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"Broadband over Powerline andthe Smart Grid in Rural Telecommunications"


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Title: "Broadband over Powerline andthe Smart Grid in Rural Telecommunications"

"Broadband over Powerline and the Smart Grid in
Rural Telecommunications" 
  • Frank Domoney

The Vision
  • To develop and market an advanced, scalable
    telecommunication platform
  • .enabling operators in emerging economies to
    deliver a comprehensive package of IP services
  • ..with minimal infrastructure investment
  • .by utilising the existing electricity power

Emerging Economies Telecom Issues
  • Conventional telephony provision requires big
    investment in new lines
  • DSL is also based around the telephony
  • Starting from a position of low Teledensity both
    telephony and Internet penetration are expensive
    to achieve Difficult to justify backbone
    development without adequate subscriber base

The Roeller Waverman Equations
  • The Output equation models the level of output
    (GDP) as a function of the total physical capital
    stock net of telecoms capital, the total labour
    force, a variable that captures the extent of the
    rule of law, and the mobile telecoms
    penetration rate.
  • The Demand equation models the level of mobile
    telecoms penetration as a function of income (the
    level of GDP per capita), mobile price (revenue
    per mobile subscriber), and the fixed-line price
    (which is revenue per fixed line subscriber).
  • The Investment equation simplifies the
    Roeller-Waverman supply and investment
    equations. It assumes that the growth rate of
    mobile penetration depends on the price of
    telecoms, the geographic area, and a time trend

  • Data and Voice
  • Fixed and Mobile
  • Telco and Electricity Company
  • Energis
  • Veba
  • Telco and Railway Company
  • Telco and Entertainment Company
  • Telco and Municipal Authority
  • Paris
  • Vienna
  • Telco and Electricity Company
  • Quito
  • Buenos Aires

Powerline Environment
Powerline History (courtesy Wikipedia)
  • Broadband over power lines has developed faster
    in Europe than in the United States due to a
    historical difference in power system design
    philosophies. Power distribution uses step-down
    transformers to reduce the voltage for use by
    customers. But BPL signals cannot readily pass
    through transformers, as their high inductance
    makes them act as low-pass filters, blocking
    high-frequency signals.
  • So, repeaters must be attached to the
    transformers. In the U.S., it is common for a
    small transformer hung from a utility pole to
    service a single house or a small number of
    houses. In Europe, it is more common for a
    somewhat larger transformer to service 10 or 100

Powerline History (2)
  • For delivering power to customers, this
    difference in design makes little difference for
    power distribution. But for delivering BPL over
    the power grid in a typical U.S. city requires an
    order of magnitude more repeaters than in a
    comparable European city.
  • On the other hand, since bandwidth to the
    transformer is limited, this can increase the
    speed at which each household can connect, due to
    fewer people sharing the same line. One possible
    solution is to use BPL as the backhaul for
    wireless communications, for instance by hanging
    Wi-Fi access points or cellphone base stations on
    utility poles, thus allowing end-users within a
    certain range to connect with equipment they
    already have.

Powerline History (3)
  • The second major issue is signal strength and
    operating frequency. The system is expected to
    use frequencies of 10 to 30 MHz, which has been
    used for many decades by amateur radio operators,
    as well as international shortwave broadcasters
    and a variety of communications systems
    (military, aeronautical, etc.).
  • Power lines are unshielded and will act as
    antennas for the signals they carry, and have the
    potential to interfere with shortwave radio
    communications. Modern BPL systems use OFDM
    modulation, which allows to mitigate interference
    with radio services by removing specific
    frequencies used.
  • A 2001 joint study by the ARRL and HomePlug
    Powerline Alliance showed that for modems using
    this technique "in general that with moderate
    separation of the antenna from the structure
    containing the HomePlug signal that interference
    was barely perceptible at the notched
    frequencies" and interference only happened when
    the "antenna was physically close to the power
    lines" (however other frequencies still suffer
    from interference).

Manassas Trial
  • In October 2005, the city of Manassas began the
    first wide-scale deployment of BPL service in the
    US, offering 10 Mbit/s service for under 30 USD
    per month to its 35,000 city residents, using
    MainNet BPL technology.
  • On June 16, 2006 FCC directed the Manassas BPL
    System to resolve Amateurs' interference
    complaints. The FCC minced no words in detailing
    what it wants the city and BPL operator COMTek to
    do to ensure its system complies with Part 15
    rules governing BPL systems and even hinted that
    it may shut down all or part of the system.

US FCC Approval 3 August 2006
  • Re Amendment of Part 15 regarding new
    requirements and measurement guidelines for
    Access Broadband over Power Line Systems Carrier
    Current Systems, including Broadband over Power
    Line Systems
  • In this item, we build upon our previous efforts
    to facilitate deployment of broadband over power
    line (BPL) systems while protecting existing
    spectrum users from harmful interference. It is
    my hope that our rules will allow BPL systems to
    flourish. This technology holds great promise as
    a ubiquitous broadband solution that would offer
    a viable alternative to cable, digital subscriber
    line, fiber, and wireless broadband solutions.
    Moreover, BPL has unique advantages for home
    networking because consumers can simply plug a
    device into their existing electrical outlets to
    achieve broadband connectivity. Promoting the
    deployment of broadband continues to be one of
    our top priorities and todays action is another
    step towards reaching that goal.

  • IEEE P1901 Effort Still in Negotiations 13 Oct
  • IEEE P1901 refers to the draft standard for
    "Broadband over Power Line Networks Medium
    Access Control and Physical Layer
    Specifications." The second confirmation vote for
    the IEEE P1901 In-Home proposal portion took
    place in Spain in the attempt to attain the 75
    percent needed for passage. The confirmation was
    missed by a few votes (69 percent), which was
    short of the 75 percent needed. Apparently, some
    of the voting proxies were not included in the
    voting outcome, because last-minute changes again
    occurred to the proposal, and the procedure
    dictates that proxies cannot be used if changes
    are made to the proposal after proxies are cast.
    It is difficult to say if their inclusion would
    have changed the outcome or not.

DS2 and their Chipsets
  • VALENCIA, Spain March 14 2008-- DS2, the leading
    technology innovator and global supplier of
    high-speed powerline communications technology
    today announced that a proposal originally
    co-authored by UPA, CEPCA and other IEEE members
    was selected last week as the single proposal for
    an eventual coexistence mechanism for access and
    in home Powerline Communications applications.
    The proposal which DS2 supported was approved in
    the IEEE P1901 Working Group (WG) process towards
    developing a baseline specification for Powerline
  • One of the most important advantages of the
    coexistence proposal is to ensure that access
    systems deployed by power companies or service
    providers can share resources with any in-home
    system deployed in the same area. The proposal
    enjoyed significant consensus from the WG.

Electricity Network
HV Transmission gt40Kv up to 100s Kv
MV Distribution 1Kv up to 40Kv
LV Distribution 110v 440v
MV Distribution 1Kv up to 40Kv
Distribution Node
MV-LV Transformer
MV-LV Transformer
LV Distribution 110v 440v
Customer Service Line
Customers Premises
Current PowerGate Access Technology
PowerGate 1001 MV Modem/Repeater
200Mbit/s Max Throughput
PowerGate 1001 LV Repeater
Management Software PowerGate Commander
PowerGate 1001 LV Head-end Modem
PowerGate 102 CPE
PowerGate 101 CPE
Customer Premises Equipment and Head End
KEY FEATURES Provides low cost CPE option for
service providers requiring only data service
access Compact plug in the wall design
with integral 10/100 Ethernet port
Customer Premises Equipment
Comprehensive QoS architecture supports data,
VoIP and other IP media types Ethernet, USB
and analogue phone connections
Head End
200 Mbit/s physical layer throughput Can act as
Head-end, TDM repeater or FDM repeater (two
devices) Supports data, VoIP and other media
types with comprehensive QoS architecture Integral
802.1d Bridge Ethernet 10/100 interface
  • 400 Mbps Chips
  • IPTV
  • Adaptive Notching

Providing the Backhaul
  • BPL is an excellent solution for the final
    customer hop
  • But
  • Need to connect effectively and economically to
    the national network
  • Conventional solution is to use BPL on the MV
    line MV line

MV Backhaul Challenges
  • Much more expensive than LV only
  • Repeater needed every 300-500m
  • Expensive couplers (1000s vs. 10s for LV)
  • Speeds and latency are issues
  • 2-3Km limit for VoIP
  • Reduces overall performance for user
  • Design and deployment are complex
  • Potential interference with LV

Hybrid Fibre Powerline (HFP) Overview
  • New solution which combines BPL with fibre
  • BPL is used on LV only
  • Aerial fibre optic cable on MV poles provides
  • Optimised for use with electricity systems based
    on overhead poles
  • Use MV pole wayleave as key asset
  • BPL to consumers can be combined with direct
    fibre services for business customers
  • Unused fibres provide dark fibre business

HFP Schematic
HFP vs. MV BPL Backhaul
ADSS Fibre
  • Mature optical technology gt15 years old
  • 100,000s of Km already installed
  • Good team can install 8-10Km per day
  • Installation requires only craft level skills
  • With training can use local labour

BTs Next Generation Network
Designing the Core Network
  • MetroWAND
  • Plan Ring and Mesh Architecture.Highly efficient
    network design algorithms.Design rules
    incorporates fibre topology, traffic demands and
    equipment constraints.Quick analysis of
    "what-if" scenarios.Optical link layer
    performance estimations.Failure analysis with
    rerouting options.Customize Vendor equipment
  • Can incorporate both Powerco and Telco links to
    establish a mesh

Testing the Robustness of the Design
  • Artifex
  • Design and simulate discrete event systems using
    the Petri Net formalism.Graphical language
    object oriented and event driven ensures
    scalability to high degrees of complexity.Integra
    ted platform with tools to create, validate,
    simulate, measure and deploy the system.Dynamic
    visualization of events and states supports
    Iterative model development.Real-time and
    virtual-time simulation with full user control of
    model's execution.Simulation data analysis and
    representation.Automatic ANSI C and C code
    generation to build custom simulators and control
    software.Networking tool-kit for protocol

Converged Processes Integrated System View
TMF eTOM Process Map
Telecommunications Application Map
Converged Billing
  • A future-proof and flexible solution for
    offering converged services is a necessity for
    operators who are invested in the next stage of
    telecommunications. Establishing a convergent
    operator to win the customers entire
    communications budget is one way of dealing with
    this situation and ensuring undisturbed streams
    of revenue. However, convergence in
    telecommunications is becoming increasingly
  • Currently the following types of convergence
    affect operators
  • Line of business fixed/mobile
  • Payment methods prepaid / post-paid
  • Customer segments business / private
  • Processing real-time / near-real-time /
  • Event / session type voice / IP / content
  • Network IMS-enabled /PSTN / GSM / 3G mobile /
  • Business model retail / wholesale / MVNO

Smart Grid
  • SmartGrids
  • Enhancing grid flexibility robustness
  • Create a toolbox of proven technical solutions
  • Establish interfacing capabilities that will
    allow new designs of grid equipment and new
    automation/control arrangements to be
    successfully interfaced with existing,
    traditional, grid equipment
  • Ensure harmonisation of Regulatory and Commercial
    frameworks in Europe to facilitate cross-border
    trading of both power and grid services

Infrastructure Monitoring
  • Kenya Power and Light company have 4 million
    pounds of annual damage from thieves and vandals.
  • Adding intelligence to the network allows active
    surveillance and reaction.

  • IBERDROLA launches a new open, public and
    standard telecommunications architecture for
    Smart Metering and Smart Grids
  • IBERDROLA is coordinating the PRIME project, with
    the objective of developing an AMI infrastructure
    for automatic meter management that is public,
    open and standard
  • Many companies have joined efforts to launch a
    new public, open and non-proprietary
    telecommunications architecture that will support
    the new AMM functionality and enable the building
    of the electricity networks of the future, or

Business Models
  • Powerco as Telco competes with incumbent Telco
  • Powerco rents medium to Mobile Co or ISP as fixed
  • Example Cysca and Edenor in Buenos Aires. Cysca
    pay Edenor 2 of annual revenue and 10 of
  • Powerco and Incumbent Telco maintain Monopoly on

  • Thank you for your Interest.
  • I am happy to take questions.
  • My email address is
  • frank.domoney_at_powerline-technologies.com
  • My Mobile number is 44 7887 804660
  • www.powerline-technologies.com
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