Wi-Fi Gets a New Name – Wi-Fi HaLow

Wi-Fi connects most of your gadgets in your home, then why can’t it be connected to your smart home devices too? You can connect, but many are not willing to connect smart home devices with Wi-Fi as it consumes large amount of power and it is a big problem for companies to produce device to be small, cheap and able to run for several years.

But, Wi-Fi Alliance announced that new low power and long range version of Wi-Fi called as Wi-Fi HaLow which will boost IoT connections. It is based on IEEE 802.11ah specification and soon will be used for every smart homes device. Even in connected cars where several batteries operated sensors can be connected to single Wi-Fi Access Point.

As per source, the Wi-Fi Alliance expects to launch certification process for Wi-Fi HaLow products in 2018. The products supporting this specification will be made available in the market earlier. It will operate in the unlicensed wireless spectrum below 1GHz, which will allow it to penetrate into the walls and barriers because of the propagation capabilities of low-frequency radio waves. Its range is estimated to be double the today’s available Wi-Fi ranging as high as 1 kilometer, a distance equal to 3,280 feet or more than half a mile.

Wi-Fi Alliance also stated that Wi-Fi HaLow’s highest data rate will be 18Mbps and to get this, equipment makers will need to use 4MHz wide channel. Its lowest data rate will be 150Kbps.

Battery benefits of Wi-Fi HaLow

The slow throughput of Wi-Fi HaLow will make little difference for many of the IoT devices in future, where sensors are battery operated and transmit irregular short bursts of data. In devices related with HD videos and other data intense application, faster output will make a big difference.

For example, sensor on water pump or water leak detector in a basement would gain many benefits from Wi-Fi HaLow at low power. As per source, user in smart city may connect to smart parking meters to a centralized AP. The low-power capability for such AP requires less power to send transmissions, thus Wi-Fi HaLow will allow devices to run for months or years on their batteries.

Further, upcoming AP will be tri band which support HaLow at 900MHz band and even at older 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Users need to buy devices which support HaLow properties. Many users will get their latest update through Wi-Fi.

Additional benefits of Wi-Fi HaLow is that user experience it as same as the existing Wi-Fi protocol like multi-vendor interoperability, strong government-grade security, ease in setup and also Internet Protocol characteristics.