In Japan, the High-definition Power Line Communication (HD-PLC) technology has been mostly used in PLC adapters and communication equipment so far. One major reason was the interpretation of the “Ministerial Order to Provide Technical Standards for Electrical Appliances and Materials” which applied to the integration of HD-PLC into home electric appliances and housing equipment. Recently, the efforts of the involved parties have been rewarded by the Notice issued on December 25, 2019 by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) that partially revised the interpretation of the Ministerial Order. HD-PLC can now be integrated in home appliances and housing equipment.
The main advantages of HD-PLC over wireless technologies include an easy setup of communication networks, a high level of security, and low power consumption. Additionally, HD-PLC can be used on power lines, coaxial cables, telephone lines, and other existing lines which not only enables the deployment of networks in in-house environments such as homes, buildings, and factories, but also the deployment of large outdoor networks covering areas of some square kilometers.
Furthermore, HD-PLC is expected to play an important role in underground facilities and radio-shielded spaces in buildings and houses where wireless reception is bad, while users expects high-speed, low-latency applications be provided by next-generation 5G networks. HD-PLC can play a unique role by working in conjunction with 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other wireless technologies to enhance the quality of service of networks. The ministerial order revision has opened the way for consumers to buy stationary home appliances with build-in HD-PLC technology, making easy to build networks by simply connecting the equipment to an electric outlet. This will provide a new solution for interconnecting electric appliances.
Yoshiyuki Miyabe, Senior Managing Executive Officer of Panasonic Corporation, the founding company of the HD-PLC Alliance, sent us a message: “Panasonic’s fourth-generation HD-PLC technology has already been approved as the IEEE 1901a Standard. We are excited by the huge opportunities that the ministerial order revision has opened to make HD-PLC one of the most innovative core technologies in the age of IoT. Panasonic will take advantage of these opportunities to integrate the technology in many of our products and solutions, working toward its further development and expansion and offering new values to our customers.”
HD-PLC Alliance will continue to promote the use of HD-PLC in electric appliances and to provide certification of HD-PLC built-in machinery and equipment ensuring communication compatibility. Simultaneously, we will keep making efforts to improve the certification environment. With the motto “HD-PLC takes up the challenge of becoming the IoT solution that connects people’s living, industry, and the community,” we will keep contributing toward establishing universal standards and promoting wider use of HD-PLC compatible products.