Light Reading
HomeGrid Forum chief predicts that the home networking standard will finally start taking off in 2014 despite obstacles.

Will 2014 Be G.hn's Year?

Mari Silbey
1/20/2014
50%
50%

The G.hn home networking standard promises gigabit speeds over any line -- power, coax, or phone. While deployments have been unexpectedly slow to materialize, John Egan, president of HomeGrid Forum, predicts that this will be the year we'll finally see G.hn in action.

Egan said service providers will be the driving force behind G.hn rollouts in 2014. Plus, he noted, the technology should also begin appearing in retail stores by the middle of the year.

Egan cited numerous instances of service providers planning to implement G.hn in the near future. Among his examples: China Telecom Corp. Ltd. (NYSE: CHA) is committed to G.hn; Telefónica SA (NYSE: TEF) has decided to standardize on G.hn across its multinational footprint; Korea Telecom is in field trials; and Portugal Telecom SGPS SA (NYSE: PT) has completed field trials in Brazil and is now planning rollouts.

In addition, Egan said that the HomeGrid Forum has talked extensively with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) in the US, and he included the North American market in his projections for G.hn's 2014 success. Because G.hn works over any wire, Egan explained that the prices should come down quickly, making adoption everywhere easier.

On the retail front, Egan couldn't share any deployment specifics. But he pointed out that Best Buy sits on HomeGrid's board of directors. He suggested that G.hn could start showing up in wall units designed to plug into power outlets (aka wall warts), and even embedded in charging devices from CE manufacturers. The connectivity would supersede what consumers get today from wired and wireless connections in the home, and would make higher-bandwidth applications easier to support.

Of course, G.hn has plenty of stiff competition. The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) (HPNA) standard joined G.hn under the HomeGrid umbrella in 2013, but other wireline technologies, including HomePlug Powerline Alliance (HomePlug) and Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) , are well entrenched networking alternatives.

G.hn's potential advantage is its promise to deliver higher speeds for in-home networks -- making applications such as 4K TV easier to support -- and offer greater flexibility in deployment. While the standard was completed in 2010, though, it hasn't yet taken off commercially yet. (See HomeGrid Forum Merges With HomePNA Alliance and MoCA Drives Home Networking Market.)

Further, Ganesh T S, a senior editor at AnandTech, reported out of the Consumer Electronics Show that many networking vendors still appear "to be committed to HomePlug for the near future. None of them have any G.hn products in their pipeline currently."

Egan admitted to Light Reading that expectations for G.hn's time to market were initially overblown. "Everybody thought it would be available immediately… but it was a brand new technology," he said. "So people hadn't built the chips. And it takes 18 months… from the time the spec is done to the time the chip is done."

To get a sense of what G.hn can deliver, the HomeGrid Forum ran several demonstrations at CES this year highlighting its performance capabilities. One demo showed seven TVs all running different HD streams that were fed over IP from a single network-attached server.

Egan claims interference isn't an issue either. In fact, he noted that G.hn could run alongside other networking technologies on the very same wire. G.hn and HPNA, for example, could run on the same coax line. Or, a service provider could keep HPNA running on the coax cable in a home, but implement G.hn on the powerline for added capacity.

As a deployment scenario, Egan suggested that any consumer upgrading to 4K TV service might get a home networking upgrade at the same time. However, ultimately Egan sees G.hn going much further. His vision, which he confesses to having stolen from at least one service provider: "G.hn will be the backbone network in the home."

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(6)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/21/2014 | 9:42:34 AM
Re: Missed a competitor
John, thanks for the explanation and clarification on P.1905.1. Sounds like a good time for us to pursue an update on that effort.
Egan0
50%
50%
Egan0,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/21/2014 | 8:51:08 AM
Re: Missed a competitor
John Egan:

Regarding 1905.1... This is an IEEE standard that was defined to abstract various technologies from higher layers, this way the various, and incompatible APIs, etc., for the technologies were set aside for a common set. The initial standard now only supports IEEE standard 1901 defined powerline communications (2 types - one based on a derivative and advanced version of HomePlug AV (1901 FFT), and one based on a derivative and advanced version of HD-PLC (1901 Wavelet)), MoCA for coax, 802.3 Ethernet, and 802.11 (commonly called "Wi-Fi"). The IEEE in Dec 2013 established a new Project to modify the 1905.1 standard to open it up, for example to support as well HomePNA and G.hn technologies.

However, by the way, the ITU-T as well has stepped in and established a smooth path to add G.hn and HomePNA to the IEEE 1905.1 standard, thus setting a template the new IEEE Project could follow to quickly add these technologies and resolve any misunderstanding that 1905.1 is a competing technology to G.hn. We, at HomeGrid Forum, are hopeful the Open Stand commitment of IEEE is quickly reflected in the modifications to 1905.1 to make it an open standard to benefit the all of the market, instead of being narrowly defined to help only a select number of technology suppliers and technologies.

I have one disagreement to the article and that has to do with "deployments being unexpectedly slow." This slowness is not due to a lack of market demand for the technology, it has to do with the realities of G.hn being a brand new technology, whose standards were only completed in 2010. Typically it has taken new technologies, like 802.11, VDSL2, ADSL, etc. 4 years to go from standards completion to an interop demo. G.hn did this in under three years, with already silicon and system certification available and awarded to certian vendors. While we wish we could have delivered even faster, we continue to set records today as we deliver the state of the art in home networks.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/20/2014 | 9:19:55 PM
Re: Missed a competitor
I think WiFi did sli[ in a steal some of G.hn's thunder when the latter's products didn't materialize quickly enough. Wasn't there also a competing standard - IEEE P.1905? - that was going to leverage WiFi and MoCA, among others? I don't know off-hand where that stands, but would be interested to find out.
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/20/2014 | 12:46:52 PM
Re: Missed a competitor
Aren't most devices in the home NOT set tops/TVs?

seven
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
1/20/2014 | 12:11:16 PM
Re: Missed a competitor
Seven- most TVs/set-tops still connect over MoCA in the US. 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/20/2014 | 12:00:51 PM
Missed a competitor
For most applications isn't home WiFi the basic competitor?

 

seven
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Dr. Dong Sun Talks About Carriers' Digital Transformation & Huawei’s Telco OS

1|29|15   |   6:28   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dong Sun, Chief Architect of Digital Transformation Solutions at Huawei, discusses how telecom operators can become digital ecosystem enablers and deliver optimal user experiences that are in real-time, on-demand, all-online, DIY and social (ROADS).
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Chief Network Architect Talks about Network Experience & Operators’ Strategies

1|29|15   |   3:39   |   (0) comments


In the digital age, network experience has become the primary productivity especially for telecom operators. In this video, Wenshuan Dang, Huawei’s Chief Network Architect, discusses how carriers can tackle the challenge of infrastructure complexity in order to enhance business agility and improve user experience.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (4) comments


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
Google Continues Gigabit Expansion
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/27/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Overture Builds on NFV Foundation
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/27/2015
Comcast Apologizes to 'A**hole' Brown
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/29/2015
NTT DoCoMo Takes on Retail Broadband
Robert Clark, 1/29/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Weekly Executive Interview
Join us live for Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he has to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.