Wi-Fi HaLow, designated as 802.11ah, is a wireless networking protocol developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It’s a part of the IEEE 802.11 set of WLAN standards, but it differs significantly from most of its predecessors. Here are some key aspects of Wi-Fi HaLow:
- Frequency Band: Wi-Fi HaLow operates in the sub-1 GHz spectrum, specifically in the 900 MHz band. This is a lower frequency compared to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands used by most Wi-Fi technologies. The lower frequency allows for better range and material penetration.
- Range and Coverage: One of the most significant benefits of Wi-Fi HaLow is its extended range. It can cover roughly double the distance of conventional Wi-Fi, making it ideal for reaching into areas that were previously difficult to cover.
- Penetration: The lower frequency also allows for better penetration through obstacles like walls and floors, making Wi-Fi HaLow more reliable in challenging environments.
- Power Efficiency: Wi-Fi HaLow is designed to be more power-efficient, which is crucial for Internet of Things (IoT) devices that often run on batteries. This efficiency extends the battery life of connected devices.
- IoT Applications: Due to its range, penetration, and power efficiency, Wi-Fi HaLow is particularly well-suited for IoT applications, especially in scenarios where devices need to be connected over larger areas or in challenging environments, like smart homes, agricultural settings, industrial sites, and smart cities.
- Device Connectivity: It supports a larger number of connected devices over a single access point compared to traditional Wi-Fi, which is beneficial for IoT environments where many devices need to be connected.
- Security and IP Support: Wi-Fi HaLow retains the high levels of security and native IP support that are characteristic of traditional Wi-Fi standards.
In summary, Wi-Fi HaLow extends the benefits of Wi-Fi to IoT applications, offering solutions to the unique challenges posed by the need for long-range, low-power, high-penetration wireless connectivity. It’s particularly relevant as the number of IoT devices continues to grow, requiring new solutions for connectivity.