Report sees Wi-Fi challengers moving in on triple play

October 25, 2006 -- New research from ABI Research concludes that while Wi-Fi technology will play a large role in domestic triple-play distribution scenarios, MoCA, HPNA 3.0, and HomePlug powerline technologies will all also contend for market share.

October 25, 2006 -- New research from ABI Research concludes that while Wi-Fi will play a large role in domestic triple-play distribution scenarios, it is not the whole story.

According to ABI, Multimedia over Coax (MoCA), Home Phone Networking Alliance (HPNA 3.0), and HomePlug powerline technologies will collectively see 45 million total connections on STB and residential gateways shipped in 2011.

"Most large video service providers are evaluating one of these no-new-wires technologies to enable video distribution around the home," says ABI's research director Michael Wolf. "The slow road towards finalization of 802.11n and the lack of comfort among many video service providers about wireless have opened the doors for these alternatives. Verizon's choice of MoCA and AT&T's adoption of HPNA 3.0 show a market today split between various technologies."

According to ABI, each technology has perceived strengths and weaknesses, depending on who is delivering the services and where. While MoCA has the highest actual throughput for home networking, today the technology can operate only over coax. The firm's analysts see HPNA 3.0's ability to run over either coax or copper phone wiring as its biggest advantage, but point to HPNA's frequency overlap with VDSL as a concern. HomePlug AV's selling point is that it uses a dwelling's existing powerline wiring to distribute high speed data, but the technology has yet to see a major rollout by a large video service provider for video services.

"Our research into this topic suggests that among the three technologies, MoCA will lead in overall connections due to strong uptake in North America among IPTV and cable providers," concludes Wolf. "HPNA 3.0 will see some adoption among IPTV providers and possibly cable providers, as some take advantage of the dual-medium capability (coax and phone line) of HPNA. HomePlug will see more limited deployment, but will have greater traction overall in Europe."

For more information about ABI Research's "Home Networking Triple Play" report, click here.

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