IEEE 1901 500-Mbps broadband over power-line standard approved

OCTOBER 18, 2010 – IEEE has announced ratification of the IEEE 1901 Broadband over Power Line (BPL) standard. Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE expects the new BPL standard will be a key enabling technology for a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation, and LANs in both the home and the enterprise.

OCTOBER 18, 2010 – IEEE has announced ratification of the IEEE 1901 Broadband over Power Line (BPL) standard. Sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society, the IEEE expects the new BPL standard will be a key enabling technology for a wide range of applications including smart energy, transportation, and LANs in both the home and the enterprise.

Networking products that fully comply with IEEE 1901 will deliver data rates in excess of 500 Mbps in LAN applications. In first-mile/last-mile applications, IEEE 1901-compliant devices will achieve ranges of up to 1500 m. The technology specified by IEEE 1901 uses sophisticated modulation techniques to transmit data over standard AC power lines of any voltage at transmission frequencies of less than 100 MHz.

The standards organization notes that IEEE 1901 has been recognized as the standard that will enable universal communications in smart grid applications. However, the IEEE asserts it will also enhance other applications.

In the transportation sector, for example, the standard’s data rates and range make it possible to deliver A/V entertainment to the seats of airplanes, trains, and other mass transit vehicles. Electric vehicles can download a new entertainment playlist to the A/V system while the car in charging overnight, according to the IEEE.

In the home, PLC will complement wireless LANs by providing a link through walls and other RF impediments as well as over distances beyond the normal range of wireless networks. It will complement wireless networks in hotels and other multistory buildings by carrying multimedia data over the longer distances and allowing wireless to complete the communication link over the last few meters.

“The IEEE 1901 standard will have a significant impact on communications technology in the home, the enterprise, and on the factory floor, because it brings power-line networking into parity with wireless networks in terms of speed, and offers the considerable advantage of penetrating walls and other structures that obstruct RF radiation, said Judy Gorman, managing director, IEEE Standards Association. “Hybrid wireless/power-line networks successfully address all the remaining problems of wireless LANs and -- unlike wired LANs -- do not require a dedicated wired infrastructure.”

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