‘Wi-Fi HaLow’ Internet Introduction
The Wi-Fi Alliance, which includes about 700 vendors, expects to launch a certification process for Wi-Fi HaLow products in 2018, officials said. But products supporting the specification are expected to enter the market earlier. The IEEE finalization of 802.11ah is far along and already into what’s known as the technical phase.LAS VEGAS — A new low-power, long-range version of Wi-Fi that bolsters Internet of Things (IoT) connections will be dubbed Wi-Fi HaLow, the Wi-Fi Alliance revealed today in advance of CES. Wi-Fi HaLow (pronounced HAY-Low) is based on the pending IEEE 802.11ah specification. It will be used in coming years for everything from smart homes and wearables to smart cities and connected cars where thousands of battery-operated sensors can be connected to a single Wi-Fi Access Point (AP).
‘Wi-Fi HaLow’ Internet Operations
The tradeoff for such extended range with low power could be that 802.11ah throughput will be well below the 7Gbps maximum of Wi-Fi 802.11ac when 802.11ac is enhanced with the maximum number of antennas on an AP. Wi-Fi HaLow will operate in the unlicensed wireless spectrum below 1GHz, allowing it to more easily penetrate walls and barriers because of the propagation capabilities of low-frequency radio waves. Its range will be nearly double today’s available Wi-Fi, with some estimates ranging as high as 1 kilometer, a distance equal to 3,280 feet.
‘Wi-Fi HaLow’ Internet High Connectivity Speed
To get to 18Mbps, equipment makers will need to use a 4MHz-wide channel. Data rates as high as 78Mbps are possible by using a 16Mhz channel, but the Wi-Fi Alliance is only initially certifying gear with up to 4MHz channels. Wi-Fi HaLow equipment will initially be certified for up to 18Mbps as the highest data rate, the Wi-Fi Alliance said in advance of today’s announcement. The lowest rates will be just 150Kbps, achieved by using a 1MHz channel.