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Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

ITU-T FORUM ON IMPLEMENTATION OF WTSA 08 DECISSIONS ACCRA, GHANA POWERLINE COMMUNICATION (PLC) Daniel K. Waturu Communications Commission of Kenya Manager/Telecoms Compliance Chairman/RG-AFR. Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009. Outline. Introduction

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Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

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  1. ITU-T FORUM ON IMPLEMENTATION OF WTSA 08 DECISSIONS ACCRA, GHANAPOWERLINE COMMUNICATION (PLC) Daniel K. WaturuCommunications Commission of KenyaManager/Telecoms ComplianceChairman/RG-AFR Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  2. Outline • Introduction • PLC Technology overview • PLC Implementation • PLC Applications • Kenyan Experience • Advantages of PLC • PLC Challenges • Regulatory Questions • Task for Regulators • Conclusion Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  3. Introduction • Challenges for ICT access (in Africa) due to limited Infrastructure • PLC designed to address this challenge • Reduce need for long process of costly licensing of new telecommunication infrastructure providers • Existing power companies can deliver the needed infrastructure Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  4. Introduction Contd. • Power lines are more widely spread than telecommunication infrastructure • Rural Electrification Programs ( e.g. Kenya) makes it reach rural areas easily • Reduces the cost of laying new internal and external cables • High speed internet possible at homes and offices using common electrical outlet Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  5. PLC Technology overview • Power line grids need slight modification suited for broadband communication • PLC signal is injected at the low voltage (secondary) side of the transformer, or at a pole near customer’s premises. • Forward connection to the in-house power sockets • Connection back to the wider telecommunications network achieved through cable, optic fibre, satellite, wireless systems • Where necessary repeaters are used to regenerate weaker signals towards the building Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  6. PLC Technology Overview Contd. • RF energy and electric current are bundled on the same transmission line • Due to difference in frequency, the two do not interfere • Couplers or bridging circuits used to bypass transformers • Silicon Chipset used to “pull” data out of electric current. Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  7. PLC Implementation • PLC modem uses specially developed modulation technique • PLC modem uses adaptive algorithm to prevent power line noise • PLC modems are plug and play roughly the size as common power adaptor • Modem plugs into a common wall socket Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  8. PLC Applications • Commercial • High speed internet access • Voice • Video • Home networking • Utility applications • SCADA • Automatic meter reading • Distribution transformer overload analysis • Line testing • Outage location and fault characterization • Power quality monitoring Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  9. Kenyan Experience • Power utility company, KPLC, had private communication network on OPGW • Previously licensed as private network • Extra bandwidth on OPGW • New business opportunity in telecommunication • Applied for a license for commercial use of OPGW • License was granted under existing market structure to KPLC • KPLC’s OPGW will act as backhaul for PLC systems if implemented Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  10. Kenyan Experience Cont’d • PLC solutions providers are approaching utility companies for partnership and user companies/organizations to provide the service • Kenya’s Ministry of Youth Affairs has installed PLC for its unified communications infrastructure • For power, internet and local area connectivity • No interference case has been reported w.r.t. this installation Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  11. Advantages of PLC • No need for additional cabling • Reduced cost of infrastructure (LAN & Access) • Provide alternative broadband services • Provides wide accessibility to rural and underserved areas where conventional telecommunications infrastructure is not available • Potential of home networking for domestic appliances Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  12. PLC Challenges • Possibility of interference especially on high voltage lines. • Some regulatory authorities consider PLC modems unlicensed • They are therefore subject to power limits and should not interfere with licensed systems. • Operations of PLC must cease if harmful interference is caused to licensed services • PLC modems are sensitive to power fluctuations hence possibility of loss of data/internet connections • WAN implementation a challenge due to high voltage spikes which result in data interruption/loss

  13. Regulatory Questions • Are PLC radio communication systems subject to frequency spectrum licensing ? • Communications between the devices is through the wiring of the AC supply network, not by radio waves • Electromagnetic radiations are from electrical cabling Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  14. Task for Regulators for PLC deployment • Formulate appropriate policies on PLC • Carry out comprehensive studies on PLC technology and its potential • Benchmark on regulatory and technical standards and requirements • Maintain positive attitude on the benefits of deployment of PLC Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  15. Conclusions • PLC has potential to bridge ICT gap and needs to be encouraged • Regulators ought to encourage competition, facilitate use of new technologies and accessibility of ICT for all • Utility companies want to diversify their businesses • Telecommunication service providers want new cost-effective means to reach customers • PLC is one of them Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

  16. Thank you! Accra, Ghana, 16-17 June 2009

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