Wi-Fi HaLow trials underway for smart home and IoT applications

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The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has announced the next phase of its “Wi-Fi HaLow for IoT” program, moving into real-world trials of 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow solutions across a range of smart home, industrial, retail, agriculture, and city applications.

These commercial deployments will demonstrate Wi-Fi HaLow’s ability to extend the benefits of Wi-Fi further into IoT use cases requiring wider coverage, longer battery life, and reliability. 

The extensive trial scenarios over the coming months will evaluate metrics like coverage range, throughput speeds, network density support, and signal reliability. The WBA aims to develop comprehensive deployment guides from the trials to assist businesses in rolling out IoT solutions without needing proprietary network technologies.  

Specific use cases to be tested include security systems, solar power connectivity, EV charging, infrastructure monitoring, access control systems, retail point-of-sale and warehouse robotics, industrial asset tracking, environmental agriculture sensors, and more. 

Wi-Fi HaLow operates at sub-1GHz frequencies, enabling longer ranges, better obstacle penetration, and support for over 8,000 connected devices per access point while maintaining Wi-Fi Alliance security standards. These benefits solve previous IoT connectivity hurdles related to bandwidth, latency, power, range and cost.

WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said the real-world testing marks an important step in proving Wi-Fi HaLow’s capabilities beyond standard Wi-Fi.

“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,” explained Rodrigues.

“A detailed analysis from these deployments will inform new deployment guides, helping the 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.”

Contributing industry partners also noted enthusiasm for the trials.

Marleen Boonen, CEO and Founder of Methods2Business, commented: “The initiation of Wi-Fi HaLow’s real-world trials marks a significant milestone, allowing users to first-hand experience the technology’s extended range, energy efficiency, and high penetration capabilities.

“These trials validate Wi-Fi HaLow as a reliable and secure IoT connectivity solution for a wide range of applications in diverse environments, further stimulating adoption. The overwhelming results from the initial trials are a real stimulus for intensifying our investments in this compelling technology.”

Prakash Guda of Morse Micro and Zac Freeman of Newracom also highlighted Wi-Fi HaLow’s 10-1000x improvements in critical areas like range and coverage as key to enabling more robust and intelligent IoT deployments.

The move to real-world trials of Wi-Fi HaLow marks a pivotal milestone that promises a new era for IoT connectivity.

(Photo by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash)

See also: Samsung and British Gas will help UK homes reduce energy use

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