HomeRF is a collaboration of several big companies from varied backgrounds
to design a form of wireless LAN (WLAN) that functions in both
the home and small-office environment. This group also is working
towards the development of the SWAP LAN standard.
WLANs are becoming increasingly popular in home and home office
environments much the same way that cordless phones have come to be
integrated into our lifestyle for practically every application. The home
market represents ideal territory because most homes are not built with
LAN cabling and it becomes essential to transport computer resources
from one room to another.
HomeRF’s main concern has been to deploy itself cost effectively in a
WLAN. Since cost is still a limiting factor over wired LANs, most wireless
users cannot justify spending the money to purchase wireless network
interfaces cards or a wireless routing access point device. The reason
more and more people are buying 802.11b is that prices have
dropped considerably in 2002, making wireless NIC cards and access
points much more cost effective. Since so many vendors are selling
802.11b, there is a higher degree of competition and pressure to keep
costs competitive, whereas HomeRF really hasn’t taken off as much as
the 802.11 standard has.
802.11 versus SWAP
The 802.11 specification was designed to have more restrictive timing and
filtering patterns as opposed to SWAP, which did not tightly adhere to
these regulations and was therefore easier to implement at lower costs.
Note that MAC is implemented both in the software and digital layers
and doesn’t really factor into the costs involved. SWAP relaxed some
of those hardware constraints in an attempt to make the medium less
complex, but with fewer features and less functionality than its 802.11
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