1. What is the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA®)?
Established in January 2004, MoCA is an open, industry standards organization with applications in home networking and broadband access.
MoCA Home™ provides the backbone for Wi-Fi networking.
MoCA Access™ is a fiber-extension technology that leverage MoCA technology’s well known strengths in performance, reliability, low latency and use of existing coaxial wiring.
2. What is MoCA technology?
MoCA technology is a layer 2 transport 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?
MoCA technology is used as an in-home backbone to guarantee wireless connectivity. As consumers bring more devices into the home all yearning for bandwidth a wire is required to guarantee the wireless network. Though Wi-Fi has improved dramatically over the years, live content streaming, gaming, virtual reality and UHD format programming all strain even the most robust wireless network.
As a result of its 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 is 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 the downtime that accrues from inability to access the Internet.
4. What are some common applications?
There are numerous applications that benefit from MoCA technology. As the in-home backbone supporting Wi-Fi, operators and end users have confidence to engage in numerous activities. These include multi-room DVR, HDTV and UHD video distribution, gaming and HD/UHD and live streaming without disruption.
Most importantly, MoCA technology guarantees whole home coverage in every room, any time of the day.
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.
Wi-Fi® technology is a shared medium so the more devices on the network, the less bandwidth available. A Wi-Fi-based network may not reach every room in the home, and signals will not go through walls. It is also prone to interference with a neighbor’s network.
Products using power line technology are easy to use and 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 and it can be affected by condition and age of the wiring.
Ethernet (Cat5/6) are viable options and provide the performance and reliability of MoCA. However, Ethernet is not pre-installed in every home like coax, and every time there is an upgrade to the specification, a new category of wiring is required.
Unlike MoCA, which is a no new wires technology, Ethernet is a new wire every time.
When designing a home networking, products integrating both Wi-Fi and MoCA technology should be considered for maximum performance and satisfaction.
6. Does MoCA technology work on any type of coax?
Yes. If you can receive a TV signal, you can get MoCA.
7. Has MoCA conducted real world testing to confirm its performance claims?
Unlike other standards organization, MoCA conducts field tests quite regularly.
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.
In 2015, MoCA conducted field tests for MoCA 2.0 in more than 200 homes around the U.S and demonstrated better than 400 Mbps actual data rates in 90 percent of all coax outlets.
MoCA vs. Wi-Fi mesh:
In 2017, MoCA recently concluded field tests that compared three different Wi-Fi mesh-based products in a home networking environment, vs. a Wi-Fi network that used MoCA as the backhaul. The results showed a dramatic improvement in Wi-Fi performance when using MoCA 2.0 as the backhaul, compared to a Wi-Fi-based backhaul only.
All devices tested included 802.11ac fronthaul. Netgear’s Orbi, Plume and Eero, which integrate 802.11ac backhaul, were compared to Actiontec Wi-Fi extenders that integrate MoCA 2.0 Bonded backhaul. All devices used are currently available via retail channels so as to test products that consumers can purchase today.
MoCA 2.0 Bonded extenders delivered 800 Mbps or better downlink Wi-Fi performance in all homes. Orbi was able to achieve 300 Mbps or better in 50% of homes though some homes were capable of only 170 Mbps. Eero and Plume were unable to reach 200 Mbps at all.
Uplink traffic with Wi-Fi was also significantly greater when using MoCA technology as the backbone compared to using Orbi, Eero or Plume.
In all field tests, 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.
The results of all the field tests are available on the public portion of the MoCA web site. MoCA is the only home networking alliance to publish its field tests.
9. Does MoCA work with any network access technology?
Yes. MoCA technology works with any network access technology including fiber (GPON/EPON), DOCSIS, Ethernet and MoCA Access (see description later in this document).
10. How fast can MoCA go?
MoCA 2.5 offers actual data rates of up to 2.5 Gbps. It is backward interoperable with MoCA 2.0 and MoCA 1.1.
MoCA 2.0 is capable of up to 1 Gbps actual data rates.
11. Is there a technology roadmap?
Yes. The Alliance is continuously working on improvements and enhancements to its technology as required by service providers and end users. It is continuously increasing performance, improving reliability and incorporating additional features such as power savings, network management and security.
12. 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, National 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.
13. 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 on Amazon for instance. 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.
14. MoCA Access
MoCA recently announced its network access specification called MoCA Access. It is a fiber extension technology that uses the in-building coax and is capable of 2. 5 Gbps actual data rates, symmetrical.
MoCA Access is a viable solution for numerous market segments addressing network access. For instance:
The move to MoCA Access is a strategic direction for the Alliance as it applies the performance and reliability superiority inherent in MoCA technology to applications where those two attributes in particular are critical. In addition, operators worldwide are requiring 1 Gbps net throughputs to the home as a minimal requirement for overall network design, which MoCA 2.0 can deliver now.
15. Who are MoCA members?
The Alliance is led by a board of directors (Promoters) consisting of ARRIS, Broadcom, Comcast, Cox, DISH, MaxLinear, Intel, Luster Teraband, Technicolor and Verizon.
Members are representative of operators, OEMs, CE equipment manufacturers and silicon providers worldwide. See here for a listing of all current members.
16. 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.