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Wi-Fi HaLow Now Deploying into Real-World Commercial IoT

Jan. 25, 2024
Wi-Fi HaLow addresses a wide range of IoT applications, such as smart home, smart city, building automation, industrial IoT, and other major use cases.

This article is part of the TechXchange: IoT & Narrowband Communications.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced that its “Wi-Fi HaLow for IoT” program is moving into a new phase, with 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow solutions migrating into real-world use cases with a variety of cooperating industry members. These use cases include applications such as smart home, smart city, building automation, smart retail, industrial IoT (IIoT), and agriculture technology. A “Wi-Fi HaLow for IoT” white paper has been released with an overview of the features, expected use cases, and markets for Wi-Fi HaLow.

The solutions created will demonstrate how Wi-Fi HaLow can address commercial IoT applications faced with a variety of technical challenges. Offering extended ranges, improved material penetration capabilities, extended battery life, minimized end-to-end delay, a higher level of security, and elevated data throughput in IoT scenarios, Wi-Fi HaLow is well-suited to demanding applications. 

Wi-Fi HaLow Trial Scenarios

Going forward, the use cases will be evaluated to determine the performance of Wi-Fi HaLow in the real world, covering crucial metrics such as coverage areas, data rates, throughput, and signal reliability. This information will be leveraged to create updated deployment guides and aid in the successful deployment of IoT solutions—without having to resort to proprietary or non-IP technologies. 

In a smart-home environment, Wi-Fi HaLow can be used to connect security cameras, HVAC, appliances, detached garage connections, solar power systems, power backup generators, and electric-vehicle chargers.

In a smart city, Wi-Fi HaLow can address infrastructure monitoring, smart utilities, and traffic management with high data throughput, increased device density, and low-cost maintenance. In smart building automation, it can support applications such as physical security, surveillance, access control, safety alarms, and water sensors.

For smart retail, Wi-Fi HaLow can enhance consumer satisfaction and increase productivity, empowering scanners, readers, point-of-sale equipment, asset tracking, security monitoring, warehouse robots, and handlers. In the IIoT space, it can serve applications such as asset tracking, infrastructure monitoring, remote equipment control, safety automation, and security monitoring.

When it comes to agriculture technology and precision farming systems, it can serve environmental monitoring, soil monitoring, plant health monitoring, actuator control, and data collection for predictive breeding. Operating in the sub-1-GHz radio band, Wi-Fi HaLow has the ability to use narrow channel bandwidths and offers operating modes to accommodate battery-operated devices.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the WBA, said, “The move to demonstrating Wi-Fi HaLow in real-world scenarios is an important milestone for the WBA and the contributing industry members supporting these activities. Each scenario will highlight how Wi-Fi HaLow solves connectivity problems, which previously may have required non-standard RF radio technology, or incurred higher costs of ownership.  

"A detailed analysis from these deployments will inform new deployment guides, helping wider industry to successfully roll out IoT solutions, without having to resort to proprietary or non-IP technologies to gain the automation, insights, and business benefits that IoT promises to deliver.”

Read more articles in the TechXchange: IoT & Narrowband Communications.

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About the Author

Alix Paultre | Editor-at-Large, Microwaves & RF

Alix is Editor-at-Large for Microwaves & RF

An Army veteran, Alix Paultre was a signals intelligence soldier on the East/West German border in the early ‘80s, and eventually wound up helping launch and run a publication on consumer electronics for the U.S. military stationed in Europe. Alix first began in this industry in 1998 at Electronic Products magazine, and since then has worked for a variety of publications, most recently as Editor-in-Chief of Power Systems Design.

Alix currently lives in Wiesbaden, Germany.

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