Why is an Avaya wired phone unable to source PoE from an Aruba switch?

Aruba Employee
Aruba Employee

Product and Software: This article applies to all ArubaOS versions.




The Power over Ethernet (PoE) on the Aruba switch is unable to detect the signature of an Avaya phone when a four-pair Ethernet cable is used.




Use a two-pair Ethernet cable and the phone will be able to source power from an Aruba switch.


About Four-Pair and Two-Pair Ethernet Cables


Twisted-pair Ethernet standards are such that the majority of cables can be wired "straight-through" (pin 1 to pin 1, pin 2 to pin 2, and so on), but others may need to be wired in the "crossover" form (receive to transmit and transmit to receive).


10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX require only two pairs to operate, located on pins 1 plus 2 and pins 3 plus 6. 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX need only two pairs and Category 5 cable has four pairs, so it is possible, but not standards-compliant, to run two network connections or use spare pairs for PoE (or a network connection and two phone lines) over a Category 5 cable by using the normally unused pairs (pins 4-5, 7-8) in 10- and 100-Mb/s configurations. In practice, great care must be taken to separate these pairs because most 10/100-Mb/s hubs, switches, and PCs electrically terminate the unused pins. Moreover, 1000BASE-T requires all four pairs to operate, pins 1 and 2, 3 and 6 - as well as 4 and 5, 7 and 8.


It is conventional to wire cables for 10- or 100-Mb/s Ethernet to either the T568A or T568B standards. These standards differ only in that they swap the positions of the two pairs used for transmitting and receiving (TX/RX), so a cable with T568A wiring at one end and T568B wiring at the other is referred to as a crossover cable. The terms used in the explanations of the 568 standards, tip and ring, refer to older communication technologies, and equate to the positive and negative parts of the connections.


A 10BASE-T or 100BASE-TX node such as a PC, with a connector called medium dependent interfaces (MDI), transmits on pin 1 and 2 and receives on pin 3 and 6 to a network device using a "straight-through" cable. For two network devices or two nodes to communicate with each other (such as a switch to another switch or computer to computer), a crossover cable is often required at speeds of 10 or 100 Mb/s. If available, connections can be made with a straight-through cable by means of an MDI-X port, also known as an "internal crossover" or "embedded crossover" connection. Hub and switch ports with such internal crossovers are usually labeled as such, with "uplink" or "X". For example, 3Com usually labels their ports 1X, 2X, and so on. In some cases, a button is provided to allow a port to act as either a normal or an uplink port.


Many modern Ethernet host adapters can automatically detect another computer connected with a straight-through cable and then automatically introduce the required crossover, if needed; if neither of the adapters has this capability, then a crossover cable is required. Most newer switches have automatic crossover ("auto MDI-X" or "auto-uplink") on all ports, eliminating the uplink port and the MDI/MDI-X switch, and allowing all connections to be made with straight-through cables. If both devices being connected support 1000BASE-T according to the standards, they will connect regardless of the cable being used or how it is wired.


A 10BASE-T transmitter sends two differential voltages, +2.5 V or -2.5 V.


100BASE-TX follows the same wiring patterns as 10BASE-T, but is more sensitive to wire quality and length, due to the higher bit rates.


A 100BASE-TX transmitter sends three differential voltages: +1 V, 0 V, or -1 V.


1000BASE-T uses all four pairs bi-directionally and the standard includes auto MDI-X; however, implementation is optional. Considering the way that 1000BASE-T implements signaling, how the cable is wired is immaterial in actual usage. The standard on copper twisted pair is IEEE 802.3ab for Cat 5e UTP, or 4D-PAM5; four dimensions using PAM (pulse amplitude modulation) with five voltages: -2 V, -1 V, 0 V, +1 V, and +2 V. While +2 V to -2 V voltage may appear at the pins of the line driver, the voltage on the cable is nominally +1 V, +0.5 V, 0 V, -0.5 V, and -1 V.


100BASE-TX and 1000BASE-T were designed to require a minimum of Category 5 cable and also specify a maximum cable length of 100 meters. Category 5 cable has since been deprecated and new installations use Category 5e.


Unlike earlier Ethernet standards using broadband and coaxial cable, such as 10BASE5 and 10BASE2, 10BASE-T does not specify the exact type of wiring to be used. Instead it specifies certain characteristics that a cable must meet. This was done in anticipation of using 10BASE-T in existing twisted-pair wiring systems that may not conform to any specified wiring standard. Some of the specified characteristics are attenuation, characteristic impedance, timing jitter, propagation delay, and several types of noise. Cable testers are widely available to check these parameters to determine if a cable can be used with 10BASE-T. These characteristics are expected to be met by 100 meters of 24-gauge unshielded twisted-pair cable. However, with high-quality cabling, cable runs of 150 meters or longer are often obtained and are considered viable by most technicians familiar with the 10BASE-T specification.

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‎07-02-2014 01:12 AM
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