By Richard Nesin, president, HomePNA
Five years ago, a long time in the world of high tech, we introduced HomePNA 3.0 (a.k.a., HPNA) to equipment vendors. Most thought it was great stuff but couldn’t conceive of applications that needed so much speed and guaranteed QoS. They told us to market it to the service providers, which we did. Then along came IPTV triple play, HDTV and GPON and suddenly nobody was wondering what to do with all that speed.
Fast forward to today and even HomePNA 3.1’s 320 Mbit/sec data rate, providing up to 230 Mbit/sec of user throughput (the real capacity after the overhead is subtracted), doesn’t seem so fast. All right, it does seem really fast. But some, like Verizon’s CTO Mark Wegleitner who is calling for at least 100 Mbps of actual user throughput today and 400 Mbps in less than two years, want more. Why so?
Why has several answers. First is that sales of HDTVs are going up – but it’s not that simple. Digital video is compressed and the type of compression used (MPEG 2, MPEG 4, VC-1, etc.) has a big impact on the amount of network bandwidth – another word for the network capacity - used. Add to that display of multiple IPTV streams on each TV and it becomes more about the number and type of streams family members view than about the number of TVs.
Don’t forget the video streams that originate within the home. With the coming proliferation of IP-enabled whole-home
And don’t forget Internet access. The home network shouldn’t slow down Internet access. With fiber to the home (FTTH) providing 100 Mb/sec and more, the data part of triple-play service can consume a significant chunk of the home network capacity all by itself. It’s no wonder so much effort is going into speeding G.hn to market.