Japan Forms Study on Power Line Communications

May 23, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications (MPHPT, Tokyo) formed the Power Line Communication Study Group concerning technical issues in speeding up communications via electric power lines. The group aims to clarify how conventional radio communications are affected if some new frequency bands are allocated for power line communication (PLC). The result of the study will be reported in July.

The MPHPT currently regulates that PLC use the frequency band between 10kHz and 450kHz, so the transmission speed is around 9.6kbps. The government's "e-Japan Strategy" reported that the speed can be upgraded to 10Mbps by allocating a new frequency band of between 2MHz and 30MHz for PLC. However, that will possibly affect the high frequency band between 2MHz and 30MHz, which is used among ships and airplanes.

The group will study the high-speed PLC's influence on conventional wireless communications through field tests such as checking the leakage electric waves from power lines. Specifically, it will verify the case of providing Internet access via a power line to each home as well as the case of building in-house LANs using power lines inside of houses.