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Unformatted text preview: Identifying Some Techno-Economic Criteria in PLC/BPL Applications and Commercialization Paul A Brown White Box Associates 30 Applerigg Kendal, Cumbria, LA9 6EA, UK E-mail: [email protected] ABSTRACT The development of first-pass simplified business models for power line communication (PLC) systems is necessary in order to provide an early focus on the key technical and financial criteria by which investment and the return on investment (ROI) might be considered. For example, PC based spreadsheet modeling provides a useful mathematical tool for identifying sensitivities in the broadband power line (BPL) business cases by enabling rapid comparisons between electrical distribution network (EDN) technical parameters, BPL equipment specifications, system features and customer expectations. It is important for both developers and investors to understand the technical challenges and business opportunities offered by PLC. 1. INTRODUCTION PC based spreadsheet modeling and graphical analysis provide a first-pass means of identifying and comparing the sensitivities of both technical and financial input data such as EDN topography, channel characteristics, PLC system cost, capability, capacity, quality of service (QoS) and potential penetration rates in order to support an acceptable ROI. In order to develop PLC systems there are a number of fundamental requirements: • A power line infrastructure i.e. EDN • Investor(s) in PLC R&D • PLC developer(s) with the necessary expertise The power line is a pervasive element and is therefore not a problem. Investors need to feel confident that there is a viable and potentially long term business opportunity in PLC. PLC developers need engineering expertise, investment and a detailed knowledge of EDNs as a means of providing a sustainable transmission medium for telecommunication services. Investors do not necessarily possess engineering expertise and therefore they require the developer’s skill and knowledge. Similarly the developers need financing in order to sustain PLC development. So what kind of first-pass information might be useful to investors? If we assume that PLC / BPL is now at a stage of potential mass-deployment and R&D continues to enhance PLC systems development then, most of all, we require to scope out the potential scale of the ROI. For example, investors need to know such things as: • Is the PLC business case sensitive to equipment costs such as customer premises equipment (CPE), repeaters, coupling devices etc? • Is BPL system design sensitive to service transmission speeds e.g. 256, 512 kb/s etc? • Does EMC regulation impact PLC / BPL system design? • Is voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) achievable over PLC systems?...
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- Spring '08
- Computer network, PLC R&D PLC, PLC / BPL