Home Networking is the collection of elements that process, manage, transport, and store information, enabling the connection and integration of multiple computing, control, monitoring, and communication devices in the home. The price of home computers keep falling, while the advantages for consumers from being connected online investing and shopping, keeping in touch with long distance friends and tapping the vast resource of the Internet CE keep multiplying. No wonder an increasing number of households own two or more PCs. Until recently, the home network has been largely ignored. However, the rapid proliferation of personal computers (PCs) and the Internet in homes, advancements in telecommunications technology, and progress in the development of smart devices have increasingly emphasized the need for an in home networking. Furthermore, as these growth and advancement trends continue, the need for simple, flexible, and reliable home networks will greatly increase.
Overview The latest advances in the Internet access technologies, the dropping of PC rates, and the proliferation of smart devices in the house, have dramatically increased the number of intelligent devices in the consumer’s premises. The consumer electronics equipment manufacturers are building more and more intelligence into their products enabling those devices to be networked into clusters that can be controlled remotely. Advances in the Wireless communication technologies have introduced a variety of wireless devices, like PDAs, Web Pads, into the house. Advent of multiple PCs and smart devices into the house, and the availability of high-speed broadband Internet access, have resulted in in-house networking needs to meet the following,
Requirements of the consumers:
Simultaneous internet access to multiple home users
Sharing of peripherals and files
Connect to/from the workplace
The home networking requirement introduces into the market a new breed of products called Residential Gateways. A Residential Gateway (RG) will provide the t he necessary connectivity features to enable the consumer tto o exploit the advantages of a networked home. The RG will also provide the framework for Residential Connectivity Based Services to reach the home. Examples of such Residential Connectivity Based Services include: Video on Demand, IP Telephony, Home Security & Surveillance, Remote Home Appliance Repair & Trouble shooting, Utility/Meter Reading, Virtual Private Network Connectivity and Innovative E-commerce solutions.
Using a reusable framework for home service gateway architecture, offers end-to-end product design and realization services for the residential gateways. Coupled with our standards based and ready-to-deploy home networking components & solutions (like the Wipro BlueTooth Stack, IEEE 1394 core, Voice Over Broadband Infrastructure, Embedded TCP/IP Stack etc.), our customers can enjoy the much need time to market advantage and competitive edge.
What is Home Networking? We have all become very comfortable with networks. Local area networks (LANs) and Wide Area Networks (WANs) have become ubiquitous. The
network hierarchy has been rapidly moving lower in the chain towards smaller and more personal devices. These days, Home Area Networks (HANs) and Personal Area Networks (PANs) are joining their larger brother as ever present communications channels. Home Networking is the collection of elements that process, manage, transport, and store information, enabling the connection and integration of multiple computing, control, monitoring, and communication devices in the home. The price of home computers keep falling, while the advantages for consumers from being connected CE online investing and shopping, keeping in touch with long distance friends and tapping the vast resource of the Internet CE keep multiplying. No wonder an increasing number of households own two or more PCs. Until recently, the home network has been largely ignored. However, the rapid proliferation of personal computers (PCs) and the Internet in homes, advancements in telecommunications technology, and progress in the development of smart devices have increasingly emphasized the need for an in home networking. Furthermore, as these growth and advancement trends continue, the need for simple, flexible, and reliable home networks will greatly increase.
Home Networking Technologies Various Technology components are involved in making Home Networking a reality. These are aptly summarized in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Home Home Networking Technologies
The Technology Components in the Domain of Home Networking are: Broadband Access Networks (DSL, Cable, Broadband Wireless) that
provides the ubiquity of always ON high-speed high-speed digital pipe to the Home. In-Home Networking Topologies (both wired and wireless), that interconnect the various devices of the home. Residential Gateway Device, capable of interconnecting the Broadband Access Network and the Home Area Network. This device should be capable of delivering valued services to Home. Device Access Technologies that facilitate the discovery and interplay of the home devices and services.
Broadband Access Networks The function of broadband Access Networks is to transfer digital traffic to and from the home. The broadband access is much faster and reliable than the present day dialup modem or ISDN modem. Broadband access is an always-ON connection meaning that the user does not have to dialup for establishing the connection. The prominent broadband access technologies are the Digital Subscriber Line (xDSL), Hybrid Fiber Coaxial (HFC) network and Broadband Wireless (also called as Wireless Local Loop). The Broadband Access Provider (e.g. Cable Operator or DSL Operator) will provide Customer Premises Equipment (CPE), which will be located in the user premises. The connection to the outside world fr from om the Home is through this equipment. The management of the CPE will be taken care of remotely by the Broadband Access Provider.
Digital Satellite VDSL Digital Telephony Digital Cable Digital Wireless Cable Digital Terrestrial – US Digital Terrestrial – DVD ADSL Digital Telephony SDSL Digital Telephony Cable Modem 3G Wireless
Figure4: Summarizes Various Broadband Technologies
In-Home Network topologies Home network is a collection of elements that process, manage, transport, and store information, enabling the connection and integration of multiple computing, control monitoring, and communication devices with in the home. Moving the bits around the home is the function of Network infrastructure and equipment that comprise the Home Network. Home Network must support multiple data types with high security, easy configuration, low cost, and negligible maintenance.
Based on the topology alternative available, the in-home networks can be classified as shown in the Figure 5: Wired home networks -Use of existing home wiring & New wiring
alternatives. Wireless home networks CE No need of any wires wir es new or old.
Figure 5: Home Network Topologies
Residential Gateway Device When different networks are joined (in this case the Home Network and the Broadband Access Network), a gateway must perform the functions of
media translation, address translation, authentication/filtering and system management. One of the architectural options under consideration to perform these functions in the home is called the Residential Gateway (RG).Over a period of time, however many other intelligent Consumer Premises Equipment like the Advanced Digital Set-top Box, the Home PC, Cable/DSL Modem, Proprietary Home Automation and Control Equipment etc. could evolve to perform the role of a Residential Gateway (Figure-6).
Figure 6: Forms of Residential Gateway
It is clear that making the broadband available does not achieve much unless the bandwidth available is tapped to provide services to the customer. A Services Gateway (SG) is a device through which multiple services can be delivered over Wide Area Networks to the Local Area Networks and devices situated in the home. The Services Gateway provides a focal point for service providers to deliver services to devices on the home network client.
Figure 7: Residential Service Delivery
A Home residential gateway, which provides the basic functionality of media matching between the broadband access network and the in-home network can
function as a service gateway, by conforming to the OSGi framework.
Figure 8: OSGi Framework
OSGi (Open Services Gateway Initiative) is a consortium of over 30 companies working on the development of open standards and specifications for the services gateway. The services gateway can enable, consolidate, and manage voice, data, Internet, and multimedia communications to and from the
home, office and other locations. The services gateway can also function as an application server for a range of high value services such as energy management and control, safety and security services, health care monitoring services, device control and maintenance, electronic commerce services and more.
Device Access Technologies As the number of smart devices increased they starting using the network to share each other services. This was enabled by the Coordination protocol that they followed. Various industry leaders evolved different Coordination protocols, which enabled the devices to discover and use each other’s capabilities. JINI (Java based device discovery and device coordination protocol pioneered by Sun Microsystems), UPnP (Universal Plug and Play pioneered by Microsoft) and HAVi (Home Audio Video Interoperability pioneered by the consumer electronic industry leaders) are some of the popular protocol available now.
Device co-ordination essentially means providing a subset of the following capabilities to a device: Ability to announce its presence to the network. Automatic discovery of devices in the neighborhood and even those
located remotely. Ability to describe its capabilities as well as query/understand the capabilities of other devices. Self-configuration without administrative intervention. Seamless inter-operability with other devices wherever meaningful.
Challenges for Home Networking
Infrastructure reuse Technological Options for Home networking should re-use the existing wiring infrastructure of the home (i.e. electric lines, phone extension sockets etc.) or use wireless mode of communication. People may not like to dig their walls for the sake of rewiring the home or people may not like dangling wires everywhere in the home. Low Cost Home networking solutions should be of less cost. When the cost of the domestic appliances like TV; Fridge etc. are not more a few hundred dollars,
the residentialand users may not be willing to pay more for the networking infrastructure solutions. Simplicity Home networking, products, solutions should be very easy to use. Since the residential user may not be computer/IT literate, the technologies should be as consumer friendly as possible. This challenge is a positive point for the consumer electronics companies (unlike the traditional Computer and Networking majors) who know the real pulse of the residential consumer. consumer. Reliability Home networking products should be very reliable, since they need to operate round the clock. In the view of the consumer, the home networking products are just like a protocol should also be highly secure and tamper proof.
Ease of installation & Maintenance The home networking solutions should be easy to install (just a plug and play) and should facilitate the remote maintenance of the equipment from
the vendor site. Currently, an average of two and a half telephone service calls are required to answer customer installation questions for new consumers of Internet services. If a service call takes 10 minutes and the telephone support labor costs the service provider $1.50 per minute, then the customer support calls cost about $37.50. This is roughly the cost of a two-month subscription for Internet service. Technical support of customers is a large factor in why residential-based Internet service has not been a profitable business to date. Auto configuration will be key in making RBB (Residential Broad Band) services profitable enough to be an attractive business proposition. Distance Requirement The Home Network should cover all parts of the home and premises. Of course, some homes are bigger than others, and greater distances pose problems of power, attenuation, and installation cost. Isochronous Traffic The Home networking products, solutions & technologies should be capable of carrying isochronous traffic, and should provide the required Quality of Service Guarantees. This is primarily because the residential users would like to use the multimedia equipment like, HDTV (High Definition
Television), DVDs (Digital Versatile Disks), Digital video, HiFi Virtual Reality Games, etc. in tandem with traditional voice (telephone) & data (PC) services. Interoperability Since there are multitude of home networking products, technologies, and solutions from different vendors the issue of interoperability is a big challenge. This should be effectively dealt by forming industry associations, consortiums and working groups that come together and make this a reality.
Conclusion The latest advances in the Internet access technologies, the dropping of
PC rates, and the proliferation of smart devices in the house, have dramatically increased the number of intelligent devices in the consumer premises. The home networking requirement introduces into the market a new breed of products called Residential Gateways. A Residential Gateway (RG) will provide the necessary connectivity features to enable the consumer to exploit the advantages of a networked Home. The RG will also provide the framework for Residential Connectivity Based Services to reach the home. The paper further discusses Challenges for Home Networking and Home Networking Technologies.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_network http://www.exforsys.com/tutorials/networking/home-networking.html Residential Broadband CE George Abe CE Cisco Press Network Network Protocols for the Home CE John Canosa CE Published in Em Embedded.com bedded.com Magazine.
The emerging market for Home Networking Technology and Services, Cahners Instat Group, Feb 2000