Smart Building

Supporting Multi-Gigabit Applications: How Can You Avoid Downtime?

Matt Baum

No matter what type of building or user you’re talking about, one fact holds true: Connectivity demands are greater than they’ve ever been. And those demands are only going to increase with technology like videoconferencing, telehealth, virtual reality and real-time data collection taking over the way we live and work.

As these applications come together to improve productivity, efficiency and automation, they’re also helping shape the idea of a smart building: one that makes it easier to monitor, manage, maintain and support the systems inside your workplace.


Much of today’s device connectivity is already occurring wirelessly vs. through hard-wired devices (in fact, about 80% of wireless data traffic occurs indoors). With smart buildings on the rise, this percentage will likely increase. As strange as it may seem, however, wireless connectivity still relies on wires (cables!). To function as expected, smart buildings and their wireless systems need robust cabling architecture to provide necessary bandwidth and capacity levels. Otherwise, cable and connectivity strain to keep up with data transmission.


People also carry more data-hungry devices with them than ever before (BYOD) – and often need more bandwidth than current infrastructures can provide. Why? Because many of the cabling systems in place today were designed and installed before the onslaught of smartphones, tablets, laptops and wearable devices.


Why Category 6A Cable?

The majority of us live and work with some kind of tie to a wireless network. Now imagine if this network went down. What if spotty signals prevented communication between an EMT and a hospital waiting for a patient? Or made it difficult for a school to get in touch with a student’s parents during an emergency? Kept a professional on business travel from working in her hotel room at night to meet a deadline? Prevented a customer from placing an order via the wireless ordering system at their favorite restaurant?


Smart buildings and wireless systems rely on multi-gigabit networking technology (speeds beyond 1 Gb/s for distances up to 100 m) and Power over Ethernet (PoE) to ensure that those examples don’t become reality. Category 6A can support these demands and ensure reliable data and power transmission; using a lower-level category cable can put your entire network at risk of downtime and spotty, slow or dropped connections.


The Smallest-Diameter Category 6A Cable Available: 10GXW

In the past, it’s been a challenge to find a cabling solution optimized for smart building performance while allowing installers to maximize their labor and resources.


After many Belden customers voiced frustration about this issue, we came up with a solution: a cable designed specifically for smart buildings and multi-gigabit applications, including in-building wireless. This cable also happens to be the industry’s smallest-diameter Category 6A cable.


New 10GXW Cables allow for simple upgrades to Category 6A performance levels in smart building applications. Because they also offer the smallest diameter of any Category 6A solution on the market, the cables are the lightest, easiest horizontal Category 6A solution to handle, install and route through plenum spaces.


10GXW utilizes EquiBlock™ technology to achieve uniform heat flow dissipation that eliminates hotspots in bundles and enables a consistent, 0.250-inch diameter. The cable also has outstanding balance with superior TCL and ELTCTL levels, which translates to superior noise immunity that is critical to optimizing your in-building wireless network performance. In other words: Data signals will reach endpoint devices without reliability issues like slow speeds or downtime.


When paired with Belden’s REVConnect Connectivity System, which utilizes a single termination method and offers a universal termination core for all Category 5e, 6 and 6A RJ45 connections, 10GXW is the easiest-to-deploy end-to-end cabling infrastructure system available. For example, the use of a REVConnect Plug or FlexPlug allows you to reduce labor and hardware costs by taking advantage of MPTL configuration to directly connect any endpoint device to the network without a jack, biscuit box and patch cord.


Want to get started on your own smart-building cabling project? We’ll help you decide whether 10GXW Cables are the right option for you. If so, we’ll offer advice, support, education and deployment options to make sure your infrastructure is one that will support everything you need now – as well as everything you’ll want in the decades to come. If not, we’ll help you find the right solution for your connectivity needs and long-term goals.