Geoff Wilde, Installation Product Specialist at Nimans says choosing the correct connectivity and cabling plays a fundamental role in today’s ‘data hungry world’.
“In the early days there was a perception that cabling and connectivity wasn’t that important. I often heard the phrase: ‘You can do that using a piece of wet string’. Today it’s all about quality and price. They go hand in hand,” he explained.
Geoff continued: “Cat 5e and Cat 6 dominate the cabling market, depending on customer requirements. Fibre optics and wireless are also in the mix and they all require the correct connectivity to maximise performance. It all comes down to identifying the correct application and meeting the customer’s expectations.”
He highlighted: “There are many different brands out there which range in terms of price and quality. Price is one of the biggest issues but reliability is a close second. You pay a premium for top end system components but it’s like anything, you get what you pay for. You can’t cut corners in this game as virtually all products have to meet certain criteria and regulations, Ethernet standards and EN numbers etc.” Ease of installation is another important consideration, according to Geoff who says there are specific products which have been designed to save on-site time.
“On Fibre Optics you’ve got the Belden Brilliance, which is very quick and easy. There’s also RapidNet from HellermannTyton which is a pre-terminated system which can dramatically speed up installations. You pay a bit of a premium for it but on average there’s an 85% labour saving so two weeks work can come down to a couple of days. This proves popular with data centres, education and corporate sites where ease of installation can significantly help cut costs.
“The comms market continues to evolve, based on convergence. IP CCTV for example, is a growing application but everything revolves around the correct cabling and connectivity. It’ sits at the heart of everything. Most technology runs over a network.
“There are lots of different connections to consider. Co-axial and HDMI are two others. Generally things don’t work if they are connected up wrong but in certain cases technology will still operate just not as well as it should. There are rules and regulations to follow with any install to implement it correctly. You can put a system in and it will work but if it is tested properly to the correct standards it may fail left right and centre. Sadly there are a few people out there who just throw in the cabling not to the proper standard. This could affect picture quality of images for example. In addition you are likely to suffer from high failure rates. This can mean more call-outs and more time wasted, trying to identify a particular problem. There are lots of factors to take into consideration.”
Geoff concluded: “A customer can choose high cost or low cost components but if they are not installed correctly they aren’t going to work effectively. The most sophisticated telephone system on the market can be chosen but if it isn’t installed correctly everything becomes undermined. Even by choosing the most expensive Cat 6 cabling, if it isn’t installed correctly a customer is basically throwing money down the drain.”