In-Home Connectivity

Cover Story Article

In-Home Connectivity

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines  |  February 01, 2011

Wireless, Solutions Address Residential Networking

This article originally appeared in the Feb. 2011 issue of INTERNET TELEPHONY Magazine.

People have become accustomed to the connected lifestyle and, therefore, expect to be able to tap into the network from any corner of their homes and with good performance. With that in mind, many equipment suppliers are working on new solutions to extend Wi-Fi into the corners of our homes that currently have no or spotty coverage, and industry groups are trying to advance technology that leverages in-home wiring to expand connectivity further.

For example, Netgear Inc. introduced the Universal WiFi (News - Alert) Range Extender, which increases the coverage of an existing home network, plugs directly into an electrical outlet.

Netgear also unveiled a wide variety of other gear, include various routers.

The mobile broadband router, or MBR1000, is a new wireless router with 4G mobile broadband support. Verizon is highlighting the product at CES, and Bell Canada (News - Alert) is already using it in commercial deployments.

The N600 Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Router – Premium Edition, meanwhile, adds to the company’s previous product in this category by bringing new features such as clear channel selector; ReadyShare printer and quick start; and steady stream HD, which starts streaming videos faster with less buffering delay and maximizes bandwidth. Along with this new product, the company introduced the Netgear Genie, a home network dashboard application through which consumers can connect to, control and monitor their home networks. (For more on home automation and monitoring solutions, see story on previous page.)

Netgear’s N600 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit ADSL modem router, meanwhile, brings together the functionality of multiple devices in a single box. It allows Internet access via ADSL or a gigabit Ethernet port, has a four-port gigabit switch, ReadyShare storage access with two USB ports, a DLNA media server, and more.

And the N750 Wireless Dual Band Gigabit Router, which offers connectivity of up to 450mbps, is designed for HD video streaming, simultaneous downloads and high-quality online gaming. The dual band technology means interference isn’t a problem and helps ensure high speeds and good range.

The company also introduced a variety of other products in the wireless accessory arena, Powerline AV solutions; a home media storage product; and a digital media player.

Elsewhere on the home networking front, the HomeGrid Forum is promoting an ITU home networking standard called that uses existing in-home wiring to carry traffic at gigabit speeds. is backed by various companies including Intel (News - Alert), Lantiq, Marvell, Sigma Designs, Texas Instruments and others. HomeGrid Forum President Matthew Theall tells INTERNET TELEPHONY that Lantiq and Sigma Designs expect to ship compliant silicon this quarter, meaning that by the second half of this year service providers will be able to deploy G.HN-based solutions.

While there are plenty of home networking technologies, including MoCA (which Verizon is currently using for its FiOS (News - Alert) deployments) and HomePlug, out there, Theall says telcos typically go with the ITU standard, and in this case that’s AT&T, BT, China Telecom and international operator Telefonica (News - Alert) already have pledged to deploy G.HN, he adds.

"The standard is going to affect any consumer device, product or service that connects with the home using either coaxial, phone or power cables," Theall says. "It's going to be exciting, it's going to be lifestyle changing for people across the world and it's all happening now."

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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