MoCA Feels the Need for Speed

Feeling the need for speed, the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) has officially unleashed a new spec that will enable speeds of 2.5 Gbps over in-home coaxial networks.

Multichannel News reported in January that the group was developing the next-gen platform, while also pursuing an even faster spec, to be called MoCA 3.0, that would eye capacities of up to 10 Gbps within the next three to five years.

MoCA said the new 2.5 spec, now available to members, is designed to be interoperable with MoCA 1.1 and 2.0, which supports data rates of up to 1 Gbps.

Update: MoCA said a certification test plan for version 2.5 should be available in a year or less, with silicon emerging by then, or perhaps sooner. 

MoCA 2.5, the organization said, will support multiple performance profiles that enable MoCA 2.0 devices to be upgraded and take advantage of the new spec’s features:

-Profile B: 400 Mbps net data rate up to 16 nodes, and 500 Mbps in turbo mode (two nodes only).

-Profile C: 800 Mbps net data rate with channel bonding up to 16 nodes, and 1 Gbps in turbo mode (two nodes only).

-Profile D: 1.5 Gbps, 2 Gbps and 2.5 Gbps net data rates up to 16 nodes.

The latest version also adds features and enhancements such as MoCA protected setup (eases the addition of new nodes with password sharing via push-button, similar to WiFi WPS); a management proxy (node management without upper-layer management support); enhanced privacy capabilities; network-wide Beacon Power (provides better control of peak signal power on the coax), and bridge detection (ability to distinguish between nodes belonging to different networks).

MoCA is ramping up new performance capabilities as cable operators and other ISPs continue to ratchet up broadband speeds that are entering the home. Initial DOCSIS 3.1-fueled services will target gigabit speeds, but the specs themselves will be capable of supporting 10 Gbps down and at least 1 Gbps upstream.

MoCA is used primarily by MVPDs for multi-room DVR set-ups, but is also being positioned as a high-capacity, in-home IP backbone for the distribution of a wide range of bandwidth-intensive apps and services. The new capabilities will also put MoCA on solid footing as it faces off with rival technologies and specs such as

“MoCA has once again raised the performance bar for home networking with an increase in throughput that is more than two and half times MoCA 2.0 with additional capabilities operators need and end users want,” Charles Cerino, president of MoCA, said in a statement. “In addition, the technology was delivered in one year, from start to finish, further indicating that the Alliance can quickly respond to the market demands of operators. In MoCA 2.5, service providers have another comprehensive standard from MoCA for building their networks.”