Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Dialing in on phoneline

I caught up with Rich Nessin, president of the Home Phoneline Networking Alliance yesterday. The interview helped round out the pictures I have been getting lately from the conferences of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance last week and the HomePlug group last month.

My take away is that everybody still has a real shot at stardom, but MoCA seems to have slightly more momentum. Verizon is deploying MoCA as fast as it can, and Comcast and Cox coming on slowly late next year.

HPNA is not out of it by any means. AT&T adds as many as 10,000 new IPTV subscribers using a week using HPNA, and five or six new telcos will jump on the bandwagon in 2008, Nessin said.

I'll believe that when I see it. What's more the group badly needs a second source of silicon now that Broadcom and Conexant have basically dropped HPNA products and are gearing up MoCA chips.

Powerline has cards to play, too. Motorola said last week it expects to get powerline into set-top boxes as soon as the IEEE 1901 standard is set, perhaps in the spring. Europe is the big driver here.

Set-top and service companies are demanding home nets support 400 Mbit-Gbit data rates over the next several years and get integrated into SoCs to drive low cost. None of the three camps have that today, but MoCA may have a slight edge getting there based on last week's conference where I heard about two chip makers saying they will deliver SoCs in 2009 or later. Stay tuned.

No comments: