LAN connections are on the move. Where they once resided in the walls of our buildings, they’re now relocating to the ceiling. With cabling and wiring located horizontally overhead, devices can connect to it there vs. at a LAN connection point on the wall.
We’ve said it over and over again in recent blog posts – and we’ll continue to say it: We’re connecting more devices and people to the network than ever before, and the numbers of LAN connections will only increase. IoT is officially here, taking disparate building systems and connecting them to the network via IP (internet protocol) to operate, communicate and integrate.
This opportunity allows us to save money, make better business decisions and add more minutes back into our days. Check out just a few of the benefits of convergence and integration:
But as more connected devices move onto networks, our indoor environments – including LAN connections – have to adapt.
With upcoming higher-throughput wireless access points (WAPs) being introduced as part of the ever-changing LAN, the shift to wireless LAN is increasing at a fast pace. Next-generation WiFi gear is 802.11ac Wave 2, which uses 160 MHz channels for better speed and performance, and allows multiple users to access the same channel. Wave 2 gear will break the gigabit barrier and support multi-gigabit WiFi transmission, requiring access points and Ethernet switch ports to scale beyond 1G.
Because of this conversion, cable is coming out from behind the wall, where Ethernet 100M/1G is run to the workstation and terminated into a wall plate to achieve a LAN connection. The demands of IoT are creating a new kind of environment with all wiring and cabling in the ceiling, where Ethernet 2.5G/5G and ultimately 10G is terminated to a wireless access point; your devices connect to that infrastructure. Because 802.11ac calls for higher numbers of wireless access points to make sure large numbers of users can access multi-gigabit service, more cabling will be deployed overhead.
Grid cabling for ceiling infrastructure and LAN connections can help make this idea a reality. To support the move from the wall to the ceiling, grid cabling brings your horizontal cable runs into zone boxes. Within these boxes are panels. From the zone boxes/panels, direct-connect assemblies connect directly to your devices, whether they’re WAPs, lights, displays, monitors, cameras, etc.
This enables easy moves, adds and changes; only the assembly from the box to the device needs to be changed. It can also help with futureproofing. If you install more runs than your space currently needs, you’ll be ready to add more devices to LAN connections in the future.
Belden offers complete solutions to support the mission-critical needs of LANs and their ever-changing demands. Learn more about the move of LAN connections from the wall to the ceiling here, be sure to subscribe to our blog!
Has your organization started the transition of moving LAN connections from the wall to the ceiling? Tell us in the comments section below!
Ron joined Belden in 2016 to help define the roadmap of technology and applications in the enterprise. Prior to this, he developed cables and connectivity for Panduit and Andrew Corp. Ron Tellas is a SME in RF design and Electromagnetic Propagation and has BSEE from Purdue University, a MSEE from IIT, and a MBA from Purdue University.