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Wireless News

Wi-Fi Alliance logoThe Wi-Fi Alliance has come up with a catchy name for 802.11ah.

One of the Wi-Fi Alliance's strengths is its branding programs. After all, who hasn't heard of Wi-Fi? So the Alliance is attempting to work its magic again, with today's announcement of Wi-Fi HaLow™, the branding it is applying to the upcoming 802.11ah standard.

802.11ah, whose IEEE Task Group name is "Sub 1 GHz", will run in the 900 MHz band. Its longer wavelength will enable broader coverage, "nearly twice that of today’s Wi-Fi", according to the Alliance announcement.

But the extended coverage comes with lower bandwidth--think kilobits, not megabits--given its "globally interoperable 1 and 2 MHz bandwidth modes", according to this Qualcomm primer.

802.11ah aka Wi-Fi HaLow

802.11ah aka Wi-Fi HaLow
(Image credit: Qualcomm)

11ah also supports 4, 8, and 16 MHz bandwidths for higher-data rate applications in some countries, the U.S. being one. But if you're thinking 11ah will provide whole home 8K UHD streaming, forget it. 11ah is primarily focused on IoT applications, connecting sensors that have very low data rates.

The standard is currently in its 5th draft, with IEEE's timeline calling for release this July / August. The Alliance's announcement talked only about branding; no plans for a Wi-Fi HaLow Certification program were announced.

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