Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out…

Confession: When I first started in this industry, I had no idea that my WiFi network was connected by cables. I’m not sure how I thought all that data travelled back and forth: Invisible magic laser beams? Alien sound waves? On the backs of dust motes? Truth be told, I had never given it a single second of thought. It all just kind of, well, worked (most of the time).

Fast forward three years, and I’ve almost wrapped my head around wireless technology and how it’s deployed. Emphasis on the almost.

However, in keeping with the breakneck pace of change in our industry, just as I’ve just about figured one thing out, there are new Wi-Fi developments underway and a new player in the mix – 5G.

Skater5G is making a lot of waves in the trade pubs. Intel has been marketing their 5G solution heavily, using the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang as their testing ground. (Although some thought leaders are suggesting that Intel’s claims are all smoke and mirrors, and the technology isn’t nearly as far along as Intel says it is.)

Regardless of these arguments, 5G being heralded as the next great technology, with a potential impact large enough to bring about a new industrial age. 5G is poised to have a significant influence on how we’ll communicate, travel, purchase, and manufacture things.

But wait, get this…This latest generation of wireless grabbing headlines is based in cellular technologies.

Say what?! It’s like they’re trying to confuse me on purpose.

I think PC Magazine explained it best: “Like other cellular networks, 5G networks use a system of cell sites that divide their territory into sectors and send encoded data through radio waves. Each cell site must be connected to a network backbone, whether through a wired or wireless backhaul connection.”

Some big claims have been made about 5G. It brings the promise is greater speeds (to transmit more data), lower latency (to be more responsive), and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once (like sensors and smart devices). Some say it’s the only form of wireless we’ll need.

But 5G also brings with it quite a few unanswered questions and some uncertainty about the feasibility of its deployment. Will it replace Wi-Fi? If so, how? And who’s going to pay for it?

Register for our next webinar on March 21st to learn how 5G technology will fit in with the other wireless developments on the horizon. Register now. 

Come see us at BICSI Winter 2018!

BICSI2018Are you going to BICSI next week? Come visit us at Booth #901. Berk-Tek, along with our partner, Leviton, will be exhibiting our latest market-leading system solutions, highlighting key applications and trends.

Stop by our booth to learn about the latest from Berk-Tek Leviton Technologies, including these products and solutions from Berk-Tek:

  • Practical applications for enterprise connectivity, including evolving technology such as PoE, wireless networks, and enterprise fiber optic networks. Highlighted products include Berk-Tek’s LANmark-XTP Category 6A cable.
  • OneReach, a unique PoE extender system that enables the deployment of up to 3,600 feet to connect and power remotely-located devices such as security cameras, blue light phones and wireless access points. Download our OneReach brochure to learn more.

Learn more about the event here: 2018 BICSI Winter Conference and Exhibition, February 4-8, 2018.

Hope to see you there!

Smile… You’re on Camera!


Later this month, Teresa Hoffman, Berk-Tek’s Fiber Optic Product Business Manager, will be delivering a webinar about our OneReach™ solution. OneReach is a PoE extender system that combines optical fiber for long-distance gigabit transmission and copper conductors in a single system. The result? The ability to take PoE and PoE+ to distances that were previously unreachable – 3,600 ft and 2,400 ft respectively.

Yes, you read that correctly. You can take PoE more than 3,000 feet!

But more on that later. First, funny videos!

One of the most popular applications for our OneReach solution is security. In the spirit of short attention spans and good-natured distraction, check out these examples of surveillance videos gone bad. Or, should I say, surveillance videos gone hilariously right!

Pizza Delivery Fail. Do you know where your pizza’s been?

Kissing Gone Wrong. They probably should’ve used their own car for cover.

Rocking Out. He was too hardcore for his car!

Okay, okay… back to OneReach!

OneReach is a game-changing solution for a lot of different applications. Think about security phones on a college campus, for example. Most of these now have cameras installed on them, so they require both data and power connections. Traditionally, mid-span equipment would need to be installed within 100m of the cameras. And since you can’t risk them losing power, if they’re run with local power, redundancy needs to built in.

With OneReach, these types of devices can be connected and powered by one length of composite cable that contains both fiber for long-distance data transmission and copper for PoE.  And since all power comes from the equipment room, UPS back-up is easy – required in only one central location to ensure uninterrupted power to all remote sites.

Or how about those wireless access points you want to in the ceiling of your auditorium? How can you cost-effectively connect and power those? OneReach could be your answer.

The list of installation challenges that OneReach could solve is extensive. In addition to WAPs in auditoriums and blue light phones, it’s been used for things like security along walking trails, card readers in warehouses, cameras  parking garages, and more.

Register for Teresa’s webinar to learn more about how this unique technology could solve some of your toughest installation challenges.

So easy, it’s almost scary.

By: Susan Larson, Marketing Communications Manager


I love marketing. I love everything about it – the logos, the catchy headlines, the psychology behind figuring out what people need and what they’ll respond to. I especially love when I come across a TV commercial that’s not only marketing brilliance, but it also converges with IT! Lo and behold, this month I came across one that coincides with a new product Berk-Tek is launching. What are the odds?! Continue reading

Your Network May Be Aging Faster than You Are: How to Keep Your Backbone Strong

By: Susan Larson, Marketing Communications Manager

Doctor operating CT scanner in hospitalConfession: I have a bad back. At the ripe old age of 41, I have a degenerated disc in my lower back that causes some really annoying pain anytime it rains or, to be honest, when I dance too much at a wedding.

Part of my treatment involves getting periodic X-rays to assess the dysfunctional disc and make sure it’s not getting worse. Every year, I make an appointment with my Orthopedist. The appointment starts with the X-Ray. After that, I walk to the other side of the building to meet with the doctor and review my X-rays. Continue reading

An Inadvertent Crash Course in PoE: The Top 4 Things You Need to Know

training roomAs I sat down to write this month’s post about Power over Ethernet, my mind immediately flashed back to my Berk-Tek job interview. Since it was a marketing position, my manager wisely constructed the interview process to include the creation of a mock marketing plan, and – gulp – a marketing presentation. Gotta prove you can do the job, right?

Continue reading