PowerWAN, Inc., the Palo Alto- based Broadband-over-Power-Line (BPL) company, announced today that it would make the first large scale commercial deployment of a power line carrier (PLC) system.
Its proprietary technology will be used to provide broadband voice and data services in two provinces in China. International Technical Trade Co. Ltd. of Hong Kong will serve as the distributor of the PowerWAN system in China. The initial rollout will be to approximately 400,000 residences and businesses in Sichuan and Jiangsu provinces. This initial installation will be done at a contract value of approximately $35 million, and the first components of the system are expected to be shipped in May.
PowerWAN's proprietary PLC technology is unique for its speed, capacity, safety and low cost. For the past several decades a number of attempts to develop viable PLC technology have been made with only limited success. The electricity power grid is a hostile environment in which to attempt high-speed transmission of digital voice and data. Noise, signal loss over distances, electromagnetic interference and other technical issues have impeded the development of reliable PLC technology on a commercial scale.
To address these and other issues, PowerWAN has developed a proprietary application of a modulation scheme known as Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM). The PowerWAN Hybrid Fiber Power Line Carrier architecture (HFPLC) operates through a PLC node installed at the medium voltage substation (or out on a line) and other equipment installed downstream. Ultimately the consumer premise (CPE) device inserts in any power outlet as a "plug-and-play" device in the residential or business premise. More sophisticated gateways are available for customers with networks within their premises. This solution delivers robust broadband connectivity through the low voltage transformer into homes and businesses with data rates of up to 14 MBS at the physical layer and 6 – 8 MBS at the application layer, the true throughput experienced by the user.