January 11, 2006 09:59 ET

UPA Welcomes New Members and Declares 2006 Plan for Powerline Standards

LAS VEGAS--(CCNMatthews - Jan 11, 2006) -

Universal Powerline Association to Provide Basis for International Standardization for Broadband Access and AV Home Networking

The Universal Powerline Association (UPA) today unveiled its work program for 2006 at its annual general meeting. The group intends to build on the coexistence specification published in 2005 and to further promote the capabilities of powerline communications (PLC) to deliver global solutions for broadband access and home networking.

"The UPA is now firmly established as the only independent industry body bringing together the global PLC community and speaking of the need for sound, solid standards based on coexistence and interoperability," said Eric Morel, president of the UPA. "In just one year, since its launch at CES in 2005, membership in the UPA has doubled, and even greater increases are expected in 2006 based on the significant interest shown by players in the PLC field."

The most recent recruits to be welcomed to the UPA are Toshiba Electronics, PCN Technology, AcBel Polytech Inc, Tecnocom and Telekom research and Development SDN BHD (Malaysia).

In 2006, the UPA will continue to work with global standards bodies; the IEEE, ETSI and other pertinent industry organizations - to establish worldwide standards that enable technological coexistence and interoperability between broadband access and home networking PLC applications.

For broadband access, the UPA will focus its 2006 activities on progressing and supporting global standardization efforts based around the Open PLC European Research Alliance (OPERA) specification, which was demonstrated across American, Asian and European markets in 2005. During the last year, key players in the PLC sector signed a cooperation agreement to support the OPERA broadband powerline organization. OPERA has and continues to perform the necessary research, demonstration and dissemination at a European scale to allow consumers to enjoy the advantages of PLC technology.

The UPA will also continue its work on the Digital Home Specification (DHS), for AV home networking over powerlines. The DHS initiative is designed to provide seamless interfaces between cable, DSL and PLC broadband access to in-home PLC networking for high-speed, high quality of service applications, such as data, audio and high definition video. The UPA will publish the complete, detailed specification in the first half of 2006.

"In order for the promise of PLC broadband and home networking applications to become reality, vendors, service providers and customers must be convinced that all PLC technology will be compatible and interoperate with other access technologies," said John Joyce, vice president of the UPA. "The UPA coexistence specification is the only openly available global specification to promote connectivity between PLC markets and applications, and we are working closely with global standards bodies to ensure that global standards become a reality."

About the UPA

The Universal Powerline Association (UPA) is an International not-for-profit trade association working to harmonize global standards and regulations in the fast developing powerline communications market. The UPA aims to catalyze the growth of PLC/BPL technology by delivering UPA 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 PLC/BPL 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, Ascom, Corinex Communications, DS2, EDF, Duke Energy, Itochu Corporation, Ilevo (Schneider Electric Powerline Communications), PCN Technology, ST&T, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Tecnocom, Telekom research and Development SDN BHD, Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH and TOYO Network Systems.

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

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