IEEE 1905.1 industry standard moves to product design stage

Monday, January 9th, 2012

HomePlug® Powerline Alliance Supports Important IEEE 1905.1 Milestone in the Development of Hybrid Networking; First Standard Unifying IEEE 1901 / HomePlug, Wi-Fi®, MoCA® and Ethernet Moves to Product Design Stage

PORTLAND, Ore. — The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance, the world’s leading industry group for powerline networking, congratulates the IEEE 1905.1 Working Group on its unanimous approval of the much anticipated Hybrid Networking (P1905.1) draft standard. This is the first and only industry standard that combines the mobility of wireless with the performance of wires to enable the next-generation networked home. The HomePlug Alliance is pleased that the IEEE 1901 powerline networking standard utilizing HomePlug technology is featured in IEEE 1905.1 and is committed to supporting the certification, interoperability and promotion of hybrid networking products.

IEEE 1905.1 is a software abstraction layer that will be designed into stationary devices such as game consoles, network attached storage devices, Blu-Ray players, televisions, set top boxes and broadband routers, as well as mobile devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones to enable a single hybrid network in the home. By leveraging widely adopted standards including the IEEE 802.11 standards for Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.3 for Ethernet, IEEE 1901 for Powerline and MoCA for Coaxial Cables, the 1905.1 standard also enables compliant products to work seamlessly with existing products in the market. 1905.1’s common interface enables applications and upper layer protocols to be “agnostic” to the underlying home networking technologies, and data packets can be communicated according to quality of service (QoS) priorities. IEEE 1905.1 also simplifies network setup by providing common procedures for adding devices, establishing secure links and managing the network.

IEEE 1905.1 has broad industry support across service providers, product manufacturers and silicon manufacturers. The stability of the draft standard enables companies to confidently begin designing IEEE 1905.1 draft-compliant hybrid products now, that will allow consumers to enjoy the best of wired and wireless home networks. Given the technology operates as a software layer, consumers are likely to see these benefits in the near term based on an expectation of significantly reduced time to market.

“Consumers want the best of both worlds – the in-home mobility of wireless and the reliability and coverage of wired networks – so creating a single industry standard for hybrid networking is a significant step forward. This will provide the capability for service providers, product manufacturers and retailers to offer more interoperable solutions to customers, reducing the complexity and cost of network installations,” said Paul Houzé of France Telecom-Orange and chair of the IEEE 1905.1 Working Group.

“Hybrid products that combine Wi-Fi, HomePlug, MoCA or Ethernet technologies are already sold in many retail stores today. The IEEE 1905.1 standard enables seamless communication from one medium to another and is an important step towards mass deployment of hybrid networking products,” comments Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance.

“IEEE 1905.1 represents the harmonization of the best technologies to accommodate the variety of devices and services demanded by consumers,” said Charles Cerino, president of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA). “This is where the world is going and all the important players and technologies are now united to deliver the flexibility and the quality expected.

“The dream of having a dynamic home network that seamlessly combines existing wired and wireless topologies to connect devices throughout the home has been an obvious but elusive goal for a very long time,” said Norm Bogen, analyst with In-Stat. “IEEE 1905.1 takes a big step in making that dream a reality by solving the underlying interoperability issues between Wi-Fi, Coax, Ethernet, and HomePlug/IEEE 1901 powerline networks in the home.”