The network cabling design used inside of commercial real estate buildings is probably not something that most building owners think about but is becoming increasingly important as demand for connectivity increases from tenants.
As building occupants become more untethered each day, making sure that every device and user can connect is becoming tantamount for enterprises and building owners.
A new in-building cabling design structure called universal connectivity grid (UCG) developed by CommScope enables more efficient and flexible way of ensuring connectivity in buildings and enterprise spaces.
What is UCG?
UCG is a cabling design that divides floor space into evenly-sized areas—called “cells.” Consolidation points (CP) deployed in the ceiling of each cell allows building systems to securely connect to the core network.
The UCG approach ensures that the existing architecture reaches every user and device—even when they’re on the move. UCG is one of the most efficient ways to ensure wireless connectivity because it works by locating access points in or near the ceiling, where they can easily reach a DAS antenna, a user’s workstation, a security camera or a building’s HVAC equipment.
The UCG zone cabling architecture provides a uniform way to ensure structured cabling is always where it needs to be, without expensive and troublesome modifications and enterprises can integrate any number of wired and wireless technologies to the grid, the company says.
How UGC fits into fiber-based communications infrastructure
Currently, the infrastructure for communications networks consists of two primary segments: the vertical backbone vertical which exists in the riser and the horizontal cabling which connects the devices and users.
The backbone, which typically uses optical fiber cabling OM3, OM4 or OM5, connects telecommunications rooms (TRs) to a centrally located equipment room (ER).
The horizontal section of the network includes the connection between a patch panel in the TR or ER and a telecommunications outlet (TO) or multi-user telecommunications outlet assembly (MUTOA) in the work area, and a connection between the TO or MUTOA to an end device.
Wi-Fi, security cameras and other connected devices are examples of horizontal connections that are well served by ceiling-based drops and UGC grid formations.
The UCG’s ceiling connector assemblies provide a flexible way to connect these devices with the use of insulation-displacement connection (IDC) and factory-terminated patch cords.
This design streamlines workstation changes and makes it easier to install upgrades and reduce OpEx installation costs because it uses less material and labor. The design also minimizes installation disruptions.
Basics of installing UCG cabling design in your building
The maximum cell size of UCG grids should not exceed TIA-162-A grid recommendations of 60 feet by 50 feet (18.3 meters by 18.3 meters) or ISO/IEC TR 24704 for hexagonal cells which specify a maximum radius of 40 feet (12 meters) or less.
Cells should be evenly spaced to support the smooth deployment of connected devices. The number of cable drops in each cell depends on the applications supported and the size of the cell.
See table below for additional considerations of deploying UCG-design installations.