IEEE 1901 broadband power line standard for 500 Mbps communications approved


Piscataway, NJ, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 19, 2010 – The IEEE has announced the ratification of the IEEE 1901 broadband over powerline (BPL) standard, which is expected to be a key enabling technology for a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation and local area networks (LANs) in both the home and the enterprise.

Networking products that fully comply with IEEE 1901 will deliver data rates in excess of 500 Mbps in LAN applications. In first mile/last mile applications, IEEE 1901-compliant devices will achieve ranges of up to 1,500 m. The technology specified by IEEE 1901 uses sophisticated modulation techniques to transmit data over standard AC power lines of any voltage at transmission frequencies of less than 100 MHz.

IEEE 1901 will benefit utilities, service providers, and consumer electronics companies – anyone with a stake in smart grid technologies – as well as smart meter providers and home appliance manufacturers

In the home, PLC will complement wireless LANs by providing a link through walls and other RF impediments as well as over distances beyond the normal range of wireless networks. It will complement wireless networks in hotels and other multistory buildings by carrying multimedia data over the longer distances and allowing wireless to complete the communication link over the last few meters.

“The IEEE 1901 standard will have a significant impact on communications technology in the home, the enterprise and on the factory floor, because it brings powerline networking into parity with wireless networks in terms of speed, and offers the considerable advantage of penetrating walls and other structures that obstruct RF radiation, said Judy Gorman, managing director of the IEEE Standards Association. “Hybrid wireless/powerline networks successfully address all the remaining problems of wireless LANs and – unlike wired LANs – do not require a dedicated wired infrastructure.”

The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance has announced that it has enhanced the HomePlug AV certification program to include products based on the IEEE 1901 standard.

IEEE 1901 incorporates the HomePlug AV Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical (PHY) layers as a baseline, and is fully interoperable with the forthcoming HomePlug AV2 broadband specification due for completion in Q1 2011.