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New G.hn Home Networking Standard Has Significant Potential

July 2, 2008
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There is a new home networking industry alliance on the block. The HomeGrid Forum aims to promote the work of the International Telecommunication Union’s G.hn working group in developing a new triple-wire standard for home networking. But many in the industry have been wondering where a new standard would fit in an already crowded market. The success of Wi-Fi for consumer-installable networks and the recent momentum for HomePlug and MoCA in service provider networks raise the question: why add another specification—as well as an industry alliance such as HomeGrid—to the mix? According to ABI Research director Michel Wolf, “G.hn—which has been under development for nearly two years—is intended to create a unifying standard for the different home network technologies, aimed at distributing next-generation service-provider offering in the home. We at ABI Research see several applications, such as multi-room high-definition video, that would ultimately benefit from the move towards a single MAC/PHY for multiple media in the home.”


Where would G.hn fit in the home network? ABI Research sees the infrastructure and technology requirements for service provider, whole-home media as unique. Successful service provider deployments of MoCA and HomePNA 3.1 in North America and HomePlug and UPA worldwide, suggest that carrier-oriented media networking technologies can assist in rolling out new services. The effort to build a higher-speed single specification for the three primary in-home wiring types (power line, coax and phone line) will provide a roadmap for next generation service provider deployment. “While it is still early, ABI Research sees promise in the efforts by ITU G.hn,” says Wolf. “Ultimately, if G.hn sees integration into carrier devices by 2010, we expect that in 2013 some 42 million G.hn-compliant nodes will ship into the market, in devices such as set-top boxes, residential gateways and other service provider CPE hardware.”

A new research brief from ABI Research, “G.hn: Will Next-generation Triple-wire Networking Standard Hit the Digital Home Trifecta?,” supplies an update of the various no-new-wires standards such as HomePlug AV, UPA MoCA and HomePNA 3.1, and considers how G.hn might fare as the evolution toward next-generation service provider entertainment networks gathers speed. It also examines the HomeGrid Forum and whether it will be a Wi-Fi alliance-like body that will propel the new standard in the market place

ABI Research is a market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing a blend of market intelligence, primary research and expert assessment, ABI Research assists many with its strategic growth initiatives.

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