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Talk – Talk – Talk in Texas

Dan Payerle, IDEAL Networks

While the recent BICSI Fall Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, TX wasn’t our first tradeshow rodeo, it was the first time NBASE-T Alliance participated at this event.  And we stayed busy from sunup to sundown!  From a panel discussion to our exhibit booth to a speaking slot for our MWG chair, we met with many contacts and discussed NBASE-T technology with a new and interested group.

First, there were four member companies (CISCO, CME Consulting, CommScope and IDEAL Networks) that moderated and hosted a panel focused on optimizing network performance using NBASE-T technology and presenting details from the recently published “NBASE-T Performance and Cabling Guidelines” white paper. This panel drew more than 175 attendees and went into overtime because there were so many interesting questions.  To give you a quick recap….George Zimmerman of CME Consulting described the NBASE-T technology platform and its relationship to the IEEE 802.3bz standard. Peter Jones from Cisco described the system and equipment ecosystem for these applications elaborating on different usage environments and use cases.  Masood Shariff from CommScope described the cabling system standards, qualification procedures, mitigation options and recommendation for new installations. And I represented IDEAL Networks and covered the details of field-testing methods and the ability to upgrade existing test instruments to measure ALSNR in the field.

We took turns describing the ecosystem, the technologies and the practical implementation in the field. And even though time had run out, we and the attendees stayed another 20 to 30 minutes as there were so many questions centered around testing and qualification of existing Category 5e and Category 6 cabling for 2.5G/5GBASE-T applications.

While this panel was certainly a major highlight at the show, we had more activity happening throughout the show floor. Four companies (Aquantia, Fluke Networks, IDEAL Networks, and Panduit) demonstrated use cases for NBASE-T products in a member-sponsored booth. I had the opportunity of staffing this booth with several alliance members and enjoyed seeing people’s faces take on that “aha” look when they realized how NBASE-T technology could benefit their company and their customers. People quickly understand the extensive benefits and the conversations go from there. The ability to look at existing and new cabling as a significant capital asset that returns value over time, helps this community have a much better “value” conversation with their customers, compared to the “cost” conversation most often discussed.

And yes, we kept talking!   LK Bhupathi, the MWG Chair of NBASE-T Alliance and Director of Marketing, Aquantia, gave a presentation at the “What’s New, What’s it Do Pavilion.”  This was a five-minute special session where LK discussed the rapidly deploying technology and highlighted the more than 15 member companies that have already introduced NBASE-T products.  The audience got a short, but thorough description of how the technology works and how quickly it has been deployed in the market.

It was a great welcome to our first BICSI event and we know that losing our voices with all the talking was worth it.  Thanks to everyone who helped make this show another success for the NBASE-T Alliance.  In honor of our time in the south, I look forward to working with all y’all again soon!