Research and Markets: Examining Developments in Broadband Powerline Communications Keeping in Mind the Competition DUBLIN, Ireland--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 23, 2005
Power line communications (PLC) has evolved into Broadband Powerline Communications (BPL) that has two primary applications - broadband access (BPL-Access) and home networking (BPL-Indoor). The report, "Broadband Powerline Communications: Ready for Take-Off," provides an exhaustive look at the BPL marketplace. The report details global BPL deployments, examines emerging BPL devices, and discusses standards and regulation. The report profiles major vendors marketing BPL equipment. The report examines developments in BPL technologies and compares these technologies with other competing solutions. The report provides market sizing and market forecasts for both BPL-Access and BPL-Indoor.
Powerline Communications (PLC) has evolved from the narrowband offerings of yesterday into a broadband pipe known as Broadband Powerline Communications (BPL). The technology has two primary applications - broadband access (BPL-Access) and home networking (BPL-Indoor).
In the past, PLC had been dubbed as a "technology curiosity for companies with spare cash." This was due to persistent quality problems and absence of backing of major vendors. It was not until the turn of the millennium that the technology turned the corner in the form of BPL. Since then several technology and market trials have addressed the lingering problems with the technology. Telecom Trends International research shows that the technology is now poised to take off.
The following are the findings of the study:
- Every household connected to the power grid can be offered BPL-Access service by the power utility in partnership with the appropriate vendor. More than eighty trials and commercial deployments are currently underway in all the continents.
- BPL has matured to a point where it poses a serious challenge to entrenched technologies in the realms of both broadband access and home networking. Since BPL allows the use of existing infrastructure, it lowers the cost of deployment and allows service providers to offer competitive pricing.
- BPL-Access offers higher data rates than other widely available competing alternatives such as DSL and cable modem. Similarly, BPL-Indoor competes against other home networking technologies, such as Wi-Fi and HomePNA, and offers several competitive advantages.
- A wide range of innovative BPL-enabled devices are being introduced into the market. These devices range from broadband gateways, digital media adapters, personal computers (PCs), and home security monitoring devices. More than 30 device vendors are competing in this market.
- The HomePlug standard is driving the home networking market. Intellon's "turbo" solution supports 85 Mb/s, and the upcoming HomePlug AV standard will support 200 Mb/s. Competing proprietary solutions have been proposed by DS2, Spidcom, and Panasonic. All these solutions support Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and triple-play applications - data, voice and video.
- There is no BPL-Access standard, but several proprietary standards with unique capabilities are being offered. DS2's 205 Mb/s technology, which enjoys the support of most of the BPL-Access vendors, has been chosen as the baseline technology by the OPERA consortium. The HomePlug standard is being enhanced to support BPL-Access, creating the prospect of multiple competing standards.
- Vendors involved in BPL range from start-ups to established players such as Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Siemens, Sharp, and Samsung. Additional major vendors will get involved in BPL in the coming months.
- Service providers involved in BPL range from telephone operators (BellSouth, France Telecom), cable companies (Comcast, Cox), satellite services providers (Hughes, EchoStar), and fixed wireless access providers.
- Those deploying BPL-Indoor solutions include schools, hotels, and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and multi-tenant units (MTUs). In addition, there have been several of deployments in residential neighborhoods.
The report forecasts BPL-Access subscribers and service revenue for the next seven years. The forecasts are broken down by the major regions - Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Latin America, and North America.
It has been estimated that the BPL-Access services market generated $57.1 million in revenue in 2004. Figure 1 shows a breakdown of BPL-Access service revenue by major regions. Over a seven year period, the revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 86 percent.
The report forecasts BPL-Indoor devices and vendor revenue for the next seven years. The forecasts are broken down by the major regions - Asia-Pacific, Europe, Africa/Middle East, Latin America, and North America.
In 2004, BPL-Indoor devices generated revenue of $78.8 million in sales. Figure 2 shows a breakdown of BPL-Indoor vendor revenue by major regions. Over the next seven years, the revenue will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 83 percent.