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    Proposal for Increased 10BaseT Bandwidth Gains Support

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    Five Ways to Prepare Your Network for the Onslaught of Faster Wi-Fi Devices

    With users now carrying anywhere from two to four mobile computing devices into the office, it should come as no surprise that wireless access points are being overwhelmed by all the network traffic being generated. To alleviate that congestion, Broadcom, Brocade, Delta Electronics, Delta Networks, Freescale Semiconductor, Pulse Electronics and Ruijie Networks today announced that they are throwing their collective weight behind an IEEE effort to define 2.5G and 5G Ethernet standards for access points that use unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling.

    Ali Abaye, senior director of product marketing for Broadcom, says that while other types of approaches using Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) antennas are being developed to address bandwidth issues, a specification that is compatible with UTP is also necessary because many organizations can’t afford to replace existing cabling systems. As more traffic continues to swamp 1G Ethernet networks, it’s clear that network latency will increase, especially as mobile computing devices configured with more robust antennas become attached to the network.

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    Abaye says the existence of 2.5 and 5G Ethernet options as defined in the proposed IEEE 802.3 10GBASE-T standard aren’t likely to slow down adoption of other wireless access point technologies that provide much higher bandwidth, but it will create an option for IT organizations that require an interim step to improve the end-user experience at a price they can afford.

    At present, the IEEE has created a study group to examine the need for bandwidth ranging from between 1G and 10G Ethernet. Broadcom is leading a coalition of vendors known as the MGBASE-T Alliance that is advocating the adoption of 2.5 and 5G Ethernet specification that the alliance members have collaboratively developed.

    With wireless networks becoming the primary network used in the enterprise, demand for network bandwidth on the backend of all those access points is rising precipitously. Unfortunately, the number of options available to IT organizations to deal with that problem is as limited as the amount of bandwidth their currently installed cables can actually support.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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