ITU Issues ITU-T G.9960 Home Network Standard
January 15, 2009 // Published as a news service by IHS
Recommendation ITU-T G.9960 focuses on the physical, or PHY layer, giving the data bit rate and quality of service necessary for triple-play residential services, as well as business-type services delivered over xDSL, passive optical network or other access technology, according to ITU.
The standard, published under the ITU G.hn banner, offers a standard for multimedia over power, coaxial, phone and other home network wiring. It is also intended to provide up to 20 times the throughput of existing wireless technologies and three times that of existing wired technologies, ITU experts said.
The specifications will be used by chip manufacturers to build transceivers that can be incorporated into set-top boxes, residential gateways, home computers, home audio systems, DVD players, TVs or any other device that might be connected to a network.
Experts say silicon companies will start incorporating the specifications into transceivers, implying that G.hn-compliant products could be on the market as early as 2010, according to ITU.
Joyce Putscher, principal analyst at In-Stat, said, "Service operators have been looking for an international standard that encompasses multiple existing-wire mediums for video distribution."
She said G.hn meets that requirement and it seems clear that with significant industry backing from service providers, semiconductor and equipment vendors, and the fast rate at which the process is moving to achieve a standard, we will see first equipment by 2010.
Work on G.hn was started at the instigation of service providers looking to extend broadband and video services in the home, said ITU experts. It may be bundled as complementary to Wi-Fi and extend to areas of a house where Wi-Fi does not reach.
The HomeGrid Forum, an industry group, was formed to back G.hn. The goal of HomeGrid Forum is to market G.hn worldwide and to create a compliance and interoperability program to ensure that products based on the standard will operate in any home around the world.
"If G.hn sees integration into carrier devices by 2010, we expect that some 42 million G.hn-compliant nodes will ship in 2013 in devices such as set-top boxes, residential gateways and other service provider CPE [customer-premises equipment] hardware," said Michael Wolf, research director at ABI Research.
ITU will next work on the media access control layer part of the standard.