Home networking, wireless industry groups develop common home networking goals

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A number of the major home networking and wireless standards groups have come together to examine and find common ground to help service providers support multiple services in the consumer's home.

Led by the Open Mobile Alliance, which hosted the event, representatives from The Broadband Forum, DECT Forum, Home Gateway Initiative (HGI), Open IPTV Forum, Open Mobile Alliance and Small Cell Forum held a workshop to examine home networking issues and opportunities.

Among the many new applications that a service provider could offer its customers are smart metering services that allow them to monitor energy usage and various home control services.

A number of pioneering service providers, including most recently the City of Opelika, Ala., a municipal utility that just launched its own Fiber to the Home (FTTH) network for its customers, have laid the foundation to offer these kinds of services. Likewise, AT&T (NYSE: T), Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Frontier (NYSE: FTR) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) all began offering their own flavor of home control services in select markets over the past year.

During the workshop, these groups created a shared interest to ensure devices in the home will have Quality of Service (QoS) on any wireline or wireless method such as 3G, LTE, DSL, fiber, HFC or WiFi. The group plans to examine the ability to enable seamless handover from a wireless smart phone to a home phone, for example, and support for machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity.

"The Open Mobile Alliance is very pleased that our organizations have come together to address this key technology area," said Mark Cataldo, chairman of the Open Mobile Alliance and also the chair of the workshop. "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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