Feeds

Wi-Fi strikes alliance with mains networking tech

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.