Wi-Fi Protocol 802.11ah gets a catchy new name: Wi-Fi HaLow.
This new protocol will be lower in bandwidth throughput, but also able to penetrate better and go longer distances. This is because it’s operating at a lower part of the bandwidth spectrum (unlicensed 1GHz). The idea is to maximize the “Internet of Things” making it possible for sensors to operate off of a battery and send bursts of data to wireless access points wherever they may be.
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).
Besides the ability of better penetration through objects the biggest benefit of the new protocol appears to be battery life.
“Wi-Fi HaLow has a foot in both the consumer and business markets,” said Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing for the Wi-Fi Alliance, in an interview. “In a smart city, you may want to connect smart parking meters to a centralized access point. The low-power capability for nodes and access points means less power to send transmissions, which means the devices can sweep longer, which is important for a smoke detector or a leak detector. Wi-Fi HaLow will allow devices to run for months or years on their batteries.”