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Wi-Fi Alliance approves long-range 'HaLow' standard on 900 MHz band

By Scorpus
Jan 4, 2016
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  1. The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced a new low power, long range Wi-Fi standard called 'HaLow' that is designed for smart home applications, connected cars, health care, and industrial and smart city environments.

    HaLow, which is also known as IEEE 802.11ah, uses the 900 MHz band to deliver Wi-Fi signals further and with greater wall penetrating power than other forms of the technology. The Wi-Fi Alliance says that HaLow achieves nearly twice the range of 802.11n and ac, which uses both the 2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz bands.

    802.11ah also has the advantage of using less power to both transmit and receive, making the standard more applicable to low-power applications like smart home sensors and wearables. A single HaLow access point will be capable of connecting to thousands of devices as well.

    Where HaLow won't be as good as other forms of Wi-Fi is in bandwidth, which is due to the use of lower-frequency spectrum. However most devices that support 802.11ah will also be compatible with other Wi-Fi technology, allowing them to use the 2.4 and 5.0 GHz bands for increased performance where necessary.

    With the HaLow standard now complete and approved by the Wi-Fi Alliance, it won't be too long until we see routers and devices that support the technology. Many embedded devices currently use Bluetooth and other low-power standards for connectivity, but the long-range nature of HaLow might convince engineers to make the switch.

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  2. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 1,662   +769

    Seems I remember this concept being tried once before and failing? No?
     
  3. Win7Dev

    Win7Dev TS Evangelist Posts: 560   +172

    Except that IEEE wasn't behind it before. There's a key difference. It also depends on what low bandwidth actually means. If you can still get a solid 100mbps throughput, that's still plenty for almost all current connected devices. Even 20mbps is sufficient for devices other than regular laptops/smart TVs/smartphones/desktops.
     
  4. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,163   +197

  5. JamesandBennie

    JamesandBennie TS Booster Posts: 162   +14

    I was going to buy a new router and usb dongle but I will now wait for the 802.11ah from a reputable brand to be released. Been on the old N for too long now.
     
  6. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,506   +498

    Why?? Unless you plan on connecting low powered things far far away like from the east wing of your house (...) there is not real benefit for this technology.

    100mbps sounds a bit too far stretched considering at 2.4ghz you get 65 mbps. I'm no physicist but it sounds it will be under the 10mbps, and depending on how far away it is.
     
  7. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,212   +174

    That all depends on how wide the band is. I think 802.11ah is going to be 26 channels split into 1 mhz bands with about 150 kbps bandwidth. So well under the 10 Mbps that you're thinking. But, if you combine multiple bands, I think you'll be able to squeak out 10 - 20 Mbps around the ranch house. Large warehouse type buildings (I'm thinking warehouse here) will be able easily provide wifi access to multiple locations for tracking. But mostly, this would be a sensor network due to the low bandwidth and high channels.
     

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