2.5 and 5GBase-T standard ratification expected in September; interoperability plugfest planned

July 21, 2016
With ratification of the IEEE 802.3bz 2.5 and 5GBase-T standard expect in September, the Ethernet Alliance and NBase-T Alliance will hold a plugfest the following month.

The Ethernet Alliance and NBase-T Alliance jointly announced “a new collaborative effort designed to accelerate mainstream deployment of 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T Ethernet,” the organizations said. “The two organizations plan to validate multi-vendor interoperability at a plugfest event scheduled for the week of October 10, 2016 at the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Laboratory in Durham, NH.”

In the announcement, the two alliances said they expect the IEEE to ratify the 802.3bz 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T specifications in September. “IEEE P802.3bz defines 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T, and offers a seamless upgrade to 1000Base-T operation, which was introduced nearly 20 years ago,” they said. “The new specification enables up to five times the speed with no changes in cabling infrastructure required—resulting in a better user experience. In addition, 2.5GbE and 5GbE are well-suited to interconnect to the next generation of higher-speed wireless networks based on IEEE 802.11ac.”

Further commenting on 2.5 and 5GbE, the Ethernet Alliance and NBase-T Alliance said, “This technology multiples network throughput of the more than 70 billion meters of Category 5e and Category 6 cabling sold throughout the last 13 years.”

John D’Ambrosia, chair of the Ethernet Alliance and senior principal engineer with Huawei, stated, “The availability of tested, interoperable equipment conforming to a single standard will drive future generations of advanced network performance and innovative new applications. As IEEE prepares to ratify the IEEE P802.3bz 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T standard, our upcoming plugfest will help speed its global adoption and make the most of the expansive 1000Base-T infrastructure that exists today. As the leading industry voice of Ethernet, our mission is to accelerate its deployment. This joint initiative with the NBase-T Alliance is a natural progression of that goal.”

Peter Jones, chair of the NBase-T Alliance and principal engineer with Cisco, added, “Based on the strong ecosystem developed by the NBase-T Alliance, and the rapid adoption of 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T technology, we are ready for the next phase of broad deployment. The unparalleled benefits of 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T Ethernet technology are enabling new capabilities throughout the industry and the upcoming plugfest will be a significant milestone to showcase this success. We look forward to the joint plugfest with the Ethernet Alliance to speed product deployment and move the industry forward.”

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