Universal Powerline Association (UPA) and OPERA Announce Joint Agreement on Powerline Access Specification

  • Global Access Specification submitted to IEEE P1901
June 20, 2007 - London, - Two leading organizations in Powerline communications, the Universal Powerline Association (UPA) and the Open European Research Alliance (OPERA), today announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding that will ensure global compliance between the specifications developed by each organization for high-speed Powerline networking and Broadband over Powerline (BPL) markets.
Under the MoU, the UPA and OPERA developed an Access specification that was submitted jointly to the IEEE P1901 Powerline standards working group. Until the final standard is set, the parties will also continue to work together and with third parties to evolve the Access specification, with the UPA being the key administrator for all activities related to compatibility and coexistence. Work on developing a single international standard for Powerline technology is advancing in the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and the European Telecommunications Institute (ETSI), the official worldwide standards setting bodies.

Eric Morel, President of UPA, stated that, "The time is now for Powerline organizations worldwide to forget the hype and consider the short and long term needs of customers in all markets. This Memorandum of Understanding and Access proposal is a stepping stone to harmonizing the market for Powerline technologies, products and applications and will further the development of a single standard for high-speed Powerline Communication applications."

Javier Arriola, Coordinator of the OPERA II consortium, added, "OPERA includes 26 partners from 11 different countries committed to the latest high-speed Powerline technology. One of our key targets is to catalyze and finalize the standardization process. For this reason we are delighted to be working with the UPA to deliver standardized technology and product to the market."

In 2005, UPA and OPERA signed a similar joint agreement to promote compliance between the specifications then under development by both organizations. OPERA, a market driven organization with the support of all the major players in the access BPL market developed a global specification for access BPL applications. The specification has been publicly available since 2005. OPERA recently received funding of €9.06 million ($12.8M) from the European Commission to support extended field deployments designed to catalyze the deployment of BPL applications including:
  • Broadband Internet Access
  • E-learning
  • VoIP Telephony
  • Smart Home
  • Video over IP
  • Video on demand
  • Security
  • E-Health
This is by far the largest investment to promote standards based Powerline deployments. OPERA is widely supported by the BPL industry.

The UPA worked with OPERA to ensure that the Access BPL specification was global and covered all the different worldwide electric grid topologies and unique characteristics. With a worldwide membership base and uncontested market share dominance in the access BPL space, the UPA and its members have provided invaluable experience and information for developing the Access BPL specification, UPA Coexistence specification, and UPA Digital Home Standard specification. All 3 specifications will be available for download on the UPA website.

About UPA
The Universal Powerline Association (UPA) is an International not-for-profit trade association working to promote global standards and regulations in the fast developing Powerline communications market. The UPA aims to catalyze the growth of Powerline technology by delivering UPA plugtested and certified products that comply with these specified standards and regulations. All products and applications designed around UPA guidelines will communicate, from simple coexistence to full interoperability. The UPA provides all Powerline players the opportunity to respond to key customer expectations with open standards, based on interoperability, security and coexistence and supported by exclusive and independent certifications, the only global guarantee of quality and confidence for high-speed power line technology available today.

Members of the UPA include: AcBel Polytech Inc. Ambient Corporation, Arteche, BPL Global, Buffalo, Comtrend, Corinex Communications Corp., Current Technologies International, Cypress Semiconductor, D-Link, DS2, Duke Energy, Ilevo (Schneider Electric Powerline Communications), Itochu Corporation, Logitec Corporation, Netgear, PCN Technology, Pirelli Broadband, Planex, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH, Touba Telecom, TOYO Network Systems and Watteco.

Additional information about the UPA is available at www.upaplc.org.

OPERA stands for the Open PLC Research Alliance, a consortium developed to catalyze the adoption a new generation of standards-based low cost, high performance broadband access Powerline Communications (PLC) applications. The current OPERA project (2007-2008) co -financed by the European Union includes 26 partners representing electricity utilities, OEM manufacturers, technology providers, universities, engineering and consultancy companies and telecom operators. OPERA receives EU 9.06 million under the European Union´s Sixth R&D Framework Program (FP6), and specifically addresses the theme "Broadband for all" which falls under the responsibility of the Information Society and Technologies Directorate General. www.ist-opera.org.

UPA Media Contacts:
North America
Brian Donnelly
UPA Marketing Working Group Chairman
Phone: +1 604 692-0520

Europe and ROW
Donald Pollock
UPA Permanent Secretary
Phone: + 44 1780 470003

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