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Why is NEBS Still Relevant in Today's Market?

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February 25, 2011

Why is NEBS Still Relevant in Today's Market?

By Jamie Epstein, TMCnet Web Editor


NEBS (Network Equipment-Building System) is the most commonly used set of safety, spatial and environmental design guidelines applied to the telecommunications equipment in the United States. An industry requirement, NEBS is a testing suite-, comprised of three different levels of operability and strict equipment requirements.


NEBS was developed by Bell Labs (News - Alert) in the 1970s to standardize equipment that would be installed in a central office. The objective was to make it easier for a vendor to design equipment compatible with a typical Regional Bell Operating Company  central office. This would enable lower development costs and ease the equipment's introduction into the network.

Telcordia now manages the NEBS specifications.

The four largest U.S. telecommunications companies AT&T (News - Alert), Verizon, BellSouth, and Qwest created the Telecommunications Carrier Group (TCG), a group formed to synchronize NEBS standards across the industry in the US.

As 4G and LG industries continue to expand, emerging markets that need accessibility to such services continue to increase. These are areas that are not well suited for environmental conditions such as humidity, or scorching temperatures. Manufacturers are constantly faced with the problem of needing commercial equipment that will be durable for a long period of time without fail.

This is where NEBS standards play a part. Once a piece of equipment goes through these series of tests, it is almost completely failproof. Equipments that passes through NEBS cycle of testing ensures reliability. So much so, those manufacturers who employ NEB compliant equipment are given insurance benefits because there are fewer less risk levels as the equipment will work no matter what circumstances surround it.

In earlier years, NEBS testing could take up to two to three months to complete all phases of testing, but now can be completed in a much shorter period of time. NEBS testing was also very expensive, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000. NEBS testing, however, now works by taking commercial products directly off the shelf, and then adapting it to meet NEBS standards.

In an interview today with Jeff Hudgins (News - Alert), vice president of marketing, at NEI, Hudgins said in a recent scenario a Dell platform was taken and then “Nebsified,” which essentially means tailored to NEBS specifications. This drastically lowered the cost base. Hudgins called this implementation of products already on the market infiltrated with NEBS requirements as “the best of both worlds.”

The NEBS system remains extremely relevant in today’s market because of the highly reliable product it guarantees and produces, without the huge price tag (News - Alert).


Jamie Epstein is a TMCnet Web Editor. Previously she interned at News 12 Long Island as a reporter's assistant. After working as an administrative assistant for a year, she joined TMC (News - Alert) as a Web editor for TMCnet. Jamie grew up on the North Shore of Long Island and holds a bachelor's degree in mass communication with a concentration in broadcasting from Five Towns College. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein







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