11/01/2012

HomePlug Powerline Alliance release AV2 specification

The Hompeplug Powerline Alliance have released the Homeplug AV2 specification allowing for HD video streams to be delivered across standard in home/premise mains wiring. The AV2 specification is backwards compatible with the existing Homeplug AV standard (also known as IEEE 1901).

The new standard was developed by the HomePlug AV Technical Working Group which is made up of representatives of Broadcom, devolo, France Telecom, Marvell, Qualcomm Atheros, Ralink, Sony, SPiDCOM Technologies and STMicroelectronics

The AV2 standard supports a Gigabit/s physical link and can support multiple input/output links between units.

The current AV500 standard supports 500Mb/s links and units are now generally available. Many manufacturers have moved to smaller chip fabrication processes (i.e. 45nm or smaller) and so the Powerline chip are smaller in size allowing smaller end-user products and also for the chips to be embedded in more devices such as consumer audio/video products.

09/01/2012

O2 to WiFi London Olympics

O2 has announced plans to put in place 13,000 WiFi hotspots across London and out to Stratford to cover the London Olympics in 2012.

The company is making deals with local councils to use street furniture (such as lamp posts) to provide the coverage. It's hoping to offer the largest free WiFi network in London, competing with other operators such as The Cloud (bought by Sky) and BT Openzone who operate their own network and have hotspots in every Starbucks store.

The network will require users to go to a landing page which will have localised advertising which O2 hope to recover costs through.

O2 will also use the network to off-load data traffic from their mobile network. Though WiFi can be used to cover large areas, it's not really designed for that purpose and can suffer from congestion when many WiFi networks co-exist.