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Wireless standards groups agree on home networking goals

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 2:26pm
Brian Santo

Several standards organizations – all largely associated with telephone carriers – said they will work together to assure connectivity in home networks.

The Broadband Forum, DECT Forum, Home Gateway Initiative (HGI), Open IPTV Forum, Open Mobile Alliance and Small Cell Forum recently held a workshop to investigate shared issues and opportunities to enhance support of services in the home.

Whole-home DVR and home security are still only the tip of the iceberg for home networking services. Cable and IPTV companies have begun to exploit these opportunities, but wireless companies, a little late to the party, believe they have an interest and a role to play in the home environment.

Every service provider, of course, will have some interest in making sure home gateways and other home equipment will support the broadest range of services that consumers might subscribe to. Yet there is little contact among industry groups representing other broadband service providers and the set of industry groups that met at the workshop. (There is some modest intersection in the participation of member companies such as Netgear and D-Link, which supply service providers across the sub-industries.)

At the recent workshop, the industry groups established a shared interest in ensuring devices in the home have quality of service (QoS), regardless of the access method (3G, UMTS, LTE, DSL, fiber, cable, Wi-Fi, etc.). Seamless handover from one device to another is an important shared goal, as is support for machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity.

Possible new applications in the home include smart metering, home control units and gateways that facilitate a variety of services.

As a result, the organizations expect to work together to assure APIs will be developed that support those goals.

Mark Cataldo, chairman of the Open Mobile Alliance and also the chair of the workshop, said: “The Open Mobile Alliance is very pleased that our organizations have come together to address this key technology area. By cooperating our organizations, OMA’s service enablers and APIs will enrich the support of multimedia services across the rapidly diversifying range of devices.”

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