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Wi-Fi Looks Like the Winner By Elisa Batista

2:00 a.m. Jan. 16, 2002 PST

Despite analyst pessimism, the Home Radio Frequency Working Group continues to promote its technical standard to wirelessly connect cordless phones, PCs and other electronic home equipment.

Even though Cahners In-Stat Group recently released a study showing HomeRF products losing ground to competing Wi-Fi (802.11x wireless Ethernet) products, the HomeRF Working Group said it added AT&T to its roster of supporters.

But AT&T was quick to note that its membership with the HomeRF Working Group wasn’t exclusive. And the number of Wi-Fi backers -­ 144 companies are part of the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) ­- greatly outnumber the 43 companies, including AT&T, that support HomeRF.

“AT&T is involved in a number of groups in 802.11 and a number of others,” AT&T spokeswoman Ellen Zundl said. “Joining this (HomeRF) organization is yet another way for us to keep open-minded about various technologies.”

There has been fierce competition in the home-networking arena between HomeRF and the backers of Wi-Fi, or 802.11b. But it appears that Wi-Fi has the advantage over HomeRF.

Cahners In-Stat Group recently released a report that said 4 million wireless local area network nodes were shipped in 2001, of which 30 percent were stamped with the HomeRF seal while the remainder of the products were produced by members of WECA.