For this blog I interviewed Shardendu Pandey, Anue’s Hardware Engineering Manager. He manages all of the NEBS certification activities for Anue. Shardendu has been with Anue since 2004, and has worked on hardware design and compliance of Ethernet-based products, which includes the NTO product family.
NEBS Level 3 has strict specifications for fire suppression, thermal margin testing, vibration resistance (earthquakes), airflow patterns, acoustic limits, failover and partial operational requirements (such as chassis fan failures), RF emissions and tolerances, among others.
This is Shardendu holding the binder that contains the NEBS test reports for the Anue 5273 NTO. For comparison, the small binder on top represents the non NEBS compliance reports. This puts into perspective the amount of effort and testing required for a product to be certified as NEBS Level 3 – the highest NEBS certification.
Shardendu explains that NEBS (Network Equipment Building Systems) is a self imposed requirement defined by the US telecom industry and isn’t a legal requirement like the safety standard for IT equipment, UL60950. However, it is a common set of safety, spatial and environmental design guidelines applied to telecommunications equipment in the United States. The standards covering NEBS are maintained by Telcordia and include, but are not limited to, GR1089-CORE and GR63-CORE.
Having run through the gamut of NEBS testing, Shardendu strongly believes, “no one passes NEBS Level 3 certification by chance. It requires a lot of upfront effort and planning to jump over the NEBS barrier. If you take four decades of performance and reliability issues seen in an extremely demanding central office environment and brew it into a requirements document – you have NEBS!!! On the flip side, once you are certified, you are a part of the elite NEBS club and that is a good feeling.”
From the perspective of the telecom carriers, reliability is one of the keys to excellent customer service. The intent of NEBS is to provide crisp reliability requirements that make it easier for vendors to design compatible equipment for RBOC central offices. This reduces costs as multiple vendors can now make equipment certified to NEBS and introduce new equipment into the network easier. However, the reality is the cost and complexity of this testing prevents many vendors from venturing into NEBS certification.
While the NEBS certification is most familiar to those in the US telecom industry, the fact that products meet the strict requirements of the certification can be significant to telecom providers anywhere in the world.
NEBS Level 3 certified equipment meets stringent specifications, which is reassuring as telecom providers worldwide are rolling out Long Term Evolution (LTE) mobile networks.
In order to help our customers with their LTE migration, the Anue 5273 was NEBS Level 3 certified in mid-2011, and the Advanced Feature Module (AFM) was NEBS Level 3 certified in late-2011. Shardendu and his team worked with the third party MET Labs to achieve the certification. MET is a pioneer in NEBS testing, and is one of the world’s leading NEBS certification laboratories. You can read more about MET Labs and NEBS here.