Power over Ethernet (PoE) – Finding the Right Fit

PoE is not a new technology; but its adoption is expanding quickly, as increased energy efficiency has become a common consideration when developing any new electrical product. Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows devices to be powered efficiently over 4 pair CAT cables. These cables are installed to provide power and control to dozens of devices in technologies such as lighting systems, access control, security systems with cameras, access points for wireless networks etc. Though the use of the PoE technology is seen as a cost effective solution, there are number of factors that must be considered to ensure the chosen CAT is the correct fit.

Type 1 PoE
The type 1 PoE is commonly known as 2-pair PoE, it utilizes two pairs to connect many types of low-powered devices to the network. Based on the initial IEEE 802.3af-2003 standard, it provides up to 15.4W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 12.95W of power for each device). PoE Type 1 can support devices such as VoIP phones, sensors/meters, wireless access points and static surveillance cameras.

Type 2 PoE
Type 2 PoE is commonly known as PoE+/PoE Plus. Higher-powered devices are connected to the network using type 2 PoE, based on the IEEE 802.3at-2009 standard. It is backward compatible (meaning that it can also support the types of devices typically supported by PoE Type 1), and provides 30W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 25.5W of power for each device). PoE Type 2 can support devices such as more complex surveillance cameras that pan, tilt or zoom, as well as wireless access points, LCD displays, biometric sensors and tablets.

Type 3 PoE
The third type of PoE is well known for 4-pair PoE, 4P PoE, PoE++, UPoE. PoE Type 3 uses all four pairs in a copper cable. It provides 60W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 51W of power for each device). PoE Type 3 can support devices such as videoconferencing system components and building management devices.

Type 4 PoE
PoE type 4 is commonly known as higher-power PoE. The growing power requirements of network devices are pushing the need for higher power delivered through network cabling – which is where PoE Type 4 comes into play. It provides up to 100W of DC power to each PoE port (up to 71W of power for each device). PoE Type 4 can support devices such as laptops and TVs.

PoE Cable Safety Standards
The table illustrated below resides in the section 725 and 800 of the NEC (National Electrical Code), which shows that not every cable is supportive of the high power PoE types.


The above table clearly illustrates the characteristics of each cable, including conductor gauge and temperature rating, so that a safe power rating can be established for the cable. The goal of the above table is to ensure that the cables chosen for PoE can be based on how much power they can safely handle.

Key Parameters when selecting cables for PoE
There are four main key parameters for each cable type, which determine the cables capability to support PoE applications. Each one of these parameters is vital to ensure reliable PoE operations.
-Temperature rating
-Cable construction
-Conductor Size
-Installation type

  •  Temperature rating
    The rating temperature is often confused with ambient temperature (cable immediate surrounding temperature), especially in the user base. The reason for this is a past oversight of all standard organisations. The currents were so low, that in fact the temperature difference, rating temperature minus ambient temperature, (Temperature rise) was so small that it fell into the temperature range of measurement accuracy but, most of the deployed cables are rated to 60°, 75° and 90°C conductor surface temperature. As the temperature of a cable rises, the electrical performance degrades, as excessive temperature rise in a cable can be detrimental to the cable’s physical and longevity. Shielded constructions have been observed to be significantly less affected by temperature induced electrical degradation than unshielded constructions.
  • Cable construction
    The rise in temperature of a cable in PoE application depends on the overall construction of the cable. As mentioned previously, metallic shielded cables have shown to dissipate heat better than unshielded twisted pair cables. Therefore it has been established that the presence of metallic shield or foil help dissipate heat more efficiently.
  • Conductor Size
    In PoE applications the conductor resistance drives the amount of heat generated in the cable. It has been observed that the larger conductor size in CAT 6, 6A and 7A reduce the DC resistance, resulting in power lost within the cable itself. The overall reduction in conductor resistance is directly proportional to the ratio of reduction of dissipated power within the cable. CAT 6 cables have been observed to have about 80 percent of the direct conductor resistance compared to CAT 5e.
  • Installation Type
    The installation also plays a vital role as it affects the degree of thermal resistance. Large cable bundles, bundles in tight or close places that trap heat within the cable have the tendency to have higher thermal resistance and higher conductor temperatures. The impact of bundle size in cable installation is very significant, as incremental temperature increase due to an increase in bundle size regardless of cable category and construction.
    In conclusion, more and more devices are now offering PoE as a possible data and power source, which means that the infrastructure of buildings are evolving rapidly. Keeping the future of PoE in mind, shielded CATEGORY cables such as CAT6 and CAT6A offer some of the best heat dissipation performance available and also a wide range of application support.

Internet of Things (IOT) THE Buzz Word in the IT World

The word that is buzzing in the IT world is Internet of Things. The phrase Internet of Things, abbreviated as IoT, is a combination of two words “Internet” and “Things”.  The Internet is a global network based on interconnected digital networks that use the standard protocol (TCP/IP) to serve millions of users around the world. However the word Things can be any everyday objects which not only includes electronic devices but also “things” such as clothing, furniture, material parts and equipment, merchandise and so on.

There is no one accepted definition for Internet of Things, however in all the definitions put forward, the common point is that the initial version of the Internet was based on people creating data, while the newer version is based on data being created by different things. The definition that best describes the Internet of Things is “An open and comprehensive network of intelligent objects that have the capacity to auto-organize, share information, data and resources, reacting and acting in face off situations and changes in the environment”. People around the world have now admitted to the fact that the Internet of Things (IoT) will eventually have a huge impact on enterprises, consumers and the society as a whole. As the Internet of Things evolves (IoT), the smart connected devices will open numerous opportunities to provide life changing services for consumers (education, healthcare, safety etc.) and increase productivity for organisations.

However people around the world are completely underestimating the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT is not just about making regular “things” accessible over the internet, it is not only about lights automatically turning on when the car approaches the driveway, the coffee starting to brew when the morning alarm goes off. The IoT will completely alter how people interact with the physical world as every object (Human beings, Enterprise, Cars, furniture etc.) will have a two way directional digital interface, that will serve as a representation of the object itself. These interfaces will then send out information about the object, as well as provide interaction points for other objects. With the adoption of IoT in our lives, the daily objects that we interact with will be digitised, due to which we will receive an extraordinary amount of information from all around us. The information received will be used to create daily dashboards that will guide our attitude and behaviour with regards to finances, healthcare, education, social life and much more.

In conclusion, the Internet of Things is not just about having more gadgets or things connected to the internet, it is about creating a two way connection between humans and other objects. The IoT will eventually turn objects from static to dynamic, making them fully interactive entities; this in turn will make our environment around us adjust according to our presence, desires and preferences. In the end it seems that the Internet of Things will eventually deliver a change in our quality of life through a widely distributed intelligent network of smart devices.

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS)

Eliminating Wireless Dead Zones to keep customers connected in-doors

Telecom services around the globe are now considered to be a common utility, due to years of investment by Mobile Network Operators (MNOs), to ensure their customers are provided with robust cellular coverage. However, despite the large scale cellular roll-outs, coverage provision for buildings and various venues still proves to be a challenge, and the situation is getting worse as dependency on data services is forecasted to increase at an exponential rate.

Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) has long been seen as an excellent solution to the problem, as DAS is a system that allows for the use of cellular phones and other wireless devices in surroundings that do not have a direct or have a weak access to a cell tower. Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), is a system comprised of a series of antennas which are strategically placed around a targeted location where there is a need for additional cellular coverage. Each of the antennas within the DAS are then routed to a communications hub through a system of cables to allow the cell signal to be processed by a cellular base station.

Why is Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) a must have solution-

As technology has evolved over time, our ways of communicating with one another has too. In the past cell phones were a means of communicating with each other on the move (outdoors), however now, over 80 percent of cell phone activity takes place indoors. Users now want to stay connected throughout the day and this is not limited to voice, but data usage as well; data usage is rising at an exponential rate and is being demanded and expected everywhere. With the changing trends in communication, DAS solutions are rapidly becoming a necessity for buildings with coverage challenges. Most buildings currently depend on outdoor macro cells for coverage, however as buildings have evolved in technology, macro cells are often found to have poor penetration into these buildings, resulting in low level performance. Therefore Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) have emerged as a choice to meet the in-building wireless coverage demand and provide the expected quality of experience.

The DAS solutions-
DAS solutions can be classified into three common categories; passive DAS, active DAS and hybrid DAS.

Active DAS – Active DAS solutions are designed using active equipment in large venues, complex buildings and VIP sites, to provide exceptional RF coverage for multi-frequency, multi-operator and multi-service networks.

Passive DAS- Passive DAS solutions are developed with a combination of passive components such as splitter, coupler, feeder etc. The passive solution is cost effective and widely used for covering small to medium sized buildings.

Hybrid DAS- A hybrid DAS solution is a network designed using a combination of both passive and active DAS solutions.

Benefits of installing DAS solutions-
Any venue can benefit from installing a Distributed Antenna System, whether it is a passive DAS, an active or a hybrid DAS. All solutions are found to be equally beneficial. Some of the benefits of installing DAS include:

  • Quality of signal strength will improve and users will experience better signal strength throughout the venue, meaning users will not have to worry about searching for windows to acquire a decent signal.
  • Defined seamless coverage is experienced throughout the venue as there is less attenuation due to the signal being generated inside the building.
  • A DAS solution will provide high level of service along with dedicated capacity in high traffic areas such as Airports, Stadiums, Shopping Malls and High rise buildings.
  • Indoor radiation is reduced as DAS uses multiple low power antennas, resulting in cell phones and other devices also using a lower power level when transmitting signals. This also saves energy and improves battery life of the cell phone.
  • Improved signal coverage inside the building will result in higher throughput for data services.
  • A DAS solution can simultaneously support multiple-service, multi-operators, ensuring connectivity for a broader range of mobile devices

As wireless connectivity has become a critical part of our lives, DAS solutions will keep on playing their role in the effort to provide quality cellular coverage throughout venues, keeping people connected at all times.

i-flex is a leading brand of Interconnect Solutions, which provides the most advanced passive RF Distributed Antenna System (DAS) for in-building coverage. Our state of the art processes make it possible for us to develop passive products with low VSWR and lowest PIM ratings. Moreover, i-flex offers a comprehensive product portfolio that fits to all In-Building Solution (IBS) needs.

Why CAT6A is THE Cable for your Network

With the need for higher speeds and bandwidth-intensive applications, going above and beyond the 100Mbps to 1 Gbps mark. CAT 6A twisted-pair copper has gradually become the ultimate one-stop “category” of LAN cables to be relied on. Where CAT 5e and CAT 6 networks fail to deliver, CAT 6A, being a 500MHz cabling system, is designed to meet the criteria for 10 Gigabit applications in all its one size fits all glory which can serve as a reliable backbone for the enterprise of today and tomorrow.

Higher frequency results in higher noise. As CAT 6A is a 500 MHz cabling system, which is twice the frequency of CAT 6 and four times that of CAT 5e, controlling noise isolation and alien crosstalk is crucial to the performance of the network. In order for this to happen, the cable size has to be ideally larger. Since larger cable sizes have proven to be a cause of nuisance for engineers when fitting cables in the existing cable trays, the issue of cables covering more space comes into question. CAT 6A takes care of this by being only 15% percent larger than its predecessors, with a fairly small bend radius allowing for air flow and proper heat dissipation in tighter spaces and a larger conductor diameter which ensures reduced resistance and keeps power wastage to a minimum when compared to the lower gauge CAT 5e and CAT 6 cables.

With the ability to cater up to 10 Gb/s over 100m, CAT 6A is definitely here to stay and is capable to cater for futuristic applications. These include but are not limited to:

4-Pair Power over Ethernet (PoE); which takes full use of all four pairs to deliver power.
Next-Gen Wi-Fi; where devices would require intensive data rates nearing 4Gbps over the next few years. Having CAT 6A installed now, means you’re all set.
Data loads and demand for massive data rates are sky-rocketing on converged IP networks; CAT 6A ensures peace of mind as it can handle these data peaks conveniently.
As CAT 6A has the ability to handle power and distance requirements, it is compatible with the “Triple play service” technology. This technology enables transmission of uncompressed audio, HD video, Ethernet and power, all in one for a distance up to 100 meters.

i-connect CAT 6A shielded and unshielded solutions consist of all the necessary high quality and reliable components, with cables designed according to ISO,EN and TIA standards which deliver reliable, high network performance over a long distance with full support for emerging applications. i-connect CAT6A LAN cables protect against alien crosstalk. It is easy to install the cable, requiring no specialist installation tools and is supplied in scrap free packaging for fast, snag free installation. Peace of mind is ensured as i-connect provides 25 year warranty on all CAT6A products. Our solutions are cost-effective – having qualities such as smaller cable diameter to save up on space and weight; fewer twists in the pair that are easy to terminate and easy to separate; additional flexibility and smaller bend radius for tighter work spaces and closed area installations; reduced power losses – resulting in an economical investment while future proofing your network!!