What is 802.11ah or HaLow?

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Editorial Team - everything RF

Oct 6, 2018


Based on IEEE 802.11ah, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11ah or HaLow is a low power, long range Wi-Fi standard that works in 900 MHz. 802.11ah (HaLow) was introduced by the WiFi alliance in 2016. WiFi Certified HaLow was developed for use in smart building applications, like smart lighting, smart HVAC, smart security systems, connected cars, smart cities and other low power applications.

The Sub-1 GHz Frequency band of operation enables it to penetrate better through walls and obstructions when compared to 802.11ad (which operates in the 60 GHz band). When compared to conventional Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) that operate in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band it consumes lower power and has a longer range.

One of the main drawbacks of HaLow/802.11ah is that the 900 MHz band in which it operates is not a globally unlicensed ISM band. This band is unlicensed in the United States and as a result, HaLow is very US-centric technology. The WiFi Alliance, has also defined other frequency bands for HaLow operation in other countries, but since these frequencies vary considerably across countries, standard products that work in all regions are not common.

Sub-1 GHz ISM bands available for use by IEEE 802.11ah/HaLow technology

CountryFrequency Band for 802.11ah/HaLow
China755 - 787 MHz
Europe863 - 868 MHz
Japan916.5 - 927.5 MHz
Korea917.5 - 923.5 MHz
Singapore866 - 869 & 920 - 925 MHz
USA902 - 928 MHz