With the development and approval of IEEE 802.3bz 2.5/5.0 Gb/s over twisted pair, organisations are looking to capitalise on their investment in their existing infrastructure to achieve higher data rates without the need to upgrade infrastructure.
This is of particular benefit with the deployment on IEEE 802.11ac WAP’s where 1000BASE-T is no longer sufficient to deliver the bandwidth requirements to meet all deployment models.
The deployment of 2.5Gb/s over class D (Category 5) channels and 5Gb/s over class E (Category 6) channels provides organisations a lower risk model for deployment for brown field sites. This is not to say 5Gb/s will not run over some class D cabling.
While work is currently underway in ISO/IEC JTC1/SC25 WG3 to address mitigation techniques for the deployment of 2.5Gb/s and 5Gb/s over class D and E cabling it is not envisaged that all associated links or channels will fully support the higher network applications and the mitigation is likely to be in the form of a Risk Matrix.
In the consideration of cabling performance requirements in support of WAP’s in green field installations, consideration should be given to establishing Class EA (Category 6A) links/channels. According to the draft ISO/IEC DIS 11801-1, EA channels will provide full support of 1 Gb/s, 2.5 Gb/s, 5 Gb/s and 10 Gb/s Ethernet applications.
Additionally, given that WAP cabling is likely to support PoE, the specification and associated quality plans for the testing of WAP cabling should include DC resistance unbalanced within a pair and DC resistance unbalanced between pairs.
It should be noted that the latest draft ISO/IEC DIS 11801-6 which includes WAP’s has a minimum requirement of EA.