Feeds

Wi-Fi strikes alliance with mains networking tech

There's parts of the spectrum we're not polluting yet

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Wi-Fi Alliance has inked an agreement with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance to create interoperable kit, capable of annoying radio hams as never before.

Power line telecommunications (PLT) kit sends networking signals around the home over mains wiring, and often competes with Wi-Fi, which uses radio to achieve the same thing. But now the biggest certification bodies in both fields are joining forces to certify interoperable kit that will be able to pop up a hotspot in any room once it's plugged in.

Such a device isn't on the cards just yet - right now the agreement is just a promise to "facilitate interoperability between Wi-Fi equipment and devices connected to powerline home network", though there is a nod to the future with the plan for a "joint technical review of Wi-Fi Alliance and HomePlug specifications and standards that facilitate interoperability of smart grid application".

Wi-Fi kit kicks out networking signals in the unlicensed 2.4GHz band, but that frequency is getting overloaded and has real trouble getting through walls - particularly in non-timber-framed houses where the internal walls are expected to take some of the strain. PTL uses much lower frequencies, and doesn't need a licence as the transmissions are sent down mains wires rather than through the air.

But mains wiring isn't shielded, so the signals leak out. When the frequency is really low it only upsets radio hams, but the frequency is increasing as the manufacturers try to squeeze more data down the line. Increasing the frequency puts leaking PTL into the realm of aircraft radio, not to mention Radio 4.

The most obvious outcome of this agreement will be PLT kit that you just plug in to create a Wi-Fi hotspot in every room - which is fine as long as you don't mind upsetting the Civil Aviation Authority, the BBC and a lot of bearded hams. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.