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FierceTelecom: Although the specification is relatively new, are vendors responding to the opportunity with new equipment?
Weissman: There are a dozen or so vendors that have products. What we have now is a specification so we can have a certification and then we can ensure interoperability because we have a mechanism to monitor and ensure it. In reality, this MDU specification is the only one with Ethernet over Coax global standard. Everything else that is being done in Ethernet over Coax is proprietary and is not documented in a standards body that it has evolved in. The MoCA technology used in MDUs is not part of MoCA. For example, the powerline P1901 standard by definition only goes to 50 MHz and yet the P1901 product being used by Atheros, now Qualcomm, goes up to 75 MHz is out of compliance with the standard. You would not be able to get competitive products within that protocol. Plus, the actual MAC layer is proprietary and you won't have interoperability with the other products. Only with the HomePNA standard will you have interoperability guaranteed because the technology is within the specification.
FierceTelecom: While the specification focuses on BRIC countries, do you see possibilities for HomePNA to play a role in the domestic U.S. MDU market?
Weissman: We do have a lot of applications around the world. I would put the prioritization in the following order: international broadband access; the second is global hospitality where you have a captive infrastructure; and domestic MDU is a market--and yes, Centurylink will use our technology. The problem is this technology does not exist with DOCSIS because the return path of DOCSIS steps on our frequency. You have to have an isolated network to do it. In CenturyLink's territory, there are apartment buildings and high rises where the MDU is fully captive and no one will have a cable modem in there.
Nesin: I did a case study on a company called Conexion that focuses on Greenfield residential developments. They provide everything and work with a bunch of service providers and that becomes a value-add for them.
FierceTelecom: So in the U.S, Ethernet over Coax would be more amenable to Greenfield opportunities?
Weissman: In that kind of community we'll do very well, but the scale of a business like Conexion, while not small, is more valuable in other countries where DOCSIS is less common. For example, Nigeria has 20 million people in the country. If you reach the top 10 percent, which is two million people, most of them live in MDUs. As it stands right now, the MDU HomePNA seems to be best price performance technology on the market today for broadband access. If you're a low cost leader and you have a billion emerging market people that are going to go online in the next five to 10 years, it's a lot of money. There's a lot of mileage from here to there, but that's the potential.
FierceTelecom: Finally, what goals have you set for 2011 and beyond?
Weissman: The big thing right now is I expect we'll see a surge of new members in HomePNA. We'll complete the certification process for new Ethernet over Coax products. We're in a lot of field trials with a number of large service providers. As those continue to go we'll start to some decent returns in 2012 and beyond.
HomePNA continues to grow. On the home networking side, we now have 50 members, which is up from about 30 two years ago. We just added Pace, one of the largest set top box and gateway vendor in the world. We're really opening the doors in Latin America in IPTV and we continue to have growth in North America. I think the biggest growth in North America will come from Bell Canada. CenturyLink hasn't turned on the afterburners yet, but they've got a very big footprint with EMBARQ and Qwest added to the list. Part of the reason is they had to create some consistency across their footprint, but we definitely see them doing well over the next two years.