Overview of IEEE 802.3bt PoE Standard and Hi-PoE Switch

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is an integral part of advanced networks, saving on power lines and outlets while achieving high power deliveries. PoE technology was first introduced in 2003, and to meet the high power delivery needs of advanced networks, various standards have been introduced over time. This white paper explains the concept of the IEEE 802.3bt (Hi-PoE) standard and Hi-PoE switches, also discussing the benefits and applications of high-power PoE switches.

High Power POE

What Is IEEE 802.3bt High Power PoE (Hi-PoE)?

The IEEE 802.3bt High Power PoE (Hi-PoE) is the latest PoE standard developed to support high power delivery to fulfill the ever-increasing demands of high-power network devices.

PoE Standards Evolution over the Years

Types Name PoE Standards Max Power Per Port Power to PD Twisted Pair Used Support Cables Typical Applications
Type 1 PoE IEEE 802.3af 15.4W 12.95W 2-Pair Cat5e IP Phone
Type 2 PoE+ IEEE 802.3at 30W 25.5W 2-Pair Cat5e Video Phone
Type 3 PoE++ UPoE IEEE 802.3bt 60W 51W 4-Pair Cat6A MGMT Device
Type 4 High Power PoE IEEE 802.3bt 100W 71.3W 4-Pair Cat6A LED Lighting

  1. PoE: This is the earliest version of PoE technology, ratified by IEEE in 2003. It works on two pairs of Ethernet cables and supplies a maximum 15.4W to power applications. This standard is employed for powering VoIP phones, IP cameras, and WAPs in commercial facilities using Cat5e cables.
  2. PoE+: Introduced in 2003, PoE+ offers up to 30W of power to many devices. This standard is employed to power devices like PTZ cameras and alarm systems in commercial facilities. It works on two pairs of Ethernet and supports Cat5e cables.
  3. PoE++ UPoE: This is one of the most advanced forms of PoE that delivers 60W through 4-pair Cat 6A cables. It was ratified by IEEE in 2018 as IEEE 802.3bt/Type 3. This PoE version supports thin clients and video telephones which are the norm today.
  4. Hi-PoE: This high-power PoE technology supplies 100W through 4-pair, Cat6A Ethernet cables. It was ratified as IEEE 802.3bt/Type4 by IEEE in 2018. The PoE technology is backward compatible with types 1 and 2.

Also read: PoE vs PoE+ vs PoE++ Switches

What is High Power PoE Switch?

A High Power PoE switch is designed to comply with IEEE 802.3bt standards. This switch supports autosensing and can power up to 90W per port. A Hi-PoE switch is nowadays an integral part of smart and IoT networks in commercial facilities. Investing in this switch means lowering installation costs and investing in future-friendly and simplified network infrastructure.

Applications of High Power PoE Switch

As the number of power-hungry devices in a network increases, the demand for high-power PoE is all-time high. The power requirements of these devices vary from 15W to 90W. The following are a few applications that can be powered by high-power PoE switch.

  • VoIP Phones, Video Interphones: The demand for VoiP phones and video interphones have increased across the growing organizations where communication is more important than ever. These applications can be connected to high-power PoE switches for better working.
  • High-Performance Wireless Access Points: The wireless technologies assure the flexibility of working in commercial enterprises. Many people use wireless devices like laptops, mobile phones, and tablets in office settings. The network requirements of these devices is rarely discussed, but they are carefully planned using various PoE devices. The high-power PoE switches are widely used to power terminal equipment. In many cases, wireless devices may require power of more than 60W to function properly.
  • PTZ Cameras: PTZ cameras are widely used in environments where security is critical, such as military and defense facilities, laboratories, or commercial facilities where finances are handled. These cameras have high power requirements, which Type 1 and Type 2 PoE cannot fulfill. This is where high-power PoE switch is used.
  • LED Light and Sensors: Today, many smart buildings use PoE, which is a low-cost and flexible approach to power various smart devices such as LED lights and sensors. PoE LED lights help reduce up-front construction costs and time required for the installation, configuration, and cabling. They allow great flexibility in placement and design. High PoE switches can be used to power and control LED lights and sensors in smart buildings. The PoE technology will also help users to gain great insights on deployed lights, sensors, and other smart devices, enabling better automation and interconnectivity.

In addition to the above, the high power PoE switches can be used to power the following:

  • Facility Monitoring Controls
  • Digital Signage
  • Point-of-Sale Kiosks
  • Building automation systems
  • Industrial applications

Benefits of High Power PoE Switch

PoE switches have been an integral part of many high-performance networks for several years now. However, Hi-PoE switches stand out from regular PoE switches in many ways. The following pointers will help you understand it better.

  • Flexibility: High-power PoE switches can be used in growing networks to meet the demands of power coverage. These switches are backward compatible with PoE and PoE++ standards, allowing devices to connect with them.
  • Interoperability: IEEE 802.3bt switches are interoperable across vendors. These switches can be used in various network applications involving 802.3af/at and 802/3af/at/bt compatible devices.
  • Affordability: High power PoE switches may be a little more expensive than other regular Ethernet switches, still, they are affordable in many other ways. These switches help reduce the need for electric cables and power outlets. When you compare the need for groundwork, cabling, or electricians, the overall costs will be low, thereby making these switches affordable in a big way.
  • Safety: Unlike Ethernet switches or other traditional switches, the PoE switches use low voltage, making them safer than other switches in the market.
  • Reliability: The advanced PoE infrastructures can be remotely managed and support IPv6/IPv4 addressing. These features ensure efficient monitoring over the powered devices.


High power PoE technology is a game changer when it comes to connectivity. It assures cost-effective power delivery to a wide range of devices. This white paper offers an overview of how this technology has evolved over the years and how it is transforming industries worldwide. As the demand and need for power-hungry devices grow, the high-power PoE(Hi-PoE) will play a key role in shaping the future of network connectivity, while assuring high performance and flexibility and reducing operational costs. In addition to high-power PoE switches, there is a massive range of PoE equipment including switches, splitters, and injectors to media converters and wireless access points, which are part of evolving networks. To leverage the technology and benefits, you must source these devices from trusted manufacturers like VERSITRON. You can visit https://www.versitron.com/ to learn more about high-power PoE and PoE devices.