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Sun 1 Oct 2006 04:00 AM

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Live wire

Arab Bank Syria has deployed a new power and data cabling system from R&M, the first for the system in the Levant. NME looks at the benefits this is set to bring to the new bank.

The newly-established Arab Bank Syria has invested in some of the latest powered networking technology from Swiss cabling specialists Reichle & De-Massari (R&M). The bank’s project manager and head of IT, Khalil Maraka, explains that the company wanted to take advantage of new technologies.

“Arab Bank Syria is the first organisation in the Levant to deploy R&M’s new technology, RCC45; this technology is a power over Ethernet system, combining power and data over one cable,” says Maraka. “It’s a new technology, and when we started planning our infrastructure we wanted to use the latest technology possible.

“R&M has been working as a partner with Arab Bank since 2003, and we had a recommendation to use their technology. We started working with them in Syria, using R&M for the main building; we had good support and very speedy installation, and then we continued with them for the branches.”

RCC45 is not traditional power over Ethernet. Instead of relying on the spare connectors within an Ethernet cable, RCC45 adds a pair of AWG 18 (1mm2) cables, capable of carrying up to 56 volts at 4amps – giving up to 200W power, as opposed to less than 15W typically offered by current power over Ethernet standards. In fact RCC45 can also carry plastic optical fibre (POF) as an alternative to copper power lines, offering high-speed serial transmission across longer distances than copper.

Maraka explains the benefit of running power and data over the same cable: “Instead of having a transformer next to each camera – with 75 cameras in the building, that’s 75 transformers – we can have just one or two transformers in the control room where we supply all the cameras in the buildings. We were able to reduce the quantities of cabling needed, and the time of deployment.”

According to the head of IT, Arab Bank Syria is the first organisation in the Levant to use the RCC45 system. In addition to the R&M products, the bank is using routers from Cisco, linking its 25 servers to its 110 staff. Maraka also says the deployment of the cabling infrastructure was trouble free, and works well with the other network systems – because of the separate power lines within the cables, there is no need for dedicated power over Ethernet equipment: the bank runs the power through an external R&M patching board.

At the moment, Arab Bank Syria is using the R&M technology for its CCTV system, and for IP telephony, drawing around 192W of power for the cameras. In the future, Maraka says the bank may use more highpower systems, making use of the additional power capacity of the RCC45 system.

“This is a good reference project, because it uses the full range of R&M solutions and the customer gets the full benefit of that range,” says Laurent Amestoy, regional manager at R&M. “Arab Bank is one of our key customers worldwide.”

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