Cat6A: coming to the corporate office near you

A recent article by CommScope is interesting in identifying the growing trend towards Cat 6A in the corporate building, and the drivers behind this.

While bandwidth requirements have already established 10GBASE-T as a valuable proposition in the datacentre, until recently the case for it in the workspace has tended to be built around the importance of future-proofing.

What the article correctly identifies is that in several important respects, that future in now here.

Alongside Power over Ethernet (POE) and the increase in vertical-market cabling standards which specifically recommend Cat 6 (such as TIA-1179 for healthcare facilities), the major driver at the moment seems to be the rise and rise of Wi-Fi demand – a subject we’ve addressed before.

As we discussed in our previous article, rising WLAN traffic volumes are being driven by the abundance of mobile devices, an explosion in mobile applications and content and the increasing popularity of bring-your-own-device programmes. The adoption of voice-over-Wi-Fi as an essential enterprise application seems likely to raise the stakes still higher.

The impact on this for cabling comes, as the CommScope article discusses, particularly with the release of 802.11ac:

“With the release of 802.11ac, we have achieved the first Wi-Fi technology that can exceed 1Gb bandwidths. As the market matures and access point vendors add 10G physical layers to their offerings, customers with Category 6 or 5e cable in the ceiling may not be in a position to support everything 802.11ac has to offer. And that’s just taking 802.11ac into account. The next generation of Wi-Fi technology is already in the pipeline.”

You can read the full CommScope article here.

And click here to download our white paper on The Challenges of Implementing Wi-Fi at the Enterprise Level.