The China Blog: Online Gaming, Telecom, Digital Home...

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Asia Home Network Council

Asia Home Network Council, HUH?
The impact of the “Big Three” in Asia, China, Korea, and Japan, will become more and more significant as governments and economic entities increase their collaborative efforts. I have heard that academics in these three countries have started working on quantifying the pros and cons of forming a free-trade zone. It seems these three countries are also collaborating on establishing relevant standards for the digital home. According to an article on ETNEWS in South Korea, Korea, China and Japan have agreed to make concerted efforts for standardization of home networking and a major step is the establishment of the Asia Home Network Council, or AHNC.

The Korea Home Network Industry Association said on Mar. 26 that it met with Chinese and Japanese counterparts during a standardization meeting and agreed to join hands for a broad range of home networking standardization initiatives. The three sides agreed to establish the Asia Home Network Council, and cooperate in expansion into the Asian and the world home networking market.

The new council will be comprising of the Home Network Forum (HNF) of Korea, IGRS of China and EcoNet Consortium of Japan, which will work for promotion and interchangeability of standards. It will be co-chaired by the three countries, and have an operating committee for decision-making.

Dr. Park Gwang-ro at the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, who is presently vice chairman and head of the operation committee of HNF, was named interim chairman of the council. The three sides also agreed to have four taskforces up and running, specializing in technologies, promotion, standardization and legal affairs, respectively.

The three countries met three times since June last year, and drew up a plan for establishment of a council. And the arrangement came as they see a joint council as helping them secure a better position in the world home networking market.

“We plan to hold workshops and exchange information over Web sites so as to address such hurdles to adoption of home networks as the lack of enactment of laws and interoperability," said Park. "We will devote resources to promoting home networks of the three countries in the world market.”

This is interesting news. So, South Korea and China have both tried to set up their own Wireless standards, including WAPI in China and WiBro in South Korea. WAPI has certainly failed although WiBro may have a bright future. Now these three countries are throwing their weights behind standardizing home networking. Considering the scope of IGRS (which I reported in this article earlier this year), it won’t surprise me if the standard puts a strong focus on entertainment home networking. It will also be interesting to see the impact of AHNC on DLNA. DLNA has not gained a lot of real market traction out of Japan and if Japan shifts its focus towards AHNC, combined with the heavyweights CE companies in South Korea and OEMs in China, you have to wonder what DLNA’s future will be like…


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