Acquainted with Power Line Communication Technology

Power line communication (PLC) is the technology that exploits existing power lines to convey data signals. It’s an old but brilliant idea that can help saving telecommunication infrastructure deployment time and costs.

There is no doubt that some solutions and devices in early PLC technology development stages were performing below expectation. “This has somewhat ruined the reputation of PLC at the point that I am often asked “…but does PLC work ?” prof. Tonello says.

It is incredible that such a doubt still exists. The reason is simply that the community has not followed all the outstanding progress that has been achieved in the last 10 years. To cite some: the standardization by IEEE and ITU of four world wide standards for a number of applications and using the so called narrow band or the broad band spectrum. The PHY and MAC algorithms specified in such standards are truly state-of-the-art if compared with other communication technologies. Indeed progress can still be made and research can be carried out in the domain of applications of PLC, on protocols for wide and dense networks as the IoT ones, on flexible and EMC friendly PHY algorithms.

To spread the news and contribute to the understanding of what modern PLC technology is about, I feel that dissemination and training activities are extremely important. This can also help to attract the interest of young researcher to work in the exciting field of PLC”, prof. Tonello says. “I will be offering a number of talks and seminars this year among which:

Further reading

[1] Power Line Communications: principles, standards, applications from multimedia to smart grid, L. Lampe, A. M. Tonello, T. Swart (Ed.s), John Wiley & Sons. June 2016. ISBN: 978-1-118-67671-4

[2] C. Cano, A. Pittolo, D. Malone, L. Lampe, A. M. Tonello, A. Dabak, “State-of-the-art in Power Line Communications: from the Applications to the Medium,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, Vol. 34, Issue 7, pp. 19351952, July 2016.

[3] M. Girotto, A. M. Tonello, “EMC Regulations and Spectral Constraints for Multicarrier Modulation in PLC,” IEEE Access, 2017.

[4] A. Pittolo, M. De Piante, F. Versolatto, A. M. Tonello, “In-Vehicle Power Line Communication: Differences and Similarities Among the In-Car and the In-Ship Scenarios,” IEEE Vehicular Technology Magazine, Vol. 11, Issue 2, pp. 4351, June 2016. 

[5] A. M. Tonello, A. Pittolo, “Considerations on Narrowband and Broadband Power Line Communication for Smart Grids,” Proc. of IEEE SmartGridComm 2015, Miami, Florida, November 2-5, 2015.

[6] A. M. Tonello, A. Pittolo, M. Girotto, “Power Line Communications: Understanding the Channel for Physical Layer Evolution Based on Filter Bank Modulation,” IEICE Transactions on Communications, vol. E97-B, No. 8, pp.1494-1503, August 2014, invited.


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