With industry momentum mounting around a low power Wi-Fi solution, Wi-Fi Alliance today announced the Wi-Fi HaLow designation for products incorporating IEEE 802.11ah technology. Wi-Fi HaLow operates in frequency bands below one gigahertz, offering longer range, lower power connectivity to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products. Wi-Fi HaLow will enable a variety of new power-efficient use cases in the Smart Home, connected car, and digital healthcare, as well as industrial, retail, agriculture, and Smart City environments.
Wi-Fi HaLow extends Wi-Fi into the 900 MHz band, enabling the low power connectivity necessary for applications including sensor and wearables. Wi-Fi HaLow’s range is nearly twice that of today’s Wi-Fi, and will not only be capable of transmitting signals further, but also providing a more robust connection in challenging environments where the ability to more easily penetrate walls or other barriers is an important consideration. Wi-Fi HaLow will broadly adopt existing Wi-Fi protocols and deliver many of the benefits that consumers have come to expect from Wi-Fi today, including multi-vendor interoperability, strong government-grade security, and easy setup.
“Wi-Fi HaLow is well suited to meet the unique needs of the Smart Home, Smart City, and industrial markets because of its ability to operate using very low power, penetrate through walls, and operate at significantly longer ranges than Wi-Fi today,” said Edgar Figueroa, President and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi HaLow expands the unmatched versatility of Wi-Fi to enable applications from small, battery-operated wearable devices to large-scale industrial facility deployments — and everything in between.”
Many devices that support Wi-Fi HaLow are expected to operate in 2.4 and 5 GHz as well as 900 MHz, allowing devices to connect with Wi-Fi’s ecosystem of more than 6.8 billion installed devices. Like all Wi-Fi devices, Wi-Fi HaLow devices will support IP-based connectivity to natively connect to the cloud, which will become increasingly important in reaching the full potential of the Internet of Things (IoT). Dense device deployments will also benefit from Wi-Fi HaLow’s ability to connect thousands of devices to a single access point.
“Wi-Fi Alliance programs have been instrumental in shaping and guiding the industry,” said Phil Solis, ABI Research. “Wi-Fi’s portfolio oftechnologies continues to address market needs, and Wi-Fi’s evolution will allow it to address a variety of new use cases.”
Wi-Fi HaLow complements existing Wi-Fi technologies and expands Wi-Fi Alliance’s overall portfolio with a low power solution that will enable Wi-Fi to maintain its critical role in the IoT. Additional IoT-related activities are underway in Wi-Fi Alliance that are helping to further proliferate Wi-Fi in the Smart Home and other segments. In particular, Wi-Fi Alliance is developing a new secure and simple way to connect and configure devices without a display or input mechanisms, as is the case with many Smart Home devices today. In addition to an expandinglist of programs to address unique market needs, Wi-Fi Alliance recently announced a new membership category that will enable a wider variety of devices not historically thought of as high-tech, including vacuums and door knobs, to include certified Wi-Fi connectivity.