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Grand unification for home networking standards

Wed, 06/05/2013 - 2:19pm
Brian Santo

Manufacturers of gear that operate on a grab-bag of networking technologies – HomePlug, MoCA, Wi-Fi, and Ethernet – are setting up a certification system for a new category of home networking equipment that will make all four networking approaches interoperable.

The result should be a boon for service providers setting up whole-home services, who frequently find that any single networking technology is either inadequate for every single installation or cannot meet the requirements of every single customer.

Companies with interests in one or more of those technologies have been developing the IEEE 1905.1 standard as a means of making these home networking technologies interoperable. They are now developing a program to test and certify products for interoperability under the IEEE standard, and expect to have certified products on the market by the end of the year.

Products that conform to IEEE 1905.1 will get labeled with the new brand nVoy.  

By providing a common communication protocol, nVoy Certified products will enable consumers and service providers to leverage the strengths of the wired and wireless networking technologies prevalent in many homes today, according to the HomePlug Alliance.

Using nVoy networking capabilities, service providers can add new network intelligence to improve existing deployments and enable new whole-home products and services. Features of nVoy Certified products will include advanced diagnostics supported locally or remotely with TR-069, topology discovery, simplified security setup, link metrics and  automatic configuration of Wi-Fi access points.

It also enables enhanced power management by optimizing network power usage across different technologies, the organization said.

 “A large and diverse set of companies contributed to the development of the 1905.1 specification throughout the process,” said Purva Rajkotia, chairman of the IEEE 1905.1 Working Group. “Establishing the certification program for the standard that unifies the world’s most prevalent wired and wireless networking technologies will bring benefits to carriers who wish to deploy more capable and reliable home network equipment and to end-users who continue to demand richer content on more devices.” 

Development of the nVoy testing and certification program is nearing completion, and the first interoperability event is expected in the third quarter of 2013. The first nVoy Certified products are expected by year-end 2013.

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