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Home-Networking Showdown Emerges

Craig Matsumoto
6/11/2010
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The G.hn standard has gotten the nod from the International Telecommunication Union, Standardization Sector (ITU-T) , but MoCA 2.0 won't be far behind.

An industry source told Light Reading yesterday that MoCA 2.0 ratification is complete, with the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) planning to make an announcement next week. An earlier estimate said MoCA 2.0 would be done by the first quarter of this year. (See MoCA 2.0 'Enhanced' Mode Target: 800 Mbit/s.)

The HomeGrid Forum got the jump on MoCA by announcing G.hn's ratification this morning. (See G.hn Gets Approved.)

With both standards getting completed at the same time, within rounding error, everything is set for a battle over the home network. (Hide the good china before something gets broken.)

G.hn is aiming for gigabit speeds in theory, with real throughput likely to reach 600 to 700 Mbit/s, according to some. MoCA 2.0 aims for a 400-Mbit/s base speed and an 800-Mbit/s enhanced mode. (See MoCA 2.0 'Enhanced' Mode Target: 800 Mbit/s.)

Each technology has gotten some carrier backing, the obvious difference being that G.hn mostly has moral support, while earlier MoCA versions are already installed. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T), BT Group plc (NYSE: BT; London: BTA), and Telus Corp. (NYSE: TU; Toronto: T) have all shown interest in G.hn, while cable MSOs are obviously in the MoCA camp, as is Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) with its FioS deployments. (See Chip Firms Prepare for Home Networking Faceoff .)

Both could eventually be challenged by wireless options, too, as a few industry groups are developing ways to use the 60GHz band to reach multigigabit speeds. (See 60GHz Can Too Run a Home Network and Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast.)

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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