MoCA developing spec to open up MDU market

Rob Gelphman

Rob Gelphman

The Multimedia over Cable Alliance (MoCA) is developing a specification targeting the multiple dwelling unit market called MoCA Access that will enable multiple operators to compete in offering broadband services to the same apartment block. The specification will be based on the current MoCA 2.0 standard which is capable of 1Gbps net throughputs.

The recently approved MoCA 2.5 specification will also be integrated in the new specification serving as a basis for future deployments. MoCA 2.5 is capable of up to 2.5 Gbps and is backwards interoperable with MoCA 2.0.

Rob Gelphman, VP of marketing at MoCA, said the MoCA specification currently can’t be used by many operators in Europe because of the patchy availability of coax in private homes. However operators can still use coax to deliver services to MDUs, he said, leading to the development of this new specification.

“The new benchmark is 1Gbps to the house,” said Gelphman, adding that the new MoCA 2.5 specification can take homes up to 2.5Gbps over existing coax. In the case of MDUs, he said that operators can use coax to reach individual apartments after taking fibre to the basement. “The bottleneck is then in the house if there is one,” he said.

Gelphman said the spec would be based on current MoCA silicon.

The key difference of the access specification will be the implementation of multi-point rather than MESH architecture, said Helge Tianen, CEO of InCoax Networks, who added that the technology would enable multiple service providers to offer services to the same apartment block.

“Home networks are typically MESH networks. Shared coax requires point to multipoint architectures. That is the difference on the access side. It also requires more advanced QoS,” he said. “We use most of the existing MoCA but there are some changes.. It is a very cost efficient way of delivering services to MDUs. It is very scalable. It is the first time there will be competition in the coax networks. MoCA is using the frequency above [existing TV networks] and in an all-IP world several operators can deploy services.”

Tianen said the technology will enable telecom operators to get into the MDU market more easily. Several operators could deploy services in a single building, although MDUs may have to choose between services provided by multiple telecom operators or multiple cable providers.

Tianen said he was hopeful MoCA Access compatible chipsets would be available next year.

“The current plan is to create the spec for next year having worked through the changes required in the autumn. Chips will be available with the modified software next year,” he said.

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