Andre Kesteloot andre.kesteloot at
Sat May 5 09:07:23 CDT 2007


Less than two years after announcing its Powerline LV Access BPL product,
Motorola has decided to suspend product development and to devote its
resources to more promising markets, industry sources say. Motorola
reportedly has decided to focus on a product called Powerline MU, which is
for use within multiple-unit dwellings. The decision to stop work on its
Access BPL product reflects declining interest in residential broadband
service delivery among utilities coupled with more immediate demand for
in-building BPL systems. Motorola has indicated that it's not scrapping
Powerline LV altogether, however.

Powerline LV united Motorola's Canopy wireless broadband Internet platform
with enhanced ham band-notching HomePlug technology, drastically reducing
BPL interference potential by restricting the application of high-frequency
RF to the low-voltage side of the power transformers serving customers'
homes, not the medium-voltage wires that line many residential streets. As a
result, Powerline LV avoided the system architecture that poses the greatest
risk of BPL interference to radio communication -- radiation from the
medium-voltage power lines.

ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, expressed appreciation for
Motorola's approach to the thorny issue of radio interference from BPL
systems. In an effort to minimize interference, particularly to the Amateur
Radio bands, Motorola designed its Powerline LV system in close cooperation
with the League's technical staff, Sumner noted. A test stand Access BPL
system was in operation briefly at ARRL Headquarters. Measurements and
subjective listening tests on the ham bands showed that Powerline LV was
Amateur Radio-friendly.

"As one would expect from a company with such a distinguished record in the
field of radio communication, Motorola acknowledged at the outset the
seriousness of the interference problem," he said. "Motorola's system
architecture influenced other vendors, raised industry awareness of the
interference issue, and demonstrated the value of working with the ARRL to
find positive solutions."

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