With the progress of WAN access technologies such as DOCSIS 3.0, GPON, and VDSL2, there is now more pressure than ever to over hall the bottle- neck of Internet traffic that is still limiting in-home network capacities. For instance, Telco and Cablecos alike have spent hundreds of millions of dollars upgrading this infrastructure to deliver massive data pipes to millions of homes in North America and around the world.  
In addition, the Internet’s in-home usage has drastically changed over the past five years with the advent of smart phones, smart TVs, touch screen tablets and the advancements of IPTV.  Gone are the days where a service provider can place a modem next to the home computer and call that “good enough”.  Consumers are demanding high bandwidth everywhere in the home that MUST WORK seamlessly, instantaneously and without glitches.
Subsequently, these new sets of expectations have inherently changed the ways service providers now manage consumer devices.  Customers are no longer satisfied with support to their modem sitting in the wiring closet.  The quality of experience must be managed all the way to the device being held or watched by the consumer.  The service provider that can economically provide this quality of experience will then win the day and ensure long-term profits with a loyal customer base.
Of course, Ethernet is the best technology in the consumer’s homes that provides the highest most reliable bandwidth.  However, there is one major drawback in that many smart devices do not have RJ45 ports; in addition many homes do not have Ethernet installed throughout the home.  Most homes have the following mediums available for data transmission:
1)    Air
2)    Coax – copper
3)    Phone-line – copper
4)    Power-line – copper

In recent years, wireless has begun a major shift.  With the advent of MIMO transmission technologies combined with a relatively large and unused 5Ghz frequency spectrum.  The possibility of using wireless as a transmission medium for high performance applications such as high definition video is quickly becoming a reality.  Chipset vendors have developed 2x3, 3x3, and 4x4 MIMO chips to help provide flexibility and easier installation for service providers service the consumer.

The opportunity to use power-line wiring in the home to deliver high bandwidth applications has seen some traction in recent years.  While power-lines are everywhere inside the home, they are also attached to thousands of different devices that were never designed with power-line communication in mind.  In addition, there are conflicting standards bodies that are continually creating conflicting standards.

On June 12th at the International Conference on Communications (ICC 2012) to be held in Ottawa, Canada, I will present the different options available to service providers working to support high bandwidth applications across these different mediums.  The pros and cons of these mediums and their respective technologies as well as the laboratory results showing the most recent tests will be discussed in detail. During the past four years, I have had the opportunity to evaluate the upcoming alternative wiring technologies from the perspective of an IPTV service provider, allowing myself to provide an unbiased presentation of all of the possibilities available to support today’s consumer.

As a result, I invite all my colleagues and industry representatives to attend my session titled Future of In-home Networking. Themed “CONNECT – COMMUNICATE – COLLABORATE,” IEEE ICC 2012 is expected to host more than 2,000 industry professionals, scientists, academics and government officials attending nearly 1,500 presentations highlighting the entire range of global voice, data, image and multimedia technologies.

As part of this year’s registration package, all full, limited & one-day registrants will also receive a Blackberry Playbook 16GB upon arrival. In the desire to actively promote conservationism, efficiency and environmentalism, the conference will then update each tablet daily with all standard program and presentation information including the exhibition guide, news and updates.  

 IEEE ICC 2012
Heather Ann Sweeney of IEEE ComSoc


May 30, 2012