Siemon, the global structured cabling company, reports a strong upward trend in the adoption of 10 Gb/s screened (F/UTP) copper cabling systems, particularly in markets where UTP has traditionally been the most popular option.
“We launched our 10Gb/s 10G 6A™ F/UTP solution in January 2003 and have offered screened solutions since the early 90’s. These systems have enjoyed steady growth,” explains Robert Carlson, Siemon’s VP of global marketing. “But, as the industry got closer to the 10GBASE-T and Category 6A/Class EA standards, there has been a sharp upswing in screened projects, especially in UTP markets like the US, UK and Asia-Pacific countries.”
Siemon sees this trend as a market-driven response to the limitations of UTP cabling in 10Gb/s applications. The inclusion of strict alien crosstalk parameters in the 10Gb/s standards posed major issues for UTP systems. Although Siemon and most major cabling manufacturers were able to meet the 10GBASE-T performance requirements and limit alien crosstalk in a UTP configuration, the resulting designs relied on increased cable diameters and restrictive installation practices.
These UTP limitations significantly raised the profile of screened 10Gb/s solutions, including Siemon’s 10G 6A™ F/UTP. By virtue of their screen, these solutions defeat alien crosstalk without major design or installation changes. This fact, coupled with time-saving innovations like Siemon’s Quick-Ground™ termination and grounding features and decreased installation costs due to greater pathway/conduit fill density, has caused many users to consider 10Gb/s screened cabling.
The rising end user acceptance of screened solutions is further evidenced by recent cabling industry response. Manufacturers known primarily as UTP-focused have begun to enter the screened market with their own versions.
“Siemon has spent years globally promoting the benefits of 10 Gb/s screened cabling while many other manufacturers downplayed its importance, claiming that it was ‘only for Germany,’ ‘difficult to terminate and ground’ and ‘overkill,’” Carlson explains. “Now we see the same companies launching screened systems. It is good to see more manufacturers promoting screened systems as a strong global option to UTP.”
Carlson adds that while F/UTP cabling systems may be as easy to implement as UTP, there are some basic differences between the two. While simple to learn and easy to implement, the differences are critical to enjoying the full benefit of a screened system.
“Experience is important as adoption of F/UTP systems grows,” he notes. “Users need products that help address things like grounding and help simplify termination. They need information and support. Siemon’s wide installed based of screened systems has provided us with real-world experience. Over the years, we have seen first-hand what works and what doesn’t and we believe it shows in our 10G 6A™ F/UTP solution and the service we put behind it.”