1. What is the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA®) and what is its purpose?
Established in January 2004, MoCA is an open, industry standards organization with applications in home networking.
The purpose of the Alliance is to develop and promote high performance and highly reliable technology for the connected home. The technology has been adopted by cable, telco/IPTV and satellite operators worldwide.
MoCA technology is also used to extend Wi-Fi® connectivity within the home.
2. What is MoCA technology?
MoCA technology is a protocol enabling the distribution of content over the existing in-home coaxial TV cabling. The primary job of MoCA technology is to guarantee delivery of packets to their destination.
3. What problem does MoCA technology solve and how does it make the home network better?
Accessing and distributing content around the home seamlessly and without interruption can be difficult and unsatisfactory, especially with the growth in devices and applications trying to access the home network. High definition video for instance is requires both high performance and high reliability. MoCA is the proven industry leader in performance and reliability and was originally designed for the transport of HD content around the home.
MoCA technology is also used as an in-home backbone to guarantee wireless connectivity. As consumers bring more device into the home all yearning for bandwidth to accommodate the increase in content access, a wire is required to guarantee the wireless network.
As a result of high performance and reliability, and the support it provides for wireless networks, MoCA technology lowers the cost of managing the entire network, or total cost of ownership. This important for both operators and consumers as guaranteeing the performance of the network and delivery of content reduces the need to continuously upgrade equipment and eliminates downtime from a non-performing network.
For operators, a well-performing network is especially important. Customer complaints means they are experiencing a non-functioning network and are not receiving services for which they have paid. The operator is then obligated to send a technician to fix the problem. The extra visits and associated time adds to the overall cost of network management. Integrating MoCA technology into the network reduces operational costs as delivery of services is guaranteed and additional repairs and customer complaints are eliminated.
For consumers, a well-functioning network also eliminates visits to the retail store to return non-working equipment. The downtime that accrues from inability to access the Internet or the extra time required to download a movie is also greatly reduced.
4. What are some common applications?
There are numerous applications that benefit from MoCA technology. As the in-home backbone supporting wireless networking, operators and consumers have confidence to engage in numerous activities. These include multi-room DVR, HDTV and UHD video distribution, gaming and streaming or over the top (OTT) video, and overall improvement of Internet access throughout the home.
5. What are some of the alternative technologies and mediums available for home networking?
Large houses, MDU environments, thick building materials, and the nature of the in-home wiring can all affect the performance and satisfaction level of a home network.
Wireless (Wi-Fi®) technology is a shared medium so the more devices on the network, the less bandwidth available. A wireless network may not reach every room in the home, will not go through walls, and is prone to interference with a neighbor’s network.
Products using power line (HomePlug®) technology are easy to use and power outlets are found in every room. Power line is also prone interference from everyday household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, microwave ovens and DECT phones. It is not an ideal medium for HD or ultra HD content distribution.
MoCA technology works over the existing coaxial cabling. Most houses and apartments worldwide have coax already installed. Coax was originally designed for video and is immune to intrusions and interference. Thought coaxial outlets are not located in every room they can generally be found where homeowners are likely to watch TV. MoCA technology is the only standard that provides the performance and reliability essential for multiple streams of HD and ultra HD video reception and distribution.
When designing a home networking, products integrating both Wi-Fi and MoCA technology should be considered for maximum performance and satisfaction.
6. Does MoCA work with other standards organizations?
MoCA has been approved by DLNA for inclusion in their Interoperability Guidelines as a layer 2 protocol.
The technology is also part of the IEEE P1905.1 specification, branded as nVoy™ which creates an abstraction layer for discovery and identification of established transport protocols such as Wi-Fi, Ethernet and HomePlug.
7. Describe some of the main attributes of MoCA 2.0
8. Does MoCA technology work on any type of coax?
Yes. If you can receive a TV signal, you can get MoCA.
9. Has MoCA conducted real world testing to confirm its performance claims?
In 2015, MoCA conducted field tests for MoCA 2.0 in more than 200 homes around the U.S. Preliminary results demonstrate better than 400 Mbps net throughputs (MAC rate) in 90 percent of all coaxial cabling outlets, or paths. Net throughputs were greater than 350 Mbps for 95 percent of paths.
Homeowners were volunteers in several states in the U.S. No special conditions were required to be a participant. For instance, no homes were screened or chosen based on construction materials, age or condition of wiring, or type of pay TV service. The objective was to collect results from a diversity of real-world, coax-based installations.
This is the second field trial conducted by MoCA. In 2005, the Alliance conducted tests of MoCA 1.0 in 250 homes throughout the US and verified better than 100 Mbps net throughputs in 97 percent of all outlets. The same data rate was achieved in 100 percent of outlets with minor remediation to the in-home network.
The results of the field tests are available on the public portion of the MoCA web site. MoCA is the only home networking alliance to publish their field tests.
10. Does MoCA work with any network access technology?
Yes. MoCA technology works with any network access technology including fibre, DOCSIS, IPTV and any other means used to provide broadband and programming to the home.
11. Is there a product certification program? How long does it take and how much does it cost?
Certification is ongoing and available to members only.
Products are subjected to a battery of tests to ensure compliance with the spec and interoperability with other certified products from other members.
The Alliance works with an independent testing facility called, Technical Systems Inc., NTS in El Segundo, California, www.ntscorp.com.
Certification generally takes two weeks. Upon completion and passage of certification, members can display the MoCA Certified logo on their products, showcase and demonstrate their products at Alliance sponsored tradeshows and events, and on the MoCA website.
Detailed information regarding certification procedures and cost is available to MoCA members only.
12. Are products with MoCA technology available through retail channels?
Yes but in the U.S. only for now. MoCA-based adapters, wireless extenders and DVRs are available in retail channels including BestBuy, Fry’s and Amazon to name a few. Look for products from branded CE vendors such as Actiontec and TiVo. Please visit their respective web sites for more information.
Products integrating MoCA technology are also available for the custom installer community. Adapters, DVRs and other devices are used in retrofit environments where the home owner is asking for a custom multi-room DVR set up and/or a wireless network extension. MoCA technology is also suitable for commercial environments such as hospitality, healthcare and education.
13. Who are MoCA members?
The Alliance is led by a board of directors (Promoters) consisting of ARRIS, Broadcom, Cisco, Cox Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV, EchoStar, MaxLinear, Intel and Verizon.
Members are representative of operators, OEMs, CE equipment manufacturers and silicon providers worldwide. See here for a listing of all current members.
14. What are the levels of membership? Can anyone join?
The Alliance offers two membership levels -- Contributor and Associate. Membership is open to all.
Contributors can participate in the development of the specification and have voting rights within all work groups.
Associates have access to the specification for product development purposes and can participate in the Marketing Work Group only.