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Two Years Are Better Than One

Peter Jones, Chairman

While many people are in the midst of celebrating the holiday season, the NBASE-T Alliance is just wrapping up its second year in operation. As we celebrate this important milestone, we’re looking forward to a new year that we expect will result in pervasive 2.5G and 5G NBASE-T solutions. Since our inception, we’ve seen our mission grow from simply providing a forum for consensus and discussion around a new standard, to our focus on expanding the widespread use and deployment of 2.5G and 5G BASE-T Ethernet with the recent ratification of the IEEE 802.3bz standard.

Industry insiders predict rapid adoption of this much-needed new technology. In fact, analyst firm Dell’Oro expects 2.5G and 5G Ethernet switches to comprise as much as 25 percent of the market by 2020. And while the majority of this growth is likely to come from traditional enterprise applications as businesses transition their networks to Wave 2 wireless, we’re starting to see new members apply the technology in ways we never imagined.

Branching Out

Previously, a bandwidth upgrade would have required organizations to engage in costly, disruptive construction in order rip and replace their cables. But today, NBASE-T technology is helping them get more speed from their existing networks with a simple equipment upgrade. And this means a lot in environments that for either cost or other reasons, can’t engage in new construction to get more out of their networks. Rather than kicking and screaming about slow network speeds, these businesses are instead kicking the tires on exciting new NBASE-T technology

One of our newest members, Pleora Technologies—a company that provides networked connectivity for high-speed imaging systems—is the first company in the machine vision industry to join the alliance. With its GigE Vision over NBASE-T platform, Pleora provides a straightforward approach to designing NBASE-T imaging products, including cameras, scanners and X-ray flat panel detectors.

Why does this matter?  Because the added bandwidth can ultimately mean changing lives. In hospital environments for example, the added bandwidth enables new higher resolution imaging applications, including multi-panel systems that provide a more comprehensive view of a patient. The   extended-reach cabling allows equipment to be located outside of sterile environments, reducing the cost of sterilizing equipment and risk of patient infection, while straightforward multicasting and networking means medical imaging information can be shared outside of the operating room.

Ensuring Interoperability

As more and more NBASE-T products enter the market, the alliance is dedicated to ensuring the interoperability and compliance of these new solutions.

Looking ahead in 2017, we expect to collaborate with the UNH interoperability lab and our members, hosting plugfests, certification testing and events that confirm all products based on NBASE-T technology and the IEEE 802.3bz standard interoperate. Beyond that, we’ll continue to fine-tune the technology to ensure that systems run at optimal performance.

Running not Crawling

Clearly we’ve experienced rapid success in a short time, and this next year will be no exception. We intend to ramp up our marketing and educational efforts, sponsoring events, setting up interoperability displays at booths, and publishing contributed articles and white papers – all of these help educate the current and future markets on the possibilities of NBASE-T technology.

Our third appearance at Interop Las Vegas will kick off the tradeshow year with our biggest presence ever and additional shows throughout the year will round out our various interest groups.  In addition to needing and liking the technology, the industry is impressed with the alliance’s large ecosystem of member companies. We have built a strong group in a short time and we continue moving ahead at a rapid pace.

Smooth Adoption

And so, as we prepare to ring in a new year, we wish all our members and partners all the best in 2017. Rest assured we are continuing to work toward the rapid and smooth adoption of 2.5G and 5GBASE-T Ethernet. And we’re excited to see what our third year brings with the expanded reach of the NBASE-T technology.