The true potential of PoE yet to reach customers
Source: Prasanth Aby Thomas, Consultant Editor
a&s did a Buyers' Preference Survey on around 200 professional systems integrators, distributors/dealers/importers, consultants, as well as installers worldwide. The 200 respondents shared the key product features that are in demand in the current market.
In the transmission, networking and communications segment, 57.9 percent of the respondents said they were interested in Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) systems. This wouldn’t come as a surprise to many as PoE is one of the best options for wired installations to keep things simple and robust. But what could be more significant is what more can PoE offer than what is already available.
The potential of PoE
The arrival of PoE was a gamechanger in networking. Carrying power and data through a single line drastically reduced costs and simplified the
“With the fast-growing transition to IP, I’m not surprised to see the high demand for PoE in all networking products,” said Domenic Isola, Director for Strategic Accounts at KBC Networks
. “There will definitely be a need for improvements in PoE as more devices, such as IP cameras and access control, evolve to offer more added value features. This evolution will require more power and more secure connectivity, creating demand for innovation.
Isola added that his company is striving to take maximum advantage of the strength of PoE. One of KBC’s recently launched products, for instance, allows the user to take existing copper-wired infrastructures and add or upgrade an existing analog security system to a fully functional IP networking security/surveillance solution without the high cost of rewiring.
“As often as PoE is being deployed today we also believe it is important to develop PoE products that comply with an IEEE standard,” Isola noted.
What more can be expected
Eric Broockman, CTO of Extreme Networks
agreed that PoE is the trending product now and hence they are offering 30W, 60W, and 90W
solutions. The company is seeing a trend in retail and other industry verticals moving from using A/C power to delivering power using PoE because it doesn’t require an electrician, it is more flexible, and more and more products are sufficiently low-power to be able to be PoE powered.
“We have introduced Extended Edge products that enable ‘stretching’ the reach of PoE while introducing the simplicity, low-cost yet high feature capabilities afforded by a flexible port extender,” Broockman said. “Flexible in that it can be single-ended, dual-homed, cascaded, or delivered in a ring topology. We also offer a premium, stackable multi-rate Gigabit Ethernet switch with MACsec and 60/90W PoE. It is available in six different models for connecting a range of edge access devices, including 802.11ax access points, and for border routing purposes.”
Plans are also in the anvil to expand this PoE portfolio with regards to temperature ratings, fanless, power levels, and resiliency. PoE could become widely utilized for LED lighting as well in the near future, according to Broockman.
Low power to see new development
About 42 percent of our respondents showed a strong interest in low-power wireless technologies. This comes in various flavors as Broockman points out. BT and Zigbee are already available in our Access Points. LoRA offers a longer range, very low data rate telemetry technology that holds great promise. But there may be something else around the corner that could be a potential gamechanger.
“A new very low power, yet high data rate technology coming to market is Ultra-Wide Band (UWB),” Broockman said. “The recent introduction of the iPhone 11, which has yet to be fully detailed with a UWB chip in it, will dramatically accelerate this technology. The benefit of this technology is the extraordinary power efficiency when measured in joules/bit transferred. This is a byproduct of the ultrawide 500MHz wide radio channel and the physics of such a channel as captured in the Shannon Channel Capacity Theorem. Channel Capacity is proportional to the BW * the log (SNR+1), the SNR being a power ratio.”
Sandesh Kaup, Country Manager for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Nepal at Allied Telesis
added that the expansions in IoT and the smart-
products market make low power wireless technologies popular. But to make this a sustainable development, a technology that consumers want, even lower power is required.
“However, this mindless pursuit of smartness is eating up resources and hurting the environment,” Kaup said. “We needed a smarter solution by designing these IoT devices to survive on the least amount of energy. Thus, ultra-low-power wireless technology for IoT devices is one of the vastly researched branches of science today. The key reason is to save power consumption. And since science is moving in the direction of low power it's evident that the security and automation industry is following a similar path.”
Communicating long range
Another significant finding of the survey was that 40.5 percent of the respondents were interested in long-range communication solutions. This indicates the trend of largescale expansion of solutions, even at the regional and national level, as more and more countries adopt smart technologies to make their cities more efficient.
“We expect to see continued growth globally in long-range communication protocols, whether utilizing existing infrastructures or servicing areas around the globe with little to no networking infrastructures using long-range wireless, cellular or public/private internet (World Wide Web),” Isola said. “We believe one major concern with all these forms of transmitting information is a secure link.”
Indeed, the security of the data is a major concern when the distance is high. Isola added that KBC’s ThruLink solution was developed with this security aspect as a priority.