What is IEEE 802.3bt High Power POE?

Power over Ethernet (PoE) is an integral part of advanced networks where they help save on power lines and outlets and achieve high power deliveries. The PoE technology was first introduced in 2003, and has been upgraded over the years to meet the increasing needs of networks. The IEEE 802.3bt High Power PoE (Hi-PoE) is the latest in the series, which is developed to support high power delivery. This white paper focuses on this standard and offers insights into how the PoE has evolved over the years.

High Power POE

PoE Evolution over the Years

The below table offers insights into PoE evolution over the years.

Power over Ethernet (PoE) Types

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.

Basic Principle of PoE

The PoE is technology that facilitates data and power transfer over a single cable up to 100m. The PoE technology delivers sufficient power to the end devices, and negates the need for additional power sources. A regular PoE system comprises four components, as described below. Understanding the functioning of each component will help you understand the working principle of PoE.

  1. Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE): These devices send data and power over an Ethernet cable to a powered device (PD) connected to it. It draws power from its power source and supplies it to the rest of the system. The PSE is divided into two types – endspan and midspan.
    1. Midspan: The PoE injector is one of the most common midspan devices. This device is usually used in a network where a non-PoE switch may be connected to a PoE-powered device. Generally, the injector is placed between the PoE PD and the non-PoE switch.
    2. Endspan: The PoE switch is an example of an endspan device. The switch powers the connected powered device.
  2. Powered Device (PD): This device is powered by PSE. It has no power source of its own. LED lighting and low-wattage IP cameras are some examples of powered devices.
  3. Ethernet Cable: This cable is the medium that enables data and power transmission in any network. It helps connect two devices and allows uni-directional power supply and bi-directional communication.
  4. Power Supply: This is the source that powers PSE. Most PoE systems are powered by a 48VDC power source.

What is High Power POE?

As the name suggests, these switches are designed to comply IEEE 802.3bt standards. These switches support autosensing and can power up to 90W per port. High-power PoE switches are nowadays an integral part of smart and IoT networks in commercial facilities. Investing in these switches means lowering installation costs and investing in future-friendly and simplified network infrastructure.

Applications of High Power PoE Switches

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 may require high-power PoE in future.

  • 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

Benefits of High Power PoE Switches

PoE switches have been an integral part of many high-performance networks for several years now. However, 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.

Applications of High Power PoE Switches

High-power PoE switches are used to connect the following:

  • Wireless access points
  • IP surveillance cameras
  • Digital signage
  • Building automation systems
  • Industrial applications


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.