The Broadcom acquisition of Gigle Networks shows forward thinking on the part of Broadcom, as the company further strengthens its home networking portfolio. Broadcom is already a strong player in the Wi-Fi market, and has also integrated MoCA coax networking technology in SoCs. Entropic continues to be the market leader in MoCA, as well as holding a significant portion of the MoCA patents. The addition of Powerline networking means Broadcom can develop silicon to support connectivity in a broad range of devices as well as for worldwide markets. While MoCA is a strong networking technology in the United States, the availability of coax in other regions is not so widespread. Many operators in Europe and Asia have turned to Powerline networking to distribute video content throughout homes in these regions.
There have been several other announcements which illustrate the growing importance of connectivity options. In January 2010, MoCA and HomePlug Powerline Alliance entered into a formal agreement to coordinate efforts and share information between the groups. Atheros is supporting Wi-Fi and Powerline (along with Ethernet) in the company’s latest hybrid networking solution. The HomePlug Powerline Alliance and the Wi-Fi Alliance also recently announced cooperation to facilitate interoperability of smart grid applications. Through interoperability and cooperation, these types of cross-technology solutions offer a strong alternative to emerging technologies including G.hn and are based on proven technologies with years of trials and deployments under their belts. ABI Research expects to see continued cooperation and announcements between technologies, including HomePNA, MoCA, Powerline and Wi-Fi as operators and device manufacturers cover their bases and enable their services and devices to operate in the widest range of homes. The beneficiaries of these advancements will be consumers with additional self-install options and potentially lower cost of installation.