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CABLE SHAPES UP! Members of CableFit #teamplatform at NCTA get ready to run a St. Patrick’s Day 8K road race, spanning the U.S. Capitol grounds and National Mall on March 9, (back row, l. to r.): Julie Hance, Ethan Buch, Frank Gallagher, Kristin Buch, Steven Morris, Lisa Hamilton, Scot Donaldson, Rob Stoddard, Rick Stoddard; (front row, l. to r.): Kelly Allers, Kat Stewart, Esther Song, Carleigh Blewett, Lisa Otto.  NCTA’s team finished 11th in a field of 54.




July 12, 2011

DECT Reinvents Itself for Home Automation

Traditionally, digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT)-based products have been associated with cordless phones and public switched telephone network (PSTN)-connected base units for providing voice services. However, the DSP Group, a provider of wireless DECT chipset solutions for converged communications, just released a white paper touting the benefits of DECT technology for home automation.

DECT is evolving as a residential networking technology, according to DSP Group's white paper DECT Home Networking - The Next Step in Home Automation.

Home-automation systems include such applications as lighting control; heating, ventilation and air conditioning control; security systems; medical-alert services; camera monitors; and appliance-management solutions. Cable providers have been looking at home-monitoring opportunities for years, and some recently have begun offering more services over their broadband networks. (For more see Home Monitoring: Control and Security Come Of Age). For telecom providers, DECT technology may make sense for home automation.

The white paper explains that home automation typically includes the following architectural elements:

  • A home gateway to connect with an outside network;
  • A home-area network;
  • Monitoring devices, whether in-home devices monitored by residents or remote devices monitored by service providers; and
  • Home equipment being monitored and controlled.
For telcos, there already is a vast installation of DECT base stations. "Although a growing number of DECT base stations are now connected to a home gateway and, therefore, to the IP network, the majority of DECT stations are connected to the PSTN network," the white paper notes, going on to describe ways the DECT installed base can be used with or without modification to communicate home-automation functions.

Within the home, the paper continues, "Multiple technologies target the transport layer of the home-area network in order to carry out home automation. These include wireless technologies such as Zigbee, Z-wave, Wi-Fi and Wavenis as well as non-wireless technologies such as power-line transport (e.g.. HomePlug, UPA, HD-PLC) and coax-based (e.g., MoCA, HPNA) technologies…The fact that so many wired and wireless technologies are targeting home automation indicates that this market is just scratching the surface in terms of potential, and there are no clear 'winners' as of yet. As such, DECT is well-positioned to serve this market."
 
Finally, the DSP Group’s paper lists the following benefits of DECT:
  • Provision of data rates and ranges on a dedicated spectrum,
  • Secure communications,
  • Local mobility,
  • Voice and low-resolution video capabilities, and
  • Support of remote software updates over the air.
DECT leaders are pursuing technical, marketing and commercial avenues to promote the technology for home automation via the DECT Forum, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, the International Telecommunication Union and the Home Gateway Initiative.

To read the entire white paper, click here.

-Linda Hardesty







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