Editor's Picks

Dec. 1, 2016

OFS receives TV’s Emmy award for ‘pioneering invention and deployment of fiber-optic cable’

OFS, a global designer, manufacturer and supplier of fiber-optic networking technology, has been honored with a Technology and Engineering Emmy Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for contributions toward the “Pioneering Invention and Deployment of Fiber Optic Cable.”

The Academy says that Emmy Awards for Technology and Engineering “are presented to companies for engineering developments so significant or innovative in nature that they materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television.”

According to a press release, “The award to OFS recognizes the unique, groundbreaking and patented fiber-optic technology inventions by Bell Labs/Western Electric (OFS predecessor companies) and OFS’s role in continuing to develop game-changing technologies that have refined and enhanced the use of fiber-optic cable for broadcast television.”

Dr. Timothy F. Murray, CEO and chairman of OFS, commented, “OFS is honored by this recognition of the breakthrough discoveries made by our predecessor companies, which OFS has continued to build upon with technological breakthroughs and enhancements. The invention and widespread deployment of singlemode fiber-optic cable has fundamentally changed broadcast delivery over the past 30 years.”

OFS will be honored during the presentation of the 68th Annual Technology and Engineering Emmy Awards on Saturday, January 7, 2017, at The Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, during the week of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

“Today’s fiber-rich broadcast networks help to enable the flawless, on-demand delivery of increasingly higher resolution television programs while also containing the bandwidth needed to deliver whatever incredible offerings the broadcast television industry will create in the future,” Dr. Murray concluded. “This award is emblematic of both our company’s proud heritage as well as our ongoing commitment to developing industry-leading fiber-optic innovations that positively impact the quality of life for end users around the globe.”

Lenovo, Nimble Storage partner on converged data center infrastructure

Lenovo and Nimble Storage recently announced a strategic partnership “intended to transform data center capabilities by delivering new levels of efficiency and scale, and slashing the time IT teams spend managing infrastructure,” as stated in a press release from the companies. Per the new partnership, Lenovo and Nimble said they will enable the use of predictive analytics in infrastructure management to automate service activities, allowing data centers to redeploy their resources from maintenance and support tasks to strategic projects that deliver value for their organizations.

“This strategic relationship with Nimble enables us to deliver a state-of-the-art all flash offering, further extending the industry’s best customer experience by leveraging the predictive analytics platform, InfoSight, all while providing a lower TCO,” said David Lincoln, executive director and general manager of the server, storage and solutions business unit, data center business group, Lenovo. “Through this new alliance, we are able to deliver a continuous integration of hardware, software, and analytics support, establishing the means to develop the next generation all flash data center and drive strategic value for our customers.”

Lenovo plans to integrate its XClarity infrastructure management software with Nimble InfoSight, which leverages predictive analytics to automate the support experience. The two companies will work together to create “self-healing” system management capabilities across the entire data center infrastructure, including storage, compute, and networking. The alliance promises to increase data center resiliency through early problem identification and automated intervention across the infrastructure stack. The result is expected to provide IT professionals the opportunity to redeploy resources from day-to-day maintenance tasks to strategic revenue-generating projects that will create value and drive business growth.

As noted by the companies: “According to recent data from industry analyst firm, Forrester, for 2016, U.S. enterprises are allocating only 29 percent of their tech budgets to new project spending and 45 percent of the balance to ongoing operations and maintenance, keeping the lights on, and maintaining the status quo. This partnership brings together Lenovo’s world-class server technology, rated number one in reliability and customer satisfaction, with Nimble’s innovative All Flash storage offerings and InfoSight Predictive Analytics as a means to address this issue, enabling the IT professional to spend less time on maintenance and more time innovating. In the first wave of these offerings, Lenovo today announced its ThinkAgile CX series of converged infrastructure solutions, which has storage capabilities powered by Nimble Predictive All Flash arrays.”

“Immediate data access is critical to maintaining competitive edge. Unfortunately, enterprises continue to be challenged with complex infrastructure that causes applications to slow down and impact business. We strive to provide simple, self-managing infrastructure so IT organizations can steer their attention to strategic business initiatives,” commented Suresh Vasudevan, chief executive officer, Nimble Storage. “By combining our innovative technology with Lenovo’s global footprint and product scope we’ll provide a portfolio of high performance, application optimized solutions that minimize infrastructure management and lower overall support costs.”

The first offerings that will benefit from the Lenovo-Nimble partnership will be the ThinkAgile CX Series solution.

288-fiber cable for FTTx is 10.4 millimeters in diameter

Datwyler Cabling Solutions recently added a fiber cable with 288 singlemode fibers (G.652.D) to its FO Outdoor wbKT S-Micro fiber-optic cable family. The 12x24 stranded loose tube cable is ideally suited for fiber-to-the-x (FTTx) networks. It is 10.4 millimeters in diameter.

“This is an ideal size for blowing into microducts of 12 mm or more internal diameter,” the company said.

“The compact, non-metallic cable with its dry interstices makes for a design which is easy to install and remove,” Datwyler continued. “Users also benefit from its outstanding attenuation figures-0.21 dB/km at 1550 nm, for example-and good mechanical properties which are reflected in an increased tensile strength (2900 N) and very long blowing distances.”

Datwyler Cabling Solutions is an internationally operating supplier of products, system solutions and services for electrical and communications infrastructures.

Eaton, EPRI field test intelligent circuit breakers for smart grids, utilities

The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) and power management company Eaton have announced a collaborative demonstration fielded by EPRI with utility providers across the United States to test a new Eaton circuit breaker designed to improve utility service reliability and optimize the grid.

EPRI will test and evaluate the impact of Eaton’s energy management circuit breaker (EMCB) in the field, and the data from the testing will be provided to the participating utilities. The research results are anticipated to help participants better understand how to manage demand for electricity with the potential for more effective integration of new energy sources onto the grid, while also enabling homeowners to strategically manage their energy use.

The field test will involve the installation of EMCBs by 12 utilities in approximately 500 homes across the country. EPRI will evaluate and analyze field test data as part of this collaborative research and development project with utilities, including American Electric Power, CenterPoint Energy, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Duke Energy, Exelon subsidiaries ComEd and Pepco, Nebraska Public Power District, Seattle City Light, Southern Company, and Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association, Inc.

“The EMCB technology puts some of the benefits of a smart, integrated grid in the hands of homeowners, and could transform the way consumers interact with electricity,” said Arshad Mansoor, EPRI senior vice president for research and development. “This field test also provides a real-time, in-home assessment of how the EMCB can improve utility service and optimize the grid by supporting demand response, distributed energy resources, solar installation monitoring, energy storage, and energy management.”

The EMCB combines circuit breaker technology, which provides circuit protection in the customer’s load center, with Internet connectivity and on-board intelligence. The EMCB makes a home’s circuits “smart” and provides better energy use information for residential energy management and for utility optimization of grid reliability. The devices can be used in new installations or retrofitted into existing home electrical panels without additional hardware.

“Eaton engineers reimagined fundamental power management technology, including the circuit breaker, to help utilities and consumers more actively and intelligently manage power,” said Joanne Edwards, senior vice president and general manager, residential and wiring devices division at Eaton. “The field test will help us accelerate the development of the energy management circuit breaker, while also providing data on device lifecycle management, over-the-air firmware updates, and communication architectures that can be applied across our solutions for residential and utility customers.”

The device combines Eaton’s miniature circuit breaker technology with secure WiFi communications, utility-grade metering, and load control to help support grid optimization. The Eaton circuit breakers also leverage the simple-to-install and maintain Internet of Things connectivity platform from Electric Imp. Eaton collaborated with Electric Imp, co-founded by Hugo Fiennes, to ensure the EMCBs and their managed services are secure, flexible, reliable, and scalable.

IWCS and UL to produce regional cable, connectivity technology conference in Shanghai, China

IWCS, producer of the International Cable & Connectivity Symposium, welcomed attendees to its 65th annual conference in Providence, RI, from October 2-5, 2016.

A formal announcement of a collaboration between IWCS and UL to produce a regional conference in Shanghai, China next year was made at the event’s plenary session. Robert Wessels, Jr. of CommScope and chairman of IWCS, signed the collaboration agreement with L.F. Lai, VP and general manager of UL’s Wire and Cable division. The new event, dubbed the “UL and IWCS China 2017 Cable & Connectivity Symposium”, will be held April 25-27, 2017 at the Marriott Shanghai City Centre, and will be based on the IWCS conference format of a technical symposium, plenary session with keynote speaker, executive track, and a professional development program. Simultaneous translations will be provided for each presentation. Selection of presentations will be made with a call for papers and peer review.

“This is our 65th year of the global symposium conducted in the United States and we are now looking forward to presenting topics to a broader audience in Asia, particularly to those who cannot travel to the U.S.,” commented CommScope’s Wessels. L.F. Lai, VP and general manager of UL’s Wire and Cable division added, “As China is the largest market for wire and cable connectivity with the strongest need for acquiring the knowledge of latest innovations, it is logical to establish this regional event in China as the premier venue to learn of new technologies in cable and connectivity materials, products, processes and applications.”

Formal topics for this year’s IWCS 2016 in Providence included: the Internet of Things (IoT); Power over Communications Cables; Global FTTx and Installation; Materials for Cable and Connectivity Applications; Fiber Optic Connectors for Harsh Environments; Copper Cable Performance and Design.

The event’s executive session and the technical symposium offered a program containing 99 technical papers and presentations in 16 sessions that attracted presenters and attendees from across the U.S., Asia, and Europe. The conference also included 22 poster papers, 11 new product presentations, 7 professional development courses led by industry experts, and a 2-day supplier exhibition.

Attendees came from 25 countries, spanning 6 continents, with 31 percent from outside the U.S. Attendees from Europe accounted for 13 percent, while 14 percent came from Asia. Eleven percent of the Attendees were from Japan and China. Overall attendance increased 24 percent over the prior year.

“This conference gives attendees a unique opportunity to gain insight from top engineers, researchers and executives from the cabling and connectivity industry,” said David B. Kiddoo, CEO of IWCS. “The quality of the papers was excellent and the overall popularity of the topics, including the enhanced connectivity focus, generated a high level of global interest in this year’s program.”

A highlight of the 2016 IWCS plenary session was the recognition for the best papers and presenters of the prior year. Award winners were as follows.

  • The Jack Spergel Memorial Award for Outstanding Technical Paper for “Characterization of Modal Dependence of MMF Chromatic Dispersion for Wideband MMF” was presented to co-authors Bulent Kose; Jose Castro, Ph.D.; Rick Pimpinella, Ph.D.; Yu Huang, Ph.D.; Alexander Berian; Asher Novick and Brett Lane, Ph.D.; all of Panduit Corporation, Tinley Park, IL, USA.
  • The Outstanding Poster Paper for “Development of 2000-Fiber Ultra-High Density Underground Optical Cable” was presented to its authors Tomohiro Ishimura, Masayoshi Tsukamoto and Yutaka Hoshino of Furukawa Electric Co., Ltd., Mie, Japan.
  • The Kitts-Kingsley Award for Best Presentation was given to David Mazzarese, Ph.D. of OFS, Norcross, GA, USA, for “Splice Loss Criteria for Outside Plant Cable.”

Ian Greveling of Corning Optical Communications LLC, North Carolina, USA, a retiring member of the IWCS Board of Directors, and retiring Symposium Committee Member Paolo Marelli, of Prysmian Group, Milano, Italy, were also honored.

New Symposium Committee members added in 2016 included Eduardo Garza, Hitachi Cable America; Richard Mack, CRU; James Malkemus, General Cable; Dr. Akira Murata, Fujikura, Ltd.; Wayne Kachmar, Technical Horsepower Consulting, LLC; Robert LaRocca, Underwriters Laboratories, LLC; Simone (Cy) Genna, The Chemours Company; and Durgesh S. Vaidya, OFS, a Furukawa Company.

Seven recipients of the student scholarship awards for the 2016/2017 academic year were also acknowledged at the plenary session. Contributions came from Cable Components Group, the Wire and Cable Industry Suppliers Association (WCISA), The Christopher Kenneth Eoll Memorial Endowment, and the Wire Association International (WAI).

The event’s two-day supplier exhibition featured more than 100 suppliers to the cable and connectivity industry.

New TIA standard addresses wireless tower planning and construction

The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) released a new standard to facilitate improved communication between engineers and contractors planning and assessing wireless tower construction. The standard-ANSI/TIA-322 Loading Criteria, Analysis, and Design Related to the Installation, Alteration and Maintenance of Communication Structures-became available on August 31. It revises and redacts TIA’s 1019-A standard (Standard for Installation, Alteration and Maintenance of Antenna Supporting Structures and Antennas), which was published in 2012.

Through a coordinated effort, TIA and the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) evolved the original TIA-1019-A standard for two distinct audiences in construction planning and implementation. Portions of TIA-1019-A were brought into the existing standardization efforts underway in ASSE and drove the completion of the ANSI/ASSE A10.48 standard.

Scott Belcher, chief executive officer of the TIA, said, “I am extremely proud of the way our member volunteers worked together to develop and release this standard in less than a year. The revisions have been anticipated for over a decade, so it was due to extraordinary work and focus by TIA’s TR-14 Engineering Committee to step up and move this forward.”

The ANSI/TIA-322 standard addresses construction-related loading, analysis and design requirements while the ANSI/ASSE A10.48 standard addresses construction means and methods. The development of both of these standards as a collective revision to TIA-1019-A was a joint effort between TIA and ASSE to ensure the standards are synchronized, the TIA explained when it announced the availability of TIA-322. TIA-322 and ASSE A10.48 “each represent important roles required to complete the planning and construction process,” the TIA added. Both standards go into effect January 1, 2017.

James Ruedlinger, chair of the task group that developed ANSI/TIA-322, commented, “I would like to extend my utmost gratitude to all TIA members who served on the TR-14 Task Group 7 responsible for the ANSI/TIA-322. Tremendous time and effort has been expended to produce this industry-leading standard as it relates to loading, analysis, and design of communication structures under construction as well as specialized design criteria for tower lifting devices. I would also like to sincerely thank my mentor, colleague, and dear friend Ernie Jones for his vision, integrity, and passion, which served as the stimulus in the formation and ongoing development for this standard to promote construction awareness for the entire communications industry.”

The TIA actively seeks participation in tower industry projects from the user and general-interest communities. More information about TIA TR-14 and participation in standards development with TIA is available from Marianna Kramarikova: [email protected].

ETA, IWCE offer veteran, student scholarships for wireless communications training

One deserving U.S. military veteran and one student will each earn a scholarship to attend Electronics Technicians Association, (ETA) International’s Education Forum 2017 (EF17) and Penton’s International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), co-locating March 27-31, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV. Students and honorably discharged U.S. military veterans interested in technical careers in the wireless communications field are encouraged to submit an essay for a scholarship to attend EF17@IWCE. Winners will have the opportunity to meet industry leaders and recruiters at the expo’s Job Education and Training Center, featuring more than 350 wireless companies.

According to a press release, the student scholarship essay contest includes one short course package conference pass ($549 value), one coach class plane ticket to Las Vegas, NV (value up to $400), two nights’ hotel stay at IWCE’s host hotel (approximate value of $400), access to IWCE’s exhibit hall and recognition during ETA’s annual award banquet.

Last year’s student winner was Kelly Krenek from A&M Consolidated High School, College Station, TX. Although her focus was on information technology, after the EF16@IWCE experience, she now plans to concentrate her continued education on networking and wireless communication. “While I entered the conference with the intention to become a systems engineer, I’ve now discovered even more opportunities and careers I could choose from within wireless communications,” Krenek said.

To be eligible, the student must have at least a 2.5 grade point average and must be currently enrolled in a school or other technical training program. This essay must describe the student’s ideal career in wireless communications, how this scholarship could benefit their future personally and professionally, as well as why they should be considered for this scholarship.

Honorably discharged veterans with an FCC Amateur Radio License or those with a strong communications background are encouraged to apply for the Veteran Scholarship. It includes one seat in the event’s Radio Frequency Interference Mitigation hands-on training workshop conducted by Ira Wiesenfeld, P.E., of IWA Technical Services, Inc., along with ETA’s RFIM certification test, a $949 total value.

The veteran scholarship also includes five nights hotel stay (room charge and tax) at IWCE’s host hotel; one Short Course Package conference pass to IWCE, a $549 value; one coach class plane ticket to Las Vegas, Nevada, value up to $400; access to the expo’s Job Training & Education Center along with IWCE’s two-day exhibit hall and recognition during ETA’s annual award banquet.

Last year’s veteran co-winners were Brian C. Anderson, CET, and Marcus Irvine, CETsr, both from Veteran’s Assembled Electronics (VAE) of Florida. “Brian and Marcus both attended IWATSI’s Line and Antenna Sweep workshop to earn certification and gain critical knowledge with hands-on skills to launch successful civilian careers,” said VAE CEO John Shepard.

Students and veterans interested in applying must submit a 1,000-word-or-less essay, along with a recent resume, cover letter and picture no later than January 9, 2017 to ETA at [email protected].

Wilson Electronics positions cellular signal dual-booster system as DAS alternative

At CEDIA 2016 (September 6-9), Wilson Electronics debuted its WilsonPro 1000/1050 cellular signal booster system. The company contends that “this new product line solidifies WilsonPro as an innovative, smart alternative to expensive DAS rollouts, accomplishing the same objectives of better cellular service with less work and lower costs.”

According to a product press release, “Wilson Electronics’ team of engineers designed the WilsonPro 1000/1050 to address the issue of reduced system performance due to the loss of cell signals over unavoidable, long coax cable lines, a common issue in large buildings. The [unit’s] two-booster design, [comprising] a main booster and inline booster, provides up to 32x stronger signal in offices and large buildings, ensuring maximum indoor coverage, faster download and upload speeds, and no more dropped calls. The system’s dual-booster design consists of four parts-two boosters and two antennas-that work together to provide exceptional mobile connectivity. Unlike most single booster designs, WilsonPro 1000/1050 boosters communicate with one another to mitigate signal loss, so those in the building can enjoy maximum indoor coverage.”

“Our two-unit system of the WilsonPro 1000 in combination with the WilsonPro 1050 is the industry’s first ‘intelligent’ system. It enhances all cellular signals simultaneously while greatly extending the reach in a large building where cable loss would otherwise negate the system performance of a standard booster,” explains Jeff Gudewicz, vice president, corporate development at Wilson Electronics. “This technology allows these units to communicate over the same coax used to pass RF frequencies, giving installers an option for delivering reliable connectivity without adding complexity of cabling and installation.”

As for how the system works specifically, Gudewicz adds, “The WilsonPro 1000, the main booster, amplifies the cell signal, and the 1050, the supplementary inline booster, restores any signal lost. An indoor antenna communicates with cellular devices inside the space, and an outdoor antenna communicates with the cell tower. While the WilsonPro 1050 relies on the 1000 to function, the 1000 does work as a standalone booster. The WilsonPro 1000 and 1000/1050 are independently tested and carrier-agnostic, providing coverage through every corner and level of large buildings for all U.S. and Canadian phone carriers, including 4G LTE enabled devices.”

The WilsonPro 1000/1050 system is expected to be available for purchase through WilsonPro certified resellers this December.

Fuji Electric launches next-generation UPS line for NA data center market

Fuji Electric Corp. of America has launched the next generation of the company’s UPS system for the North American data center market.

The new UPS7300WX-T3U features “an innovative transformer-less UPS designed to withstand the specific load and environmental conditions of data centers as well as other commercial applications, utilizing Fuji Electric’s patented RB-IGBT technology and AT-NPC 3-Level circuit topology to deliver up to 97.5 percent efficiency and unparalleled reliability,” says the company. The series is billed as the company’s most scalable UPS system to date, with an expandable architecture that delivers any size unit from 225-1000kW using 330kVA modules.

“Our engineering team recognized that data centers value scalability in their equipment, particularly the UPS systems, so that their infrastructure can grow with them,” said Phil Charatz, president and CEO of Fuji Electric Corp. of America. “The UPS7300WX-T3U series offers this flexibility, along with other key features such as a high efficiency (HE) mode and the use of advanced materials contributing to the unit’s durability and efficiency.”

The UPS7300WX-T3U series will be rolled out in phases beginning in January 2017, followed by additional product releases in July 2017 and December 2017. The IGBTs used in the UPS7300WX-T3U unit were specifically designed for use in commercial applications, and incorporate silicon carbide (SiC) in the areas within the device that incur the most stress, notes Fuji.

The systems rely on DC-DC converters for battery longevity and offer a selectable HE mode for superior efficiency when power conditioning is not required, thereby increasing the efficiency to as high as 99 percent under normal conditions. Redundant fans come standard with all UPS7300WX-T3U models; the units are fully maintainable and repairable with only front access required.

“Data centers have become more advanced and complex in recent years, and it’s critical that the equipment supporting these facilities be held to the highest standards in terms of quality and reliability,” added Charatz. “Fuji Electric has been manufacturing power electronics products for nearly a century, so our customers can rest assured that our UPS systems will offer them the protection they need when it counts the most.”

GC&E Systems tasked for phone system, cable plant operations and maintenance at US Military Academy at West Point, NY

GC&E Systems Group, Inc. announced its successful pursuit of an IMCS III task order at the US Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY.

The task order is to provide operations and maintenance (O&M) of the administrative telephone system (ATS) and cable plant at the West Point USAG and Keller Army Hospital with a period of performance of five years including a one-year base contract and four one-year options.

The USMA at West Point, NY is a historic and prestigious garrison that has played a major part in shaping the United States. GC&E will be supporting the Network Enterprise Center (NEC), which operates as a subordinate element of the 7th Signal Command, part of the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command (NETCOM).

Founded in 1999 and with more than 200 employees, GC&E is a veteran-owned small business based in Norcross, GA, specializing in information assurance, information technology, telecommunications, and electronic security solutions for federal, state, and commercial markets.

In making the announcement, GC&E’s owner and chief executive officer, Dan O’Sullivan stated, “GC&E Systems Group is honored to be awarded this task order to support the USMA at West Point under the IMCS III contract vehicle. We look forward to contributing to the success of the mission at such an important part of our nation’s history, West Point.”

CommScope launches Ultra-Wideband antennas for new wireless spectrum

CommScope announced that it is ready to support the next generation of wireless networks in Europe and the US with base station antennas upgraded for the latest spectrum. The company has introduced new Ultra-Wideband antennas that support the 1400 MHz and 600 MHz frequency bands, the latest spectrum being released for cellular network use. CommScope says it has already delivered the Ultra-Wideband antenna for 1400 MHz to a major European operator.

“Speed to market is a critical success factor for network operators in today’s competitive wireless industry,” said Upendra Pingle, vice president, base station antennas, CommScope. “CommScope prides itself on responding to real market demand quickly, ready to help our wireless customers deploy their valuable spectrum holdings as rapidly as possible.”

To keep up with ever-growing data demand, CommScope notes that wireless operators are adding new spectrum to their networks to increase capacity. One recent report cited by the company suggests that streaming audio and video content will account for 80 percent of network traffic by 2020. More than 20 billion Internet of Things devices could also be connected by then.

Further, many European network operators recently received licenses to operate in the 1400-MHz bands, which will help supplement downlink speeds and improve the user experience. CommScope’s Ultra-Wideband antenna covers the full spectrum of 1427 to 2690 MHz. Uniquely, the new antenna has separate inputs for the 1400-MHz band, enabling downtilt for just that band, while still offering 4x2 and 4x4 MIMO capability on the 1800-, 2100-, 2300- and 2600-MHz bands without increasing the size of the antenna.

For the US market, CommScope has an Ultra-Wideband antenna ready for the 600-MHz bands currently being auctioned, which could serve as a “wide-area 5G coverage layer.” CommScope says its 600-MHz Ultra-Wideband antenna offers superior narrow beamwidth performance, giving it excellent pattern containment, roll off and sector overlap control. These pattern characteristics reduce interference, boost network capacity and enable operators to get the most from their spectral investments. CommScope expects to begin trials of the 600-MHz Ultra-Wideband antennas before year's end.

In addition to supporting new spectrum, CommScope’s Ultra-Wideband antennas carry the major frequency bands used globally, enabling operators to provide a variety of services from the same antennas. Network operators typically need such multi-faceted network equipment in order to support the numerous wireless technologies and devices in use today.

BICSI members elect six to board of directors

In balloting that ended September 30, BICSI members elected six individuals to serve on the association’s board of directors for two-year terms beginning in January 2017.

“Congratulations to these newly elected individuals,” said BICSI president Brian Ensign, RCDD, NTS, OSP, RTPM, CSI. “Volunteering with BICSI is a rewarding experience, and a perfect chance to make sure your voice is heard. The rest of the board and I look forward to working with these incoming board members to continue to ensure the prosperity of our great organization.”

The new officers will officially be inaugurated on January 24, 2017.

The newly elected board members are as follows:

  • Secretary - Carol Everett Oliver, RCDD, ESS; Legrand North America (Cape Coral, FL)
  • Canadian Region Director - Greg Porter, RCDD; Sales Outsource Solutions (Schomberg, ON)
  • Global Region Director - Honorico “Rick” Ciordia, RCDD, DCDC, RTPM, CT, PE; ETTG (Bayamon, Puerto Rico)
  • U.S. South-Central Region Director - Todd W. Taylor, RCDD, NTS, OSP; Enfinity Engineering, LLC (Brentwood, TN)
  • U.S. Southeast Region Director - Mel Lesperance, RCDD; Lakeside Consulting (Tampa, FL)
  • U.S. Western Region Director - Pat McMurray, RCDD, DCDC, NTS, OSP; T&R Communications Inc. (Sacramento, CA)

R&M launches antibacterial hospital cabling line

In India, R&M has launched a special cabling line for health institutions. The R&MhealthLine range is suitable for patient rooms and similar deployment areas that have an inherent risk of infection. The new outlets and patch cords have antibacterial properties. Their plastic parts are resistant to germs and bacteria in compliance with ISO 22196.

The company says its R&MhealthLine offers “the first consistent and complete range for network equipment in environments reserved for patients and people requiring care. It comprises outlets with RJ45 sockets, shielded and unshielded patch cords for connecting computers, multimedia, communication and medical devices, as well as shutters and coding elements from the R&M security system. R&MhealthLine products are just as easy to install and operate as standard products. They are compatible with the modular cabling system R&Mfreenet that covers all areas of structured building cabling.”

Medical devices and data networks have to be galvanically isolated at such places of use to protect patients from any possible over voltages, R&M further explained. The company has developed a solution for this, too: the maintenance-free R&MsafeLine network isolation module. It can be installed in existing LAN outlets and takes care of galvanic isolation. The company says that this property saves on costly alternative solutions in terms of medical technology and ensures uninterrupted data transmission. The company adds that the R&MsafeLine range is not dependent on a particular device, does not require any software or its own power supply, and is compatible with the cabling system R&Mfreenet.

Further, clinics have to ensure that the operation of medical, administrative and multimedia applications are clearly separated. The R&M security system supports this goal with color coding, shutters and labels to mark the different connections. The highest level of the security system prevents misuse or errors when cables are unplugged or plugged in through mechanical locks for LAN connectors. Only authorized people can open the locks. This means clinics can take physical steps to ensure that data connections are not interrupted unintentionally or negligently.

“According to the World Health Organization around 16 million people die every year from infections contracted in hospitals. We want to make a contribution to reducing the risk of infection,” concludes Matthias Gerber, R&M market manager, LAN cabling. “With the installation of R&MhealthLine, clinics can further improve their risk management in the IT area.”

EXFO acquires RF test technology

EXFO recently acquired the majority of the assets of Absolute Analysis, Inc., a privately held company in Newbury Park, CA. The $8.25-million cash-and-stock deal includes technology, expertise and solutions in the area of radio frequency (RF) testing for fiber-based radio access networks (RANs).

"This acquisition is driven by EXFO's commitment to provide market-leading solutions to mobile network operators [MNOs] in their quest to deploy next-generation, fiber-based fronthaul networks and RAN architectures," EXFO said. "In a market where subscriber quality of experience is a profitability game-changer, MNOs have little room for error while pressure is increasing to deploy faster and minimize operating expenses."

Absolute Analysis's solutions "are critical for identifying and analyzing RF interference issues in fiber-to-the-antenna [FTTA], distributed antenna system [DAS], remote radio heads [RRHs] and baseband units [BBUs] that support 4G/LTE and, soon, 5G wireless mobility and Internet of Things [IoT]," EXFO continued. "Absolute Analysis's technology delivers highly efficient Common Public Radio Interface protocol analysis and emulation as well as RF-over-CPRI spectrum analysis."

The company said it will combine its optical and Ethernet test technologies with the newly acquired technologies, describing the new capabilities as "a unique combination of RF analysis-over-CPRI with market-leading fiber and Ethernet test technologies," saying this combination "significantly accelerates service delivery and troubleshooting, which reduces operating expenses for MNOs."

Some of Absolute Analysis's technology already has been integrated into a portion of EXFO's recently launched Optical RF application for its FTB-1 Pro test platform.

Germain Lamonde, EXFO's chairman, president and CEO, said, "Mobile network operators are transforming their architectures and deploying fiber deeper into radio access networks to add new services and much-needed capacity, while preparing for 5G mobility and IoT.

"This small, synergistic and strategic acquisition allows EXFO to strengthen its leadership position with a unique, all-in-one optical, Ethernet and RF test solution to help MNOs greatly enhance their productivity and network reliability."

Aerohive Networks unveils Software Defined LAN (SD-LAN) platform

Aerohive Networks announced that it is launching a comprehensive solution for the Software Defined LAN (SD-LAN). “Redefining the access layer with flexible wireless and wired networking capabilities, SD-LAN is a new architecture for access networks designed for organizations struggling to adapt their network to the constantly changing demands of mobility and their business. Aerohive is leading the shift to SD-LAN in the enterprise and is the first to deliver solutions for this new architecture,” began a company statement announcing the platform launch.

Aerohive’s SD-LAN capabilities include a new line of cloud-managed access switches; the AP250, a Wave 2 802.11ac access point with software-definable dual-5-GHz radios; the latest release of the company’s HiveManager NG cloud-delivered network and policy management; dynamic application and identity-driven network performance; and an open API platform. “All of this makes Aerohive the first to deliver software defined access for adaptable, flexible, and cost-effective wireless and wired access networking,” claims the company.

Aerohive says its SD-LAN platform defines the following five key attributes for dynamic next-generation access networks.

Application optimized-Prioritizes and dynamically changes the performance and behavior of the network based on the applications that use the network, focusing network resources where they best serve the organization’s most important activities.

Identity driven-Dynamically defines what individual users, clients, and things can do when they access the SD-LAN. Secure granular context based access policies that can be applied to just one user and device or groups of users and devices.

Adaptable wired and WiFi access layer-Wireless access points and access switches that can intelligently respond as changes in network configuration and requirements occur. This includes control protocols to deliver self-optimization, self-healing, and device behavior that can be manipulated through software.

Cloud managed-Centralized management of operations and policies, with policy changes distributed in real-time to switches and access points, across the distributed access network infrastructure. Cloud management keeps networks dynamic, tightly managed, and cost effective to operate.

Open APIs-Programmable interfaces that allow tight integration of network and applications infrastructures, enabling the network to provide new insights and integrate with the rest of the operations framework.

The platform introduction statement concluded, “Modern networks must continuously adjust and adapt to keep up with the pace of change that mobility has created, something unachievable in traditional network architectures. SD-LAN builds on the principles of software-defined networks (SDN) in the data center and the software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) to create a new approach to adaptable, flexible, and cost-effective wireless and wired access network. This builds an application- and policy-driven architecture, unchaining hardware and software layers while offering self-organizing and centrally managed networks that are simpler to operate, integrate, and scale.”

Fiber-optic video scope configured for Windows OS

The RMS-1 TruVue Fiber Optic Video Scope is now configured for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 10, its inventor Edward J. Forrest recently announced. RMS-1 is direct digital photography and records in still and motion imagery.

"The RMS-1 is the only device that can 'see' beyond the customary and limited field-of-view as noted in IEC-61300-3-35," Forrest explained. "This is an important advance as debris present in many sectors of the fiber-optic connector, heretofore not possible to be seen, can contribute to reflectance and insertion loss. The instrument can be used for field service, production lines, and a very essential asset for training applications."

Forrest also noted, "Professional trainers, production lines, central office/data center operations will be essentially interested as the instrument clearly expresses the need to clean and inspect as well as where, which answers why."

Berk-Tek provides Environmental and Health Product Declarations on category cabling

Berk-Tek, a Nexans company, announced that it has obtained Environmental and Health Product Declarations (EPD and HPD) on its category cabling products. EPDs and HPDs help companies reach sustainable building objectives and obtain points towards Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.

EPDs are third-party verified and registered documents that communicate transparent and comparable information about the lifecycle environmental impact of products. Berk-Tek has published its environmental declarations through the PEPecopassport program developed by the PEP Association, an industry-wide recognized non-profit organization that provides environmental declarations specifically for the electrical and electronics industries.

“PEPs are product-specific EPDs, so they are valued as one full product towards LEED credit achievement, versus a non-specific EPD, which only counts as half of one product,” stated Brian Simmons, copper product manager for Berk-Tek.

In addition, Berk-Tek’s HPDs are developed with the Health Product Declaration Open Standard to accurately disclose their content and health information in compliance with the LEED program. Use of Berk-Tek’s copper cabling on a project can count towards up to two points towards LEED credits.

“We understand that these certifications are very important to customers working towards LEED certification,” added Simmons. “But more than that, we are committed to doing our part to help preserve and protect our environment.”

This new announcement was made in conjunction with the release of Berk-Tek’s enhanced EVERYTHING IP platform, which features product enhancements and several new technical resources.

Sponsored Recommendations

Cat 6A Frequently Asked Questions

April 29, 2024
At CommScope we know about network change and the importance of getting it right. Conclusion Category 6A cabling and connectivity.

Revolutionize Your Network with Propel Fiber Modules

Oct. 24, 2023
Propel Fiber Modules are your gateway to the future of connectivity.

Elevate Your Network with Propel High-Density Panels

Oct. 24, 2023
Propel high-density panels are designed to adapt and grow as your needs change.

Constellation™ - Explore power and data products

Oct. 24, 2023
Discover the Essentials for Building Your Power and Data System!