Parks Associates Blog

Monday, December 29, 2008

Some additional notes regarding P1901 and ITU 9960

I followed up with some of the principals involved in the IEEE P1901 and ITU-T G.9960 ( work last week to clarify a few points. These requests followed a briefing with the folks with MoCA, who have grievances about the ITU process and the decision that was reached in December to approve the foundation document. Here are some of the primary issues that the MoCA folks wanted to air:
1. They note that this is still an uncompleted specification, noting that no MAC agreement has been reached (and contesting the notion that the PHY is 100% solid). For the record, the ITU and the HomeGrid Forum have made note of the need to finalize the MAC specification. This could be accomplished with a companion spec for a media access controller that could be implemented in firmware is expected to be complete as early as September 2009. Thanks to Rick Merritt at The EE Times for that good explanation.
2. The MoCA folks feel that they were largely shut out of negotations in the ITU process, arguing that they had put forth a recommendation to make the ITU backward-compatible to MoCA. Contacts at DS2 and CopperGate note that the ITU specification is not backward-compatible with any current "no-new-wires" standard, and trying to achieve this and please everyone would have resulted in a much slower process. They indicate that it will be up to individual semiconductor companies to build in backwards compatibility.

Were their politics involved in this process? Undoubtedly. I do understand the sense of urgency under which both the IEEE and ITU have been working. It would appear that standardizing on a single powerline solution was really the critical component of the standards process, as this standards mess has held up market development for far too many years. Although MoCA supporters may not like feeling shut out of the development process, one explanation I got from someone privy to the ITU process was simple but probably a critical factor. He indicates that - for the European market in particular - coax solutions will not have the same critical role to play as powerline. Therefore, a solution like MoCA - which is well suited to the U.S. cable industry - simply wasn't going to be considered in the final process.

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Anonymous Rob Gelphman said...

Any claim that there is not enought coax, or that the coax is not used, as predominantly in Europe as it is in the US, is posturing and illogical rational.

There is lots of coax in Europe and more than most people think. Coax penetration per household is as much as 90 percent in many countries.

MoCA will make inroads in Europe though we do not expect adoption to be pan-European.

This is a politically inspired argument as MoCA is becoming the standard in the US. it is a turf war and the individual companies supporting the ITU initiative and HomeGrid want to preserve the European land mass for themselves, as they obviously have not been as successful in the US.

And there is absolutely no indication that the cable MSOs in Europe will adopt or even endorse ITU There are not any companies in this broadband segment who are representative.

MoCA is going to Europe. Make no doubt about it. What exactly will happen is still to be played out. The others may look good on paper but that is why we play the game.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Scott said...

Even more silly about "European market ... coax solutions will not have the same critical role to play as powerline" idea, is that was optimized for coax and not powerline. Some studies have shown the will have 20% less performance than P1901 on powerline. is a direct attack on MoCA, but likely not relevant for powerline.

8:30 AM  

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