The Internet of Things (IoT)  technology has made its mark with multiple real-world applications for both industrial and consumer uses, but has brought with it a series of new wireless connectivity challenges. Experts are working toward constant innovation in IoT look for high reliability, long-range connectivity, low power consumption, and high throughput – some significant specifications that are difficult to achieve simultaneously.

With advancements in IoT, the number of smart devices in homes and industries, too, is increasing. This has paved the way for the need to connect more devices to Wi-Fi across a larger area, ultimately giving birth to a new Wi-Fi technology called Wi-Fi HaLow, which claims to provide a range of up to 1km. HaLow’s data rate is scalable to 80 Mbps at 1m and 150 kbps at 1km.

All about Wi-Fi HaLow and its features

The wireless networking standard IEEE 802.11ah, also called Wi-Fi HaLow, is a new wireless standard explicitly meant to address the challenges of IoT devices. It is not just the next generation of Wi-Fi that can extend distances and increase the battery life of the Wi-Fi connected devices. This technology also represents an exciting future of wirelessly connected people and devices across the IoT. There are endless applications – from sensors, actuators, and security cameras to home automation, appliances, and thermostats – all of this contributes to improving user experience and productivity while reducing installation and operational costs.

Wi-Fi Alliance, the global organization that certifies Wi-Fi-focused companies, has granted certification to the newly-found Wi-Fi technology.

Wi-Fi HaLow works well with the existing Wi-Fi protocols and can easily connect with the current smart devices. It is said that this technology significantly improves the current Wi-Fi setup as no new infrastructure is needed.

Following are some of the other features that prove beneficial for IoT deployment –

  • It can easily penetrate through walls and obstacles and operate on wearable devices.
  • Equipped with various deep sleep power-saving modes, it is a low power consuming model.
  • Operates on low-complexity radios, leading to low cost.
  • Tremendous decrease in silicon complexity

Aspects of Wi-Fi HaLow

Wi-Fi HaLow technology consumes less power than the existing Wi-Fi networks. Regarding bandwidth, the technology has been developed to work in the sub-1 GHz spectrum against the current 2.4GHz to 5GHz standard Wi-Fi connections.

Due to its low frequency, the Wi-Fi HaLow enables a longer wavelength, which allows it to transmit data over longer distances. But to achieve this, it compromises the data speeds, making it suitable for IoT products that require fewer data to operate.

Wi-Fi Halow applications

Initially, Wi-Fi HaLow is expected to be used in indoor and outdoor applications that are out of reach for standard Wi-Fi, as with battery-operated surveillance systems, wireless cameras, and doorbells where Wi-Fi cannot reach.

It can also be used for large venues where a single HaLow access point can replace multiple access points, preventing inefficient, complex mesh architectures, simplifying installation and reducing the total ownership cost.

This technology will be much in demand by industrial automation, building automation, process control sensors, warehouses, and retail stores. Wi-Fi HaLow  will allow everything to remain connected in an increasingly automated world. Versatility makes Wi-Fi Halow a unique technology.

Wi-Fi HaLow can broadly be used in the following cases –

  • Smart homes
  • Access control
  • Industrial process control
  • Logistics and asset management
  • Retail labels, signs and scanners
  • Building automation
  • Mobile devices
  • Smart cities
  • Agriculture and environmental sensors
  • Surveillance systems

Wi-Fi HaLow products will provide new alternatives for unlicensed bands that support Internet Protocol (IP) networking and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) modulation, both of which are well-known in the PC ecosystem. There is also a growing support for the long-term prediction that Wi-Fi HaLow would extend the range of connectivity for mobile devices and PCs as part of the advent of a fourth band.

Wi-Fi HaLow marks advancements in future IoT devices

WI-Fi HaLow is considered an open standard within the Wi-Fi portfolio, which means it does not require proprietary gateways, hubs, or controllers. Wi-Fi HaLow networks will never interfere with the RF performance of other Wi-Fi networks, including Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6.

Wi-Fi HaLow network is described as having a star-oriented architecture that overcomes many challenges associated with mesh networks, including data bottlenecks and latencies while delivering data over long distances.

Wi-Fi Alliance stated that Wi-Fi HaLow would be most helpful in “hard-to-reach places” like basements, garages, factories, attics, warehouses, and other spacious outdoor areas.

Adopting Wi-Fi HaLow will make different industries re-discover Wi-Fi itself, giving it a completely new look.

To read more about Wi-Fi HaLow and similar technologies, visit our whitepapers here.