Smart Buildings

An Inside Look at Exciting Achievements in Wireless Infrastructure

Steve Carroll

Educating, Improving and Keeping You Connected—Even Wirelessly


If someone asked about your most memorable career achievement, what would you say?


Earlier this year, the Wireless Infrastructure Association (WIA) asked wireless leaders, this important question:


What is your most memorable achievement during your time working in the wireless infrastructure industry — a challenge you’ve overcome, a successful project, a client you’ve helped, etc. – and why was it meaningful to you?


As we reflected on the question as a team, we realized how difficult it is to pinpoint a single achievement in wireless infrastructure. Established more than 120 years ago, Belden has been part of wireless communication from the very beginning.


Our most memorable wireless infrastructure achievements involve education and improvement. We want to help the entire industry understand that wireless needs wire—and it needs better wire.


Although it’s the most crucial component, cabling (layer 0) is often overlooked in wireless network design. A wireless network is only as good as the cables that connect the equipment. If you want your wireless to work, then the cabling and connectivity you use need to offer excellent throughput and maximum uptime.


These certainly aren’t all our achievements, but here are five recent accomplishments we’re especially proud of when it comes to wireless education and improvement.


1. Being Recognized by a Powerful Industry Voice

We participate in standards development for you—and for the entire industry. We want standards to address your toughest network and connectivity challenges. It’s just one way we give back to the industry that has given us so much.


This year, we were recognized as a top-tier company for TIA standards development contributions, engagement and leadership with a Top 5% Star Award. This reflects our continued commitment to advancing telecommunications and paving the way for a future of continued network interoperability, function and connectivity.


In addition—and even more exciting—two of our employees were individually recognized for their industry impact. Technology Solutions Architect Henry Franc and Smart Buildings Technology and Applications Manager Ron Tellas were both honored as TIA Star Award winners for their high levels of engagement in TIA initiatives.


2. Helping New Class 4 Circuits Become Reality

We recently revealed that Class 4 systems will be part of the 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC) after lots of hard work alongside other manufacturers, users, consultants and industry experts to define new UL and Class 4 cabling standards.


Class 4 circuits provide the convenience and safety of low-voltage power, just like Power over Ethernet (PoE); however, Class 4 offers close to 20 times the power of PoE across hundreds of meters, offering a safe alternative to AC power. Class 4 systems are just as safe as—if not safer than—Class 2 and Class 3 systems while offering more power availability.


To verify compliance with NEC requirements, Class 4 circuits will need to be certified.


UL—an OSHA-authorized Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL)—recently published UL 1400-2 as an Outline of Investigation (the first step toward a standard). It defines the safety considerations and criteria for evaluating Class 4 circuit cabling. Class 4 cable circuits will be certified to the published UL 1400-2 document.


We’re proud to have played a role in the creation of this UL standard. As new technologies like fault-managed power systems emerge, we think it’s important to assist the industry in defining and supporting standards around their safe application.


3. Designing Cables for Wireless Applications

A few years ago, Belden worked hand in hand with VoltServer, the creator of Digital Electricity™ (a Class 4 system), to design our Digital Electricity (DE) Cables. They safely extend data and power to end devices with higher speeds and across longer distances.


Similar to PoE, DE Cables can be installed by the same ICT integrators that install Category cabling—and within the same pathways.


We’re also excited to announce that Belden is the first to offer a UL-certified Class 4 cable. Our Digital Electricity Cables allow end-users to take advantage of DE to safely deliver significant power across long distances using smaller conductors. We’re already seeing DE used to power distributed antenna systems, wireless access points and 5G systems.


4. Being Part of the Industry’s Wireless Conversations

In-building wireless technology has never been more important than it is today to overcome signal barriers and support expected usage levels—and its value will only continue to grow.


Technology adoption continually advances to support new applications and uses. This means wireless infrastructure solutions should adapt as well. What worked a decade ago may not be the right choice now.


To make sure we’re in the know about new wireless infrastructure and deployment, Belden became a proud member of three wireless associations:


  1. WIA (Wireless Infrastructure Association), which represents carriers, infrastructure providers and professional services firms that own and manage telecommunications facilities.
  2. NATE (The Communications Infrastructure Contractors Association), which is as a unified voice for tower and communications infrastructure construction, service and maintenance companies.
  3. IWPC (International Wireless Industry Consortium™), which addresses the knowledge gap between original system specifiers (carriers, operators, government agencies, etc.) and OEMs and their suppliers.


As we learn from these leaders, we pass valuable information on to our customers and the rest of the industry.


5. Making Wireless Network Design Easier

To make it easy to include Belden in your RF design plans, our core products are available as part of iBwave Design and Ranplan software platforms—user-friendly tools for in-building wireless projects.


These online platforms automate and simplify the RF design process to produce the best possible wireless network in any environment. With these tools, engineers can spend more time designing and less time searching for information and completing time-consuming manual work.


Along the way, these systems verify accurate RF calculations, propagation and antenna placement; confirm link budget and cable length calculations; and help you understand the impacts of wireless design decisions before deployment.


Helping You with Your Wireless Initiatives

Our history and experience in wireless means we’re natural experts at what we do—designing and manufacturing cable and connectivity. Belden’s infrastructure solutions are independent from wireless and active equipment providers so you can support any approach you choose to build your wireless network.


Our in-house specialists have been part of major wireless projects around the globe. You’ll find our solutions everywhere—from stadiums, entertainment districts and medical campuses to manufacturing plants, offices and government agencies.


Remember: Cabling and connectivity will determine the reliability of your wireless network. Learn more about how we can help with your in-building wireless projects.





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