Advances in Power Line Communication and its Applications

Submission Deadline: 30 April 2019

IEEE Access invites manuscript submissions in the area of Advances in Power Line Communication and its Applications.

Power line communication (PLC) is a growing technology which utilizes the existing pre-installed power delivery network for data transmission. While it is true that the history of this technology goes back to the beginning of the last century when the first data transmission over power lines took place for low data rate control and monitoring purposes, PLC has recently regained a considerable amount of research attention due to the dawn of the internet and the increasing need for fast connectivity. PLC is also expected to serve as a reliable communication medium for many emerging applications of Internet-of-things (IoT) and Smart Grids.

PLC has a number of advantages that make it an appealing complement, as well as a competitor, to other wireless technologies. For example, PLC does not require any new wiring installations which can significantly reduce the deployment costs. Another advantage of PLC is that it can enable communication with hard-to-reach nodes where the RF wireless signal suffers from high levels of attenuation, as in underground structures, buildings with obstructions and metal walls, or simply when the wireless signal is undesirable for EMI issues such as in hospitals. Furthermore, PLC can provide a low-cost solution to complement other existing technologies such as RF wireless or visible light communication (VLC) systems. In particular, integrating PLC and VLC systems has recently received a considerable amount of research attention, enabling new generation of high-speed indoor communications with numerous applications.

With this in mind, the smart grid (SG) is one of the most important applications of PLCs. Although the realization of SG can be achieved using several communication solutions including, but not limited to, ZigBee, WiMAX, long range wireless and cellular (3-5G), PLC remains the most popular and attractive candidate to SG developers because of the widely available infrastructure and because PLC is a through-the-grid technology. This is an important feature because it reduces the reliance of utility companies on third party connectivity which of course can diminish security and privacy issues. Other applications that can also benefit from the fact that new cables are not required include smart city, telemetry, in-home automation, etc. Furthermore, PLC for in-vehicle data buses is also an interesting research area which has received a substantial attention over the past years. In this respect, many PLC networks have been explored in cars, trains, ships and aircraft systems.

Motivated by the above, this Special Section in IEEE Access aims to capture the state-of-the-art advances in power line communication and its applications, and outline the possible future research directions.

The topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • Channel measurement, modeling and interoperability (EMC)
  • Advanced PLC technologies (PHY, MAC and networking including routing, QoS, QoE, security and privacy)
  • PLC networks (heterogeneous networks including PLC-VLC; and PLC-radio, interoperability, cognitive approaches)
  • PLC for smart grids, smart metering and grid control
  • Other PLC applications (IoT, Vehicular, etc)
  • Open challenges, results and the role of PLC in new standards


We also highly recommend the submission of multimedia with each article as it significantly increases the visibility, downloads, and citations of articles.


Associate Editor:  Khaled Rabie, Manchester Met University, UK

Guest Editors:

  1. Andrea M. Tonello, University of Klagenfurt, Austria
  2. Naofal Al-Dhahir, University of Texas at Dallas, USA
  3. Jian Song, Tsinghua University, China
  4. Alberto Sendin, Iberdrola, Spain


Relevant IEEE Access Special Sections:

  1. Software Defined Networks for Energy Internet and Smart Grid Communications
  2. Smart Caching, Communications, Computing and Cybersecurity for Information-Centric IoT
  3. Urban Computing & Well-being in Smart Cities: Services, Applications, Policymaking Considerations

IEEE Access Editor-in-Chief:
Michael Pecht, Professor and Director, CALCE, University of Maryland

Paper submission: Contact Associate Editor and submit manuscript to:

For inquiries regarding this Special Section, please contact: