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Proving the Success of NBASE-T Technology in the Lab and Market

Dave Chalupsky, NBASE-T Alliance Board of Directors

“The world is safe for 2.5G/5GBASE-T technology!”

That statement from my colleague, George Zimmerman, was a fun way to summarize the conclusion of our first joint Ethernet Alliance and NBASE-T Alliance webinar presentation earlier this month. If you didn’t get a chance to join us, you can link here to download the presentation or hear the recording. We discussed in detail the testing and results from our joint plugfest where 15 companies conducted more than 1,100 interoperability link up and Frame Error Rate tests covering the complementary IEEE 802.3bz standard and NBASE-T Alliance PHY interface specifications.  The results were a 99 percent success rate for all cabling and equipment combinations – impressive for all the companies involved and proof that 2.5G/5GBASE-T technology is ready for mass deployment in the market.

We are already seeing a transition from 100/1000BASE-T to 2.5G/5GBASE-T and combined forecasts say 25 percent of switch ports could soon be 2.5G/5GBASE-T. Just prior to the webinar,  Dell’Oro analyst group announced they had revised and increased their forecasts now predicting 5 million NBASE-T switch ports in 2017, and growing to over 100 million in 2021. Stellar growth for a new technology!

During the webinar, we shared a set of test results specific to the downshift feature of the NBASE-T specification. Downshift testing with 12 devices showed that all ports implementing the downshift feature had capability to operate at the best possible speed when noise factors exceed specification limits. The downshift capability is a feature unique to the NBASE-T specification which enables network operators to get the best performance possible from the installed base cabling.

With the excitement surrounding this first round of positive joint plugfest testing results, and in anticipation of more products coming to market, the Ethernet Alliance and NBASE-T Alliance are already planning a second plugfest for later this year. Stay tuned to see what is sure to be the continued success of the 2.5G/5GBASE-T technology.