Multi-gig delivers the speed needed for BYOD, IoT, PoE, and more


By Katie Taisey, CXtec Product Manager

Remember when “around 30 meters,” was the distance a cable product manager said CAT5e was capable of transmitting? I mean we all know that CAT5/CAT5e speed maxes out at 1000Base-T.  Some might even push it and say that Category 5e is capable of speeds of 10G Base T - but the distance 10GbE speed can be maintained is highly questionable and varies depending on who is doing the testing.

In truth, most of the current cabling infrastructures back in the day were designed to support a maximum of 1 Gigabit Ethernet. 

Why does speed or distance limitation matter?

Think of a place, an office, a nurse's station, or a college campus, where having a connection faster than 1 gig would be the most beneficial, but running new cabling would be way too expensive.  When enterprises were installing CAT5e cabling back in the day, 802.11abg AP’s were the most popular choice AP to install. Not to mention, back then...

  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) – was just a random grouping of letters and had not exploded into the need to support numerous Wi-Fi-connected devices per person.
  • Internet of Things (IoT) – the idea of having smart TV’s, coffee pots, and thermostats connected to a network was not quite yet a reality for homes or businesses. 
  • PoE over Ethernet (PoE) –  when it first cameout was fantastic, but we quickly realized that it has a certain drawback. More devices meant we needed more power.


Introducing the new wave of access points

The demands made on wireless networks today has drastically increased.  While 802.11ac access points address these increase speeds and performance requirements, vendors are starting to roll out the WAVE2 802.11ac access points.

HPE/Aruba’s 802.11AC Wave 2 access points offer extra features - multi-user MIMO and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) being some of the most notable, but also allows users to take advantage of the new IEEE 802.3bz standard for multi-gig Ethernet.  

HP’s SMART RATE Multi-gig Ethernet allows the possibility of high-speed connections – up to 10GbE over existing cabling infrastructure – as well as power over Ethernet for 802.11ac Wave 2 devices.





By definition, HPE Smart Rate is a new multi-gigabit (1, 2.5, 5, 10Gbps) twisted-pair network interface that is interoperable with the NBASE-T ecosystem of 2.5/5Gbps products as well as with existing industry standard 1GbE/10GbE devices.

HPE Smart Rate, allows the majority of existing cable installations found in campus LAN environments to provide higher bandwidth connectivity, distribute PoE power to connected devices, and secure the wired-link for next-generation 802.11ac applications. 

You can read more here!

Meet your speed's demands

Pairing a WAVE 2 Access point with a switch port capable of Multi-gig gives you the potential for increased speeds while also powering those devices. 

Smart Rate essentially auto-negotiates the connections (after the programming is complete on both ends of course) and will attempt 4 connections each at 10gig, 5 gig, 2.5 gig and gig until it can make a connection at the fastest speed possible.

As always, contact CXtec to help you stay current. We can provide the solutions that meet the demands of your wireless network.