What is 802.11ah or HaLow?

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- everything RF

Apr 27, 2024

Wi-Fi HaLow, also known as 802.11ah, is a sub-1 GHz long-range, low-power, wireless technology that was developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2017 for IoT and IIoT applications. Operating at lower frequencies allows for better range and penetration through obstacles compared to traditional Wi-Fi which operates at 2.4/5/6 GHz. This makes it ideal for use in smart cities, agriculture, and industrial applications.

Key Parameters of Wi-Fi Halow

Frequency RangeSub-1 GHz (See table below for details)
Data Rate150 kbps to 15 Mbps
RangeMore than 1 km (official claim), the Range can go up for lower datarate applications
Low Power OperationHas multiple power saving modes and can operate on coin cell batteries for months or years
SecuritySupports Wi-Fi level Security (WPA3)
InteroperabilityNo proprietary hubs or gateways are required.
Channels & ModulationNarrow band OFDM channels

Use Cases for Wi-Fi HaLow

Home and building automation: Wi-Fi Halow is low-power solution to connect door locks, cameras, appliances, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning components.

Agriculture: The range and ability of Wi-Fi HaLow to connect multiple sensors across a network over vast areas allows this technology to be used to track and monitor crops and livestock. Sensors based on coin cell batteries can operate on the farm for years.

Industrial: Wi-Fi HaLow enables the connection of sensor devices and actuators across large distances in factories and refineries. It offers robust WPA3 security and built-in support for IPv6.

Logistics and transportation: The sub-1 GHz radio frequency offers significant advantages that enhance planning and efficiency in the logistics of moving goods from suppliers to factories, warehouses, and points of sale.

While still in its early stages of adoption, Wi-Fi HaLow is rapidly gaining traction for IoT and IIoT applications. As device compatibility and network infrastructure expand, we can expect to see more innovative applications based on this technology.

Wi-Fi HaLow Frequency Bands by Country

CountryFrequency Band
China755 - 787 MHz
Europe863 - 868 MHz
Japan916.5 - 927.5 MHz
Korea917.5 - 923.5 MHz
Singapore866 - 869 & 920 - 925 MHz
USA902 - 928 MHz

Read an article on Wi-Fi HaLow: Wi-Fi HaLow: Powering the Evolution of Smart Cities.

Click here to read an interview with Morse Microwave from 2020 that talks about the Wi-Fi HaLow Technology and how it compares to traditional Wi-Fi technology.

Click here to see all 802.11 standards.