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Gigabit speed in all rooms without cable clutter - Press release, 21 January 2008

OMEGA project develops user-friendly gigabit home network

In January, the European research project OMEGA set out to develop a global standard for ultra broadband home networks. The new standard will enable transmission speeds of one gigabit per second without the need to install any new wires in the home.

The demand for such gigabit home networks is driven by the emerging future Internet services running over new high-speed optical access networks and the rapidly growing number of communicating devices in the home.

Current home networks suffer from the fact that many devices are limited to wireless transmission rates of 54 megabit per second, or require troublesome wiring to achieve higher rates. Thus, current home networks are at risk of becoming a bottleneck, when fed by high-speed optical access networks, which offer 100 megabit per second or more, both down- and upstream.

OMEGA, an EU-funded consortium of 20 European partners from industry and academia, will overcome these limitations by increasing the speed to one gigabit per second and by connecting home devices to the Internet and to each other through power line communications and wireless connections. This will put an end to the coverage limitations as well as the wiring clutter, giving users access to advanced information and communication services anywhere in their home.

Emerging Internet services that require high bandwidth and high transmission speeds include novel entertainment services like telepresence, 3D gaming, enhanced interactivity, virtual reality, high-definition video as well as e-health applications and services for the exchange of user-generated business or multimedia content.

OMEGA’s vision is to make access to such bandwidth-hungry services as normal and convenient as getting water from the tap. "Getting information, business, and entertainment services through the home network will become a self-evident utility, like, for instance, electricity, water, or gas," says Jean-Philippe Javaudin, the OMEGA project coordinator from Orange Labs, France Telecom. In order to get there, OMEGA will not only increase transmission speeds, but also make the new generation of home networks easy to install and operate for ordinary users. For wireless connectivity within the house and even in the garden, OMEGA’s home network solution will combine gigabit radio frequency and free-space optical links with power line communications, thus creating a communication backbone without new wires. This approach will also be applicable to flats and small offices. "Users will not need any new wires in their facilities to update towards the gigabit home network," explains Martial Bellec, OMEGA’s technical manager from Orange Labs, France Telecom.

At the heart of the new system is a technology-independent media access control (MAC) layer. This layer controls the multiple technology gigabit network and provides services as well as connectivity to any number of devices in any room of the house or flat. Furthermore, this MAC layer will allow the service to follow the user from device to device. In order to make this vision come true, OMEGA will work on substantial technological challenges in the fields of optical wireless and wireless radio technologies, in protocol design, and in system architectures.

As a complement to the next generation of broadband access networks, OMEGA’s gigabit home network will empower citizens to use novel services in areas such as healthcare, communication, and entertainment, and offer significant economic opportunities to the European information and communications industry.

 

About OMEGA


OMEGA is an Integrated Project co-funded by the European Commission under EU Framework Programme 7. It is running for three years from January 2008 to December 2010. OMEGA will develop a user-friendly home access network capable of delivering high-bandwidth services and content at a transmission speed of one Gigabit per second. The interdisciplinary project consortium consists of 20 European partners from industry and academia.

Project coordinator: Jean-Philippe Javaudin, Orange Labs, France Telecom
OMEGA website including list of partners: www.ict-omega.eu


Press contact

Milon Gupta, Marketing and PR Manager, Eurescom;
phone: +49 6221 989-121; e-mail: info@ict-omega.eu

Disclaimer

The content of this press release is owned by the OMEGA project consortium. This press release may contain forward-looking statements relating to advanced information and communication technologies. The OMEGA project consortium does not accept any responsibility or liability for any use made of the information provided in this press release. The FP7 logo in this press release is owned by the European Commission. The use of the logo reflects that OMEGA receives funding from the European Commission. Apart from this, the European Commission has no responsibility for the content.