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​Cabling technology continues to evolve to meet the rapidly growing network needs

Views: 6     Author: Judy Chang     Publish Time: 2021-08-18      Origin: Site


Commercial building renovation

Commercial buildings have always been at the forefront of rapid technological development. The upcoming 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) that is expected to achieve more than 30 billion device connections in the next few years, and the currently unknown innovations and inventions that will impose additional bandwidth requirements are the main factors driving the transformation of buildings and enterprises.

Another change that puts forward further requirements on the building network is the transition from "building security" to "building peace of mind."

This subtle but significant shift is happening because companies must not only include traditional physical security systems, including door lock hardware, access control, alarms, and video surveillance, but they must also implement and manage health and safety monitoring systems, such as temperature checks, Social distancing measures and room occupancy rates, etc.

With the continuous introduction of new technologies, there is an urgent need not only to meet new and existing requirements, but also to plan how to support the new system well in the future. Because the transformation is so rapid, an advanced infrastructure layer is essential to support the connectivity of new and evolving technologies and provide flexibility for future elements that we do not yet understand.

The essence of the seamless connection of building automation and control and the integration of IT and OT applications on a common platform is to treat data communication as a kind of public utility-the fourth kind of public utility. This is not a new concept, it has been around for at least 15 years, but it has never been more important to treat information as a utility.

In the past, some people claimed that various services or products were the fourth public utility, while others claimed that the fourth public utility covered the entire network infrastructure.

In fact, it is a concept; a digital transformation method that helps meet basic business challenges and goals. It emphasizes the reality that today, intelligence and information gathered from connected devices is now as important as gas, water, and electricity.

The convergence point of these connected devices is located in a commercial building. Convergence is nothing new-starting with a single network that supports voice and data, it has evolved to support other systems such as video surveillance and access control.

And now, the number of connection technologies in the entire building places new demands on the infrastructure to support higher levels of performance and reliability. If the buildings in it do not have smart functions, smart cities cannot develop. Smart devices, automation and control require infrastructure to support them, and the core of technological growth lies in the building itself.

If the prediction is correct, the number of global buildings will double by 2060. From campuses built to educate future generations to facilities for the older generations, technology has triggered a smart building revolution to improve our use of these spaces and make them more efficient, flexible and efficient.

But connecting a fourth utility is not exactly the same as water or gas. Technology is forcing construction operators to change their views on managing buildings and need to pay more attention to mitigating cyber threats. Success depends on the use of advances in converging and managing multiple systems, and cabling infrastructure can bridge the gap between information and operational technology.

This seems to be an unlikely correlation, but the future of commercial building connectivity and integration will depend on the data cables selected during building construction. This will not only significantly affect the growth and integration of technologies, but also:

  • Available space


  • Construction cost

  • Operating expenses


Facing security technical challenges

Security does not only depend on the infrastructure required for access control and monitoring. With health, safety and well-being a top priority, companies are expanding how they can use existing tools and infrastructure resources to meet these expanded needs.

An example is the use of network cameras and occupancy counters to accurately measure real-time occupancy levels to better achieve social distancing. Cameras can also be used for thermal imaging and PPE detection, and are essentially IoT sensors. Whether you want to determine visitor trends and peak visitor times, or compare the performance of different locations, data-based decisions can help plan operations based on occupancy rates.

Companies are also adapting to security monitoring in buildings. For health and safety reasons, the monitoring requirements for crowded commercial buildings are quite different from those for buildings with low occupancy or unoccupied due to mixed or remote work agreements. The possibility of burglary, environmental damage, and vandalism requires surveillance of vacant areas that may have little or no security.

These changes and adaptations, from health and safety to surveillance requirements, are part of the entire IP migration, where video surveillance, access control, fire, intrusion detection, and data communications are integrated and aligned on a single network.

For example, a commercial building intrusion system alone may install dozens of security sensors on doors and windows, all the way to the roof. Add control and communication with perimeter security-this is creating a lot of technology, all of which are converged on an overburdened system.

In order to maintain this and subsequent network convergence, buildings rely on new approaches to the infrastructure layer supporting subsystems, technologies, and applications.

Demand for utility-grade infrastructure

The key to keeping up with the speed of changes in building technology is the advanced infrastructure layer, which supports seamless connectivity, building automation and control, and the integration of IT and OT applications across common platforms.

As mentioned earlier, the choice of wiring will have a direct and long-term impact on space and cost, but it will also affect the ability of building owners and operators to meet current and future needs. The demand for the infrastructure layer that supports the OT life cycle should also support a longer IT life cycle.


Wiring infrastructure can be value-engineered to reduce costs, but this approach does not necessarily support the development of building technology and provide the performance and reliability expected in the fourth utility. To maximize your return on investment, your organization needs an infrastructure layer to enhance network performance, support optimized power delivery, and reduce security vulnerabilities.

Utilities-grade infrastructure (UTG) from WESCO and Anixter is a technology platform, assurance plan, and design methodology that can support everything needed for multiple subsystems and technology applications on a common platform. UTG is composed of a utility-ready structured wiring system, advanced power transmission and enhanced network security protection, which can realize the development of intelligent buildings and align the cable infrastructure with the building life cycle.


Edge convergence and expansion distance

UTG cables have been tested and certified by Underwriter’s Laboratories and third parties, and go further than standard UTP cables. The distance limitation of commercial-grade cables requires the construction of a wiring closet every 100 meters to achieve full coverage in commercial buildings. A direct benefit of UTG is that it reduces the number of telecommunications equipment rooms required, which may provide more usable space for facilities and reduce the cost of building these equipment rooms.

UTG cables can transmit data and power up to 150 meters or 492 feet, an extra 164 feet beyond the standard. Using superior infrastructure to power more devices means fewer different subsystems, fewer field exchanges, and faster expansion. This reduces costs and makes it easier for staff to maintain social distancing during construction.

Overcoming global challenges

The level of complexity inherent in global deployment comes from various stakeholders working in multiple languages and currencies across multiple countries, regions, continents, and time zones. Trying to coordinate project deadlines with local customs and logistics can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly.

UTG is available on a global scale to help you define enterprise infrastructure standards and make your organization's system functions consistent on a global scale by:

  • Install future-oriented infrastructure in all facilities.


  • Provides guaranteed performance and interoperability while simplifying media selection and design.


  • Utilize the UTG certified integrator network in more than 50 countries/regions around the world.


The future of commercial buildings

As technology continues to evolve, the increasing demand it places on your network means that your infrastructure must be prepared for the future to avoid costly renovations and replacement upgrades. If you treat information as the fourth utility, you need to build the infrastructure to support it. UTG uses the fourth utility by building a common platform that can support multiple subsystems with connectivity, power, and security, while better aligning with the long-term building life cycle. This is not possible with commercial-grade cables.

The smallest compliant commercial cable is limited by distance. UTG is built on a standards-based architecture, allowing direct connection and extending the distance between data and video. The advantage of extended distance allows you to support more devices in a larger area with fewer telecom rooms, so you can use retail or office space more efficiently, while reducing construction time and costs. UTG also provides power optimization, reducing building plug loads by adopting PoE, and helping organizations improve energy efficiency.

The choice of infrastructure wiring does have significant direct, short-term and long-term effects. Utility-grade infrastructure simplifies the overall design, provides more usable floor space, reduces construction costs, and provides a future-oriented commercial building.

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