Over recent decades the network infrastructure cabling sector has regularly introduced new iterations of copper and optical fibre technologies, each with greater bandwidth capabilities and operational features than the last. While innovation should always be welcomed, it’s safe to say that some have been much more successful and widely adopted than others.

When it comes to copper, Category 5e was a definitely a game changer and Category 6A has become the number one choice for use in enterprise environments. In contrast, Category 7, 7A and 8 systems have remained stagnant with limited interest. Over the years fibre had maintained a steady evolution across both multimode and singlemode variants, with identifiable applications that have ensured wider adoption.

So the introduction of OM5 in 2016 remains something of a mystery. With very little difference from OM4 and the only real benefit over its predecessor being its ability to support shortwave wavelength division multiplexing (SWDM), OM5 has been met with ambivalence, low adoption and limited uptake. To assess what the future holds for OM5, Inside_Networks has asked a panel of industry experts to offer their views.

This issue also contains a special feature dedicated to the subject of pre-terminated cabling solutions. Andy Hirst of Sudlows looks at the reasons behind the growing popularity of pre-terminated systems and offers some tips for a successful installation, while AFL Hyperscale’s Damian Smart explains the benefits of using these solutions in data centre environments to save both time and money, and reduce waste.

We also look at UPS and power management, with Louis McGarry of Centiel explaining the need for manufacturers to develop more efficient UPS solutions. He’s followed by Martin Ryder of Vertiv, who examines why a UPS is an essential component of any power management strategy at the edge.

Rob Shepherd