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Power over Ethernet (PoE) Technology for the 5G Generation & Beyond

How to deliver up to 90 watts of Power over Ethernet wiring in an existing switch infrastructure

The Advancement of 5G and PoE

Galit Mendelson
Galit Mendelson Senior Manager of PoE Marketing & Business Development | Microchip Technology, (

As next generation 5G technology comes to the mainstream, it opens new business opportunities that rely on a variety of IoT and Big Data applications driven by higher data rates and power. There is a greater need to connect powered devices (PDs) such as 802.11ac and 802.11ax access points, 5G small cells, IP surveillance cameras, LED luminaires, and other IoT appliances to Ethernet networks. Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology works well to power these devices in 5G deployments, facilitated by the latest IEEE® 802.3bt standard that pushes the power limits of Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) and Powered Devices (PDs) to 90W and 71.3W respectively. Ensuring that the PDs that support this latest generation of PoE technology can still work with existing pre-IEEE® 802.3bt 2-pair and 4-pair PDs that support legacy PoE standards is a challenge. This issue has now been resolved since pre-standard and new IEEE® 802.3bt-2018-compliant PDs can share the same Ethernet infrastructure and don’t require changes to existing switches or cabling.

The Road to IEEE 802.3bt

The first PoE standard was ratified in 2003. Since then, PoE adoption has picked up as it is finding its way into powering new applications. PoE offers several advantages such as ease of installation and lower CAPEX and OPEX costs. It has also emerged as a unified and safe power standard that can be used worldwide.

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