching technology with intermediate switch speeds (2.5G and 5G) designed to operate on existing cabling infrastructure. The immediate impact to IT managers will be the deferral of potentially costly cabling upgrades as they move their wireless networks forward.

So if you are thinking about upgrading your local area network (LAN), you should ask the following questions:

  • Should I upgrade my wireless network to the latest 802.11ac offering?
  • How will it impact my wireline infrastructure (passive and active)?
  • Will I need to replace my copper infrastructure with Category 6A cabling to support wireless technology advancements?

If you plan on attending next week’s 2016 BICSI Winter Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida, I invite you sit in on my presentation The Impact of NBase-T on Wi-Fi Deployments. It takes place on Wednesday, February 3 at 9 a.m. EST.

Join me to learn more about the latest wireless offerings for your existing physical infrastructure. I will answer the questions above and many others from the audience.

About the Author

Bob Matthews

Bob Matthews joined CommScope Solutions in February 2010 as a Technical Manager supporting Wireless, Infrastructure and Intelligent systems. Bob has an education in Electronics (Telecom) and Management studies and several years of experience working in the telecom field working on Wireless (including InBuilding and Microwave), Wireline and Infrastructure projects throughout his career. Prior to joining CommScope, Bob worked for ADC Telecom as Sr. Systems Project Engineer supporting Wireless, Wireline and Infrastructure projects, Bell Canada as a Systems Engineer supporting Active networks (LANs/WANS) and for CMQ communications providing network design and installation/commissioning.

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2 comments for "What is the Impact of NBase-T on Wireless Networks?"
Rosendo Perez Friday, January 29, 2016 11:43 PM

Dear Bob
I think so we have noa a opportunity to upgrading the local area network (LAN) with a new comcept of POL (PON over LAN)...

I have some question:
when ONTs based in IEEE 802.3av will be ingrated with the latest 802,11ac ?
How PON will impact the wireline infrastructure?
Will I need to replace all my switches and copper infrastructure to PON (passive and active

Bob Matthews Monday, July 11, 2016 4:54 PM

Good questions, lets see if we can address them all for you.
ONTs/ONUs have traditionally been designed for the FTTH market place. In that space, there is very little need for bandwidth rates beyond the 802.11N rate. In the commercial space where POL/PON will exist, 802.11ac wave 1 and 2 bandwidths are currently supported with wireline connections as they require beyond 1Gbps (up to 6.9Gbps) in both the down and Up link directions. To support these WAPs will require a 802.3av source, providing a 10GEPON signal. Todays WAPS that utilize a SFP transceiver can be easily upgraded to support 10GEPON using a 10GEPON SFP.

Your second question is a bit more challenging. The impact of PON on the wireline network will be dependent on the type of end devices that will need to be connected. In networks where PoE is needed, you will still need a traditional PoE switch to provide that capability. the switch however, can be like into the PON network using a PON SFP. PON Networks will generally be hybrid network using a mix of PON and traditional devices to provide a complete solution.

Your last question is really tied to the second question and has a lot to do with the overall network design. PON networks a significantly flatter networks than our traditional tiered networks. This makes them easier to manage and support, and results in fewer active devices in the overall network. It may be possible to re-use some of your existing switch equipment as an extension of the PON network.

Hope that helps, please reach out again if you have additional questions.


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