Home Networks Also Are Exploding

Carl Weinschenk

A tremendous percentage of the voice, video and data that experts say is inexorably increasing in volume ends up in homes. It figures that a good deal of work is being done in making sure it gets to the proper device at the right speed once it crosses the threshold.

That indeed is the case. In-Stat has released research that looks at three of the main wired approaches to in-home distribution. The press release points out that these solutions-HomePlug, MoCA and HomePNA-offer a faster wired alternative to Wi-Fi, which currently dominates in home networks.

The firm found that HomePlug, which uses home power wiring for distribution, led in node shipments last year. MoCA-the transmission of signals over coaxial cable-had the greatest increase, with a 46 percent compound annual growth rate from 2007 to 2010. Another technology, G.hn-which works over coax, phone or powerline infrastructure-will move into second place in 2013 and will challenge MoCA two years later.

Infonetics also recently weighed in on home networking. The firm found that the category-which it defines a bit more broadly than In-Stat did in its recent study-grew 11 percent worldwide last year to reach $5.15 billion. That followed an increase of 46 percent in 2009. The firm concludes that this year will be a harder slog for residential gateways due to inventory on hand and a slowdown of DSL and cable modem subscriber growth.


The cable industry is, of course, a major player-perhaps the major player-in home networking. From March 28 to April 1, industry consortium CableLabs held an interop event dealing with the ability of equipment from different vendors to work together. Specifically, the group was looking at the smooth internetworking standard of the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) for secure transmission of in-home video with cable gear using tru2way, an industry protocol for facilitating advanced services.

The home network area is fluid and important to watch. It is vital in its own right, and plays into three other key areas: mobility, smart grid and telecommuting/home office. It will continue to grow in raw numbers and in the capabilities of the equipment deployed.

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