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# Mathematical Model for the Transmission Rate versus File Length for a PLC System

Marcelo S. Alencar and Fabr´cio B. S. Carvalho ı
Institute for Advanced Studies in Communications Department of Electrical Engineering Federal University of Campina Grande Campina Grande, PB,Brazil Email: {malencar,frabiciobsc}@dee.ufcg.edu.br

Waslon Terllizzie Ara´ jo Lopes u
Institute for Advanced Studies in Communications Department of Electrical Engineering ´ College AREA1 Salvador, BA, Brazil Email: waslon@area1.br

Abstract— One of the most intriguing and challenging aspects to be considered in the process of standardization of television systems, is the deﬁnition of the return channel (or interactive channel). The key element in the digital TV standard is the possibility of interaction or capability of reverse communication. The use of power line communications (PLC) is being considered as a proposal for the return channel of the Brazilian Digital Television System. This article presents a mathematical model for transmission rate, as a function of the ﬁle length, for a PLC equipment. The model is based on measurements performed in several environments. The experiments were carried out in residential and non-residential buildings. Different parameters such as maximum distance, performance loss, maximum transmission rate, system loading tests and video transmission were analyzed. Based on the data obtained, the use of PLC for the return channel is discussed. As a result, the mathematical modeling allows the computation of the maximum transmission rate for each PLC channel, using parameters obtained from the measurements. This research is part of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Communications, through the Brazilian Agency for Studies and Projects.

presents the key aspects related to the application of PLC on the return channel of the SBTVD. The mathematical model for the transmission rate, as a function of the ﬁle length, is described in Section IV while Section V is devoted for the conclusions. II. PLC T ECHNOLOGY The use of the PLC technology for data transmission over low and medium voltage power lines is not a novelty. In the 1950s, the Ripple Control method was ﬁrst applied. For low frequencies (between 100 and 900 Hz) it was possible to transmit data at low rates over high voltage power lines (over 100 kV). Only unidirectional communication was allowed. The method is still used nowadays in the control of public illumination in motorways, load switching and billing [2]. Ever since the deregulation of the telecommunications market (ﬁrstly, in the USA and later in Europe and Asia) and because of the growth of the Internet (as a result of advances in signal processing techniques), the world has seen an increase in the demand for communication services. To cope with this, data transmission over power lines seems to be an interesting solution [3]. The term Power Line Communications (PLC), also known as Power Line Telecommunications (PLT), is applied to technologies, applications and services related to communication between different users over power lines [4]. To assure adequate coexistence and an efﬁcient separation between systems, the frequency range for communications is very large in comparison to the frequencies commonly used in power lines (50 or 60 Hz): from 3 to 148.5 kHz for PLC applications in utility companies and from 1 to 30 MHz for home and ofﬁce applications. Data transmission over power line is a difﬁcult task because power lines were not originally designed for communication purposes. Some of the problems encountered include: variable impedance, noise (typical noise sources are brush motors, ﬂuorescent and halogen lamps, switching power supplies and dimmer switches), high attenuation levels (it depends on many factors, such as, the quantity and nature of the connected load, the size and the topology of the network, the impedance of the

I. I NTRODUCTION The Brazilian Digital Television System (SBTVD) development started in 2004. Several academic institutions and research centers all over the country formed a consortia to deﬁne a national digital television standard. One of the aspects to be considered in the process of standardization is the deﬁnition of a return channel (or interactive channel) of the SBTVD, which will allow interactive access by users. The return channel plays an important role in the Brazilian government strategy to provide access to the digital world for an increasing number of citizens (digital inclusion). In [1], the author presents an analysis of the use of power line communications (PLC) techniques for the return channel (or interactive channel). Experiments were carried out in some ordinary Brazilian houses and in no-residential areas. Based on the measurement results, important issues were considered and alternative uses of the technique were discussed. It worth to mention that no mathematical formulation was derived. This paper presents a mathematical model for the transmission rate, based on measurements performed in several environments. The remaining of this paper is organized as follow: Section II discusses the PLC technology. Section III