Wi-Fi HaLow could be the next IoT enabler

With its low power consumption and long range of Wi-Fi, WiFi HaLow is poised to become the next Wi-Fi protocol that organizations use for internal IoT applications. Here’s why.


Photo: Wi-Fi Alliance

Wi-Fi HaLow is a low-power, long-range version of standard Wi-Fi that can penetrate walls and work on portable devices. “Wi-Fi HaLow will broadly adopt existing Wi-Fi protocols and deliver many of the benefits that consumers have come to expect from Wi-Fi today, including interoperability between multiple providers, strong state-of-the-art security and ease of use. setup, “said Kevin Robinson, senior vice president of marketing for the Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit organization that owns the Wi-Fi brand.

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Because of these and other factors, Wi-Fi HaLow is also likely to be used in education, smart cities, industrial manufacturing, and healthcare.

“Wi-Fi HaLow is best suited for applications that require lower power, longer range, and robust connectivity, even in challenging environments – including sensors, personal portable devices, supply meters, and streaming compressed video from security cameras,” said Robinson.

Immediate device candidates for Wi-Fi HaLow are security cameras and tablets used in industrial environments.

Wi-Fi HaLow-enabled devices are also expected to play significant roles in smart home environments, enabling consumers to take advantage of its longer range and lower power for applications such as battery-powered cameras, video baby monitors and other smart home products.

In this regard, Wi-Fi HaLow is a well-suited complementary technology to Wi-Fi 6, an internal Wi-Fi protocol already implemented in many schools, which is likely to be extended to use in commercial, industrial and residential Internet of Things applications that require fast data speeds and low latency inside the four walls of the facilities.

“Wi-Fi HaLow applications that make sense as use cases include AR / VR, home security systems with high-resolution feeds, and remote surgery,” Robinson said.

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Implementing Wi-Fi HaLow in the industry makes sense because it expands the range of Wi-Fi applications in IoT and enables Wi-Fi to be an even more dominant player in the industrial and smart home markets.

“Companies have been working on Wi-Fi HaLow chipsets for years, and we expect shipments to break 10 million by 2022, with adoption expanding from industrial applications to the smart home, smart city and retail markets,” Robinson said.

Is Wi-Fi HaLow on most companies’ IoT schedules?

The Wi-Fi Alliance has just announced its certification program for products incorporating Wi-Fi HaLow in November 2021. This means that we are still some time away from widespread Wi-Fi HaLow adoption and implementation, as the products must first be certified.

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Where does this place IT makers who already have an abundance of IoT technology issues to consider?

  1. It’s time to place Wi-Fi HaLow on technology schedules because it will expand the range of possible IoT usage cases that may occur within a company’s four walls.
  2. It’s not too early to talk to IoT device vendors about their Wi-Fi HaLow certification plans.
  3. Security is always an issue with IoT, but the good news with Wi-Fi HaLow is that it must support the latest, WPA3 security, which will add strong security protections to IoT networks.
  4. Internal network environments need to be revised to Wi-Fi HaLow, but since Wi-Fi HaLow is backward compatible with older Wi-Fi protocols, this makes work easier.

“Wi-Fi HaLow is an open standard that provides a more efficient installation without the need for proprietary controllers, hubs or gateways,” Robinson said. “A Wi-Fi HaLow network can be implemented in the presence of existing Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6 networks without interfering with their RF performance and can easily become part of the complete Wi-Fi network. In this way, Wi-Fi HaLow provides a more comprehensive approach to connectivity and extends current Wi-Fi coverage to hard-to-reach places such as garages, basements, attics, warehouses, factories and large outdoor areas. “

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