G.hn faces competition from MoCA, HomePlug networking standards

Established standards can leverage their established customer base
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G.hn, the catch-all wired/wireless home networking standard, is on the verge of becoming part of the home networking reality following a number of service provider trials.

While it is true that G.hn does offer service providers and broadband customers a common platform to support various wires in the home (i.e., Ethernet, coax and powerline) in addition to higher data rates, the reality is that it lacks the clout of established home networking standards such as Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and HomePlug.

"G.hn deployments will mark the end of a long road to market, a process true for all of the wired networking technologies," Michael Inouye, senior analyst for ABI Research said. "This time period, coupled with earlier entrances by competing technologies, however, has engendered significant advantages to the incumbent players--particularly in North America and Europe where MoCA and HomePlug, respectively, have established a significant market presence among service providers."

Given the strong presence of cable operators, MoCA has been the dominant no-new-wires home networking technology in North America, while in Europe HomePlug has become the standard method for telcos. What's more, Inouye said the next "versions of MoCA 2.0 and HomePlug AV2 will mitigate G.hn's purported speed advantage."

Outside of North America and Europe, Latin America, which is seeing a number of incumbent telcos and cable MSOs ramp up their broadband deployments, is showing interest in both HomePNA and MoCA. The HomePNA alliance said it sees growth potential in Latin America, while MoCA is trying to up its presence in the region.

Last year, HomePNA Alliance introduced the Fast Ethernet over Coax (Fast EoC) standard. The alliance said it saw the most potential for Fast EoC in the Brazil, Russia, India and China (BRIC) markets where in-building telephone and power wiring is poor.

Michael Weissman, president of HomePNA said in a previous interview with FierceTelecom that with the FastEoC specification, "MSOs can leverage their existing cabling infrastructure to provide digital services to living units for 10 percent of the capital needed to deploy alternatives such as DOCSIS."

Although Asia Pacific faces potential governmental influence on what technology to use, the region holds potential for G.hn, HomePNA and MoCA.

Sam Rosen, ABI Research's TV & video practice director said that "China in particular—is currently G.hn's best market opportunity."

Rosen added that "new market opportunities will come from hybrid networking and assuming the consumer space develops as planned a retail market for discrete and embedded solutions," but "a sizable installed base and consumer education are both essential ingredients to increase consumer mindshare and perceived value of the respective technologies."

HomePNA diagram

(Image source: HomePNA Alliance)

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