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The next generation of home networking

Final OMEGA Open Event in Rennes

Adam Kapovits

Adam Kapovits
Eurescom
kapovits@eurescom.eu

The third and final OMEGA Open Event in Rennes, France, presented from 23rd to 24th February 2011 leading-edge technologies which will shape the future of home networking. About 100 international experts witnessed the final public demonstration of OMEGA’s solutions, which will enable data transmission speeds up to one gigabit per second and the integration of heterogeneous communication technologies in the home.

The 3rd Open Event provided an outlook on the evolution of home networking technologies and made the participants familiar with OMEGA’s concepts and technology solutions. In Rennes OMEGA demonstrated its main final results, and participants had the opportunity to get first-hand information about OMEGA’s home networking solutions. The Open Event covered the following main topics: connectivity at home, including Radio, Power Line Communication (PLC) and Wireless Optics, as well as the Inter-MAC solution of OMEGA that facilitates the convergence.

Demonstrations

The programme was very much focused on demonstrations and interaction with the audience. OMEGA ran two demonstrations – one showing the power of the proposed Inter-MAC solution through the seamless interoperation of various technologies (power line communication, radio and wireless optics) and one having a specific focus on wireless optics.

The Inter-MAC demonstrator showed, how the Inter-MAC layer enables different use-case scenarios for home networking at gigabit speed. These scenarios included, among others, handover using the best available link, e.g. in case of accidentally broken links, as well as an increase of network capacity and reduced congestion.

Discussion Xavier Mongaboure Spidcom

Xavier Mongaboure from Spidcom (right) explaining to interested participants OMEGA’s results on power-line communications.

Radio handovers were also demonstrated using a laptop implementing the inter-MAC software developed in the project. Furthermore, OMEGA demonstrated a “follow-me” scenario among two TV sets, using the Inter-MAC layer and UPnP-based session mobility.

OMEGA demonstrated two wireless optics solutions – one based, on infrared and one based on visible-light communication. The infrared demonstrator enables full-duplex communication at 256 Mbit/s in the entire living room, while the visible-light demonstrator enables a 100 Mbit/s broadcast via the ceiling lights – but also through appropriately equipped reading lights – in part of the living room. These demonstrators implemented the full OSI protocol stack, enabling the transmission of live video over wireless optics links.

Martial Bellec Ruediger Kays

Professor Rüdiger Kays (left) from the University of Dortmund and Martial Bellec, technical manager of OMEGA from Orange Labs.

The audience was able to experience important aspects, such as non-interference between the infrared, the visible-light, as well as radio-based demonstrators and seamless handover when moving a terminal from the area lit by the ceiling light to the proximity of the reading light. The fidelity of both technologies was demonstrated for home-centred use cases, broadcasting high-definition videos in parallel via the ceiling lighting and the infrared demonstrator.

The power-line communication (PLC) demonstrator aimed to show high-bitrate communication up to one Gbps in a PLC environment. The demonstrator emulated the PLC channel model as it was defined in OMEGA, including a PLC channel transfer function and several additive noises in the 0-100 MHz band.

Cyril Bezard-Demo

Cyril Bezard from Technicolor explaining and demonstrating the operation of the Inter-MAC.

Plenary sessions

The demonstrations were complemented with interactive plenary sessions. On the first day, OMEGA coordinator Jean-Philippe Javaudin from Orange Labs started with an overview of the project, before OMEGA’s technical manager, Martial Bellec, also from Orange Labs, moderated a panel session on OMEGA’s challenges and achievements. Topics discussed in the panel session included business aspects of home networking, radio technologies, power-line communication, wireless optics, and Inter-MAC. The panel participants were representatives of major industry players and research organisations from the OMEGA consortium.

On the second day, Rolf Krämer from IHP moderated a panel session on next steps for Inter-MAC, in which the status and perspectives of Inter-MAC were discussed. Prof. Krämer first presented the inter-MAC implementation as shown in the demonstrations. This was followed by a presentation by Paul Houze, chairman of IEEE P1905.1 from Orange Labs, on the Inter-MAC standardisation in IEEE P1905.1. In the ensuing panel session the participants, again representatives of major industry players and research organisations from the OMEGA consortium, discussed how the inter-MAC could be exploited by industry in the home networking eco-system.

Joachim Walewski

Joachim Walewski from Siemens (right) explaining visible-light communication using high-power LED lamps installed in the ceiling.

Tutorials

The programme was rounded off by two tutorials. In the first tutorial, Isabelle Siaud from Orange Labs talked about how to manage multiple radio interfaces in a point-to-point transmission. In the second tutorial, Stefan Nowak from the University of Dortmund explained the Inter-MAC layer and protocols in detail.

Infrared Demo

A terminal unit of the high-speed infrared communication system with transmit and receive sensors and emitters.

About OMEGA

OMEGA is an Integrating Project in the ICT area which receives funding from the European Commission under the Seventh Research Framework Programme (FP7). The project is running for 39 months from January 2008 to March 2011.

Further information about the Open Event 2011, including downloadable presentation slides, is available at www.ict-omega.eu/events/open-event-2011.html.

Panel discussion on the challenges and achievements of OMEGA (from left): Pierre Jaffré (Orange Labs), Vincenzo Suraci (University of Rome), Joachim Walewski (Siemens), Oliver Hoffmann (University of Dortmund), Dimitris Katsianis (University of Athens), Andrea Tonello (University of Udine)

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