Wi-Fi for the Internet of Things will be called HaLow

We haven’t heard from this technology in five years, but it’s finally ready for live use. Wi-Fi Alliance yesterday announcedthat it runs a certification program for devices that use the HaLow network based on the IEEE 802.11ah standard.

It is a related technology of Wi-Fi and WiGig. While the former runs in the 2.4 to 6 GHz bands and the latter in the 60 GHz frequencies, HaLow is shifting to subgigahertz unlicensed spectra. In the European context, it will be the frequency 868 MHz, which is used for various remote controls and IoT communication.

HaLow is to serve the same purposes. It does not excel in transmission speed, the advantages are mainly long range (the creators are optimistic about the kilometer), low consumption (battery life of several years) and bonus features.

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HaLow borrows WPA3 authentication and native IP support from Wi-Fi. In addition, standardization will facilitate the communication of various devices and, for example, a properly equipped Wi-Fi router will be able to function as a central element.

Even with those speeds, it won’t be so bad after all. Depending on the modulation used, the channel width and the number of concurrent streams, the throughput can be from 150 kbps to 80 Mbps. In the configuration for fast transmissions, of course, the range decreases and vice versa. The Wi-Fi Alliance therefore believes that HaLow will also find application for the transmission of images from security cameras.

Manufacturers are already preparing chipsets that support HaLow, and next year there should be up to 10 million products on the market using this network. In addition to the home Internet of Things, they are also to be used in healthcare facilities, agriculture or smart cities.

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