The Great MoCA and WiFi Partnership

The future of in-home video networking in North America for all service providers - not just cable operators - will be dominated by a combination of coax cable and WiFi, with other approaches, such as home networking over electrical networks, playing secondary roles. The situation in other regions worldwide, however, appears likely to be more varied.

The North American WiFi/coax combination will be dynamic. The coaxial element of the duo is called MoCA, which takes it name from The Multimedia over Coax Alliance that advocates on its behalf. Its family of specifications is on the verge of providing speeds of up to 800 Megabits per second (Mbps). The current version, MOCA 1.1, is widely deployed. It offers net throughputs of 175 Mbps. MoCA 2.0, which is on the point of service provider deployment. MoCA 2.0 has two modes. One has net throughput of 400 Mbps and the other 800 Mbps. Deployment to consumer electronic devices is a ways off.

Wireless is speeding up as well. The next iteration of the 802.11x family will be 802.11ac. The emerging standard – which could be finalized next year – uses beam forming, MIMO (multiple in multiple out) antennas and channel bonding to radically increase throughput.

In general, MoCA will be the preferred conduit for stationary TV sets and desktops, while mobile gadgets will best be served by WiFi extensions. The wired element of that dynamic duo is on the verge of significant growth, according to Infonetics Research. A report released earlier this month by the firm projected that sales of MoCA-equipped set-top boxes rose 33% in the first half this year compared to the second half of 2011.

Infonetics Senior Analyst Jeff Heynen, the report's author, said in an email response to questions that MoCA is particularly well-positioned in the United States and Canada. "I believe it will be dominant in North America, because of the fact that coaxial cable drops in homes are so much more abundant than anywhere else in the world," he wrote. "The average home has an average of one coaxial drop per bedroom and living room, with newer homes often having more. That certainly makes it an easy decision for all pay TV providers to use MoCA to deliver video between multiple devices in the home."

While cable and other telecommunications services are becoming more international, it is interesting that MoCA may not be as dominant elsewhere. "It certainly is [predominant] in North America," said Heynan. "But in Europe, HomePlug is currently the technology of choice. These home networking technologies are very region-specific, owing largely to how homes have been built."

Rob Gelphman, MoCA's marketing workgroup chairman, said the technology - and the coaxial cable that it rides upon - are in the predominant position. One reason is that they are used by all three classes of providers. Though coax is most closely associated with cable operators, it is available in the home for all providers to use. "It is good for cable MSOs, of course," he wrote, also in response to emailed questions. But, he added, "MoCA is the only wired technology in use by all three pay TV segments - cable, satellite and telco/IPTV - worldwide."

Gelphman wrote that MoCA's speed puts it in the driver's seat. "MoCA is winning because when it comes to video, reliability is king. And MoCA is the king of reliability," he wrote. "MoCA is the Elvis of performance in the connected home."

Operators can expect products that support this wired/wireless combination to proliferate. For instance, at Cable-Tec Expo 2012 last month in Orlando, D-Link introduced the WECB and ECB MoCA Bridges. The two devices, the company said, are designed to manage both wired and wireless support of streaming to wireless devices. At the highest level, the products suggest that the holistic management of these two platforms is a far more efficient approach than handling them discretely.

Carl Weinschenk is the Senior Editor of Broadband Technology Report . Reach him at

Get the Broadband Technology Report Newsletters Delivered to Your Inbox

Subscribe to email newsletters today at no cost and receive the latest information on:

  • Video Technology
  • Network Technology
  • Technology Alerts
  • BTR LATAM (Latin America)

SCTE-Cable Tec Expo 2016 Video Show Dailies

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 3

In our Video Show Daily for Day 3 of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy covers trends in distrib...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 2

In our Video Show Daily for the second day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Philadelphia, BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy highlights furt...

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR's SCTE-Cable Tec Expo Video Show Daily, Day 1

BTR Editorial Director Stephen Hardy reviews the hot technologies and announcements from the first day of exhibits at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2016 in P...

Diamond Technology Reviews - 2016 High Scores

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

2016 Diamond Technology Reviews Slideshow

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

Diamond Technology Reviews 2016

BTR's Diamond Technology Reviews, now in its twelfth year, is a technology recognition program wherein vendors serving the broadband cable ...

Related Articles

Charter Communications

Charter Taps ARRIS for WorldBox 2.0

October 12, 2016

<!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:&...


Cisco Powers OTT Sports Apps

October 12, 2016

FloSports, a subscription-based OTT sports media company, has tapped Cis...


ANSI OKs SCTE Coax, Ad Insertion Standards

October 12, 2016

The American National Standards Institute has approved two SCTE sta...


2016 SCTE Cable-Tec Expo Wrap Up

Whether you couldn't make it to Cable-Tec this year or want to see if you missed anything while you were there, you'll want to join BTR editors Stephen Hardy and Ron Hendrickson as they reveal their picks for the...

October 12, 2016
Sponsored by

Counting the cost: Efficiently transitioning from HFC to FTTH

HFC networks are uniquely positioned to provide compelling and competitive services, and are also uniquely positioned to transition to symmetrical FTTH as commercial requirements demand.  This webinar will d...

Date:September 22, 2016
Sponsored by

Maintaining High Quality of Experience in an Adaptive Bitrate System

This webinar will look at the many points in an ABR system where the video is touched.  From ingest (satellite, file, and IP), to egress, each point should be qualified for compliance to help maintain a high...

Date:August 25, 2016
Sponsored by

White Papers & Special Reports

Cable VoIP 2.0: Voice Moves to the Cloud

October 2016

Cable providers led the charge on the VoIP evolution and won customers and market share. Now voice networks are evolving again. The cloud voice platform has ...

Understanding Ultra High Definition Television

October 2016

Over the last 10 years, high definition television (HDTV) has been replacing standard definition television as the expected viewing format for television pro...

Are You Ready for DOCSIS 3.1? The Future of Cable Technology and How to Prepare Your Network

October 2016

DOCSIS 3.1 promises 10x capacity throughput and a range of technical benefits for cable providers and users alike. Are you ready? Discover the technical adva...

BTR Blogs

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

FCC Rethinks Set-Top Plan

September 10, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - The FCC has reworked the "unlock the set-top b...


In Memoriam: Richard Covell

August 18, 2016

By Rob Stuehrk, Publisher - We at Broadband Technology Report were sadde...

BTR Managing Editor Ron Hendrickson

Court Overturns FCC Municipal Broadband Order

August 11, 2016

By Ron Hendrickson - You win some, and you lose some, and the FCC just l...

Featured Hangouts

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this inf...

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

DOCSIS 3.1: A Look Ahead

Watch a 30-minute video chat of experts from a variety of related disciplines discuss how close deployments really ar...

Featured Hangout

4K 4 U: How to Prepare for UltraHD Video

4K/UltraHD video is coming - consumers are buying the TV sets, and more content is becoming available. Watch this informative Hangout on demand by clicking the link above.

Sponsored by Verimatrix.