The Likelihood and Extent of Radio Frequency Interference from In-Home PLT Devices

24 June 2010

Power Line Telecommunications (PLT) is the collective term for various forms of communication over wiring used for supplying electricity (the 'mains'). The most recent developments in PLT devices address the consumer market for in home connectivity as an alternative to WiFi or data cabling. In-home PLT devices are growing in popularity and the UK is one of the biggest users of in-home PLT devices in Europe.

PLT devices operate between 2 and 32MHz, with some emerging devices operating at frequencies up to 300MHz. We commissioned a study to estimate the likelihood and extent of interference to various services over the coming 10 years.

The study found that there will be a low likelihood of interference with other spectrum users, providing certain technology enhancements (smart notching and power control) are implemented. The study also found that these technology enhancements are on the product roadmaps of many of the PLT device manufacturers and suppliers and are expected to feature in products from Q2 2010.

Ofcom is making this study available so that it may inform the ongoing work of industry and standardisation groups in developing and commercialising PLT products.

Ofcom's technical programme enables us to keep up to date with technologies and trends, so that we can be in the best possible position to execute our regulatory duties. We do not conduct investigations in-house but make use of external resources, such as private commercial organisations, university departments and government funded research institutions. These reports present the findings of technical work conducted on Ofcom's behalf. The opinions and conclusions stated within these reports are those of the organisations who conducted the work and may not reflect the view of Ofcom or imply any future policy work in related areas. Ofcom is not responsible for the content or accuracy of these reports.

The likelihood and extent of radio frequency interference from in-home PLT devices (PDF, 3.0 MB)