Drive for widespread deployment of 2.5 and 5 Gbps Ethernet

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Capitalising on the market impact of the most deployed Ethernet specification to-date, the 1000BASE-T standard, the Ethernet Alliance and the NBASE-T Alliance announced a new collaborative effort designed to accelerate mainstream deployment of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Ethernet.

This technology multiplies network throughput of the more than 70 billion metres of Cat 5e and Cat 6 cabling sold throughout the last 13 years. As part of the push to leverage this massive infrastructure, the two organisations plan to validate multi-vendor interoperability at a plugfest event the week of October 10, 2016 at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory.

“The availability of tested, interoperable equipment conforming to a single standard will drive future generations of advanced network performance and innovative new applications,” said John D’Ambrosia, chairman, Ethernet Alliance; and senior principal engineer, Huawei. “As IEEE prepares to ratify the IEEE P802.3bz 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T standard, the plugfest will help speed its global adoption and make the most of the expansive 1000BASE-T infrastructure that exists today. This joint initiative with the NBASE-T Alliance is a natural progression of that goal.”

Adding to the drive, Peter Jones, chairman of NBASE-T Alliance and principal engineer at Cisco said: “Based on the strong ecosystem developed by the NBASE-T Alliance, and the rapid adoption of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T technology, we are ready for the next phase of broad deployment. The benefits of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Ethernet technology are enabling new capabilities throughout the industry.”

From Specification to Full Deployment

IEEE P802.3bz defines 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T and offers a seamless upgrade to 1000BASE-T operation. The new specification enables up to five times the speed with no changes in cabling infrastructure required, resulting in a better user experience. In addition, 2.5GbE and 5GbE are well suited to interconnect to the next generation of higher-speed wireless networks based on IEEE 802.11ac.

With its expected ratification by IEEE in September 2016, the Ethernet Alliance and NBASE-T Alliance are co-sponsoring the cooperative plugfest. Both organisations will share post-event results of the interoperability testing performed, demonstrating the rapid maturation of 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T Ethernet technologies and their deployment readiness.