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For Immediate Release
14 September 2006

Siemon supplies cabling for new Alcatel Bell head office in Antwerp

The ICT infrastructure comprises 800 km of UTP cable, 285 km of glass fibre, 106 patch cabinets and 21,000 patch cords

Siemon, global supplier of network cabling solutions, has supplied almost the entire network cabling for the new Belgian head office of Alcatel Bell in Antwerp, officially opened on 12 September. With the exception of the cabling of the 1,700 workstations in the office section, Siemon also supplied the cabling for the development and test laboratories and for the IP Transformation Centre located in the building.

In the design of the ICT infrastructure for the new Alcatel Bell offices a lot of thought went into the installation and the role of the cabling. "The first point of consideration was that the current cabling needs to last fifteen years", says Bram Chardon, who is responsible for the ICT-infrastructure as Project Director. "Over this period no additional cabling will be laid. We will have to make do with our current capacity." Alcatel opted for Cat 6 augmented copper cabling with a capacity of 10 Gigabits per second. "Of course we spoke about Cat 7 cabling and fibre-to-the-desk, but this option was the most attractive in view of the installation and management cost."

In addition, the cabling wasn't allowed to hinder the flexibility or the internal mobility of employees and departments. Flexible workstations are used in the office departments. There is room for 2,000 employees, who partly work from home. All cabling is in the ceilings and from there goes to the workstations. Exactly the same facilities are provided at every workstation: power and one cable (100 Mb) for the network connection and VoIP-telephony. Of course there are also standard spare cables for temporary extensions or emergency solutions.


The majority of the cabling is used in the many laboratories and computer rooms housed in the four buildings. Alcatel's IP Transformation Centre for Europe is also housed in the complex. About 100 Alcatel experts work in the IPTC who develop, test and build all kinds of new communication solutions for both the business and the consumer market. Not only for Alcatel but also for customers and partners. The IPTC covers 1,500 square metres and has more than fifty advanced telecom and multimedia technologies at its disposal to experiment and test. The laboratories and computer rooms need enormous bandwidth and rapid switching needs to be possible between the different facilities. This is possible with an intelligent glass fibre backbone to which every lab, every computer room and every facility in every building and on every floor can be connected to each other. The cabling in the laboratories, with especially developed constructions, allows flexible development and test activities to be set up and connected. The laboratories can even be completely dismantled and moved within a couple of days.

In total just over 35,000 UTP links were created in the four buildings, the majority in the laboratories. In all almost 800 kilometres of UTP cable and 285 kilometres of glass fibre were laid in the four buildings. The complex has 106 patch cabinets and 21,000 patch cables were supplied - 17,000 of which for the labs and the computer rooms. The cabling required a big investment of course. In a normal office environment the network cabling amounts to 4 to 5 per cent of the total infrastructure cost, but in this high-tech environment the cabling cost amounted to approximately 25 per cent. "We need to be able to rely on the cabling implicitly", says Bram Chardon. "We even depart from 'zero defects'. That is why design and installation were done by other parties.


About Siemon
Established in 1903, Siemon is an industry leader specialising in the design and manufacture of high quality, high performance low voltage infrastructure solutions and services for data centres, LANs and intelligent buildings. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, with global sales, technical and logistics expertise spanning 100 countries, Siemon offers a comprehensive suite of copper and optical fibre cabling systems, cabinets, racks, cable management, data centre power and cooling systems and intelligent infrastructure management solutions.

With more than 400 patents specific to structured cabling, Siemon Labs invests heavily in R&D and the development of industry standards, underlining the company’s long-standing commitment to its customers and the industry. Siemon Interconnect Solutions (SIS) is a Siemon business unit comprised of a team of dedicated technical sales professionals supported by Siemon Labs, mechanical, electrical and signal integrity engineers committed to solving industry and customer driven interconnect challenges. Siemon provides custom network infrastructure solutions to OEMs, leading manufacturers, value-added resellers and system integrators.
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