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HomeRF Discloses Future Plans

HomeRF Working Group announces its future development plans for the HomeRF 2.1 specification, on which work has already begun

June 7, 2002

2 Min Read

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The HomeRF™ Working Group today announced its future development plans and a revised messaging which, it believes, will make its standard even more attractive to broadband carriers, consumer households and small businesses.Work has already begun on the future HomeRF 2.1 specification, which will add features designed to reinforce HomeRF voice advantages. Planned enhancements will also allow HomeRF to complement other wireless standards, including 802.11.Revised HomeRF Messaging: The group continues to stress HomeRF’s unique ability to converge voice, data, and entertainment applications but is now placing more emphasis on voice. This shift directs attention to the cordless phone market, which is ten times larger than the wireless LAN market, and helps differentiate HomeRF from wireless data networks designed for enterprise offices.Future HomeRF Plans using 2.4 GHz:

  • More Active Handsets – HomeRF 2.0 already supports up to 8 phone lines, 8 registered handsets, and 4 active handsets with voice quality and range comparable to leading 2.4 GHz phone systems. With that many lines, each family member can have a personal phone number. HomeRF 2.1 plans to increase the number of active handsets with the same or better voice quality, thus supporting the needs of small businesses.

  • More Range – The 30m range of HomeRF already covers most homes and gardens. HomeRF 2.1 will extend that range for larger homes and businesses by using wireless repeaters.

  • Voice Roaming - HomeRF 2.1 will support voice roaming with soft hand-off between repeaters. This will allow individuals to roam across very large homes and fairly large offices while talking on the phone and without losing their voice connection.

  • Increased Data Capacity – Today HomeRF 2.0 supports Ethernet speeds of up to 10 Mbps with fallback speeds and backward-compatibility to earlier versions of HomeRF. Performance can be further enhanced to about 20 Mbps, and the group is evaluating the need for such enhancements at 2.4 GHz in light of its planned support of 5 GHz.

  • Adaptive Frequency Hopping – A proposed change to FCC Part-15 rules governing the 2.4 GHz ISM band will allow adaptive frequency hopping also in the US. While not legal today, these proposed techniques allow hoppers such as Bluetooth™ and HomeRF to recognize and avoid interference from static frequency technologies such as IEEE 802.11b.Since HomeRF already adjusts its hopping pattern based on interference to ensure that two consecutive hops don’t land on interference, supporting this FCC proposal seems trivial.

  • Embrace and Extend IEEE 802.11a – The HomeRF Working Group believes in the peaceful coexistence of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz since each frequency band and technology has specific strengths that complement each other. Rather than draft a specification for 5 GHz, the group simply endorses 802.11a for high bandwidth applications such as DVB.HomeRF Working Group Inc.

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