HaLow Comes to Market

Article By : Matthew Burgess

While we’ve been focused on our need for ‘beefy speeds’ to enable our Netflix bingefests, the rise of IoT has led to a knew imagining of how to better utilise Wi-Fi technology.

Wi-Fi has made itself an integral component in how hundreds of millions of people around the world access the internet and consume data. But while we’ve been focused on our need for ‘beefy speeds’ to enable our Netflix bingefests, the rise of IoT has led to a knew imagining of how to better utilise WI-Fi technology.

The Wi-Fi Alliance announced HaLow at CES 2016 as the outcome of the 802.11ah process kicked off with significant help from Qualcomm engineers in 2014.

The so-called 'HaLow' products promise delivery of up to Mbits/s over distances of tens of meters to a kilometer and support for thousands of nodes on an access point. They will occupy a space between ultra-low-power and -cost LoRa and Sigfox networks and below more power-hungry LTE Cat-M and Narrowband-IoT networks that come with data plans.

Despite early enthusiasm for .11ah, the initial timing for the HaLow release was bad. In 2016, the next big version of mainstream 2.4-/5-GHz Wi-Fi, 802.11ax, was also ready.

Enter Newracom

While companies such as Qualcomm and Mediatek have had their heads turned by 11.ax, startups have taken up the challenege to be first to market with Halow.

Newracom, a provider of IoT-enabled Wi-Fi SoC, and AdvanWISE, IoT solutions provider of integrated hardware, software and cloud connection, jointly announced the world’s first release of HaLow products.

AdvanWISE deploys a variety of HaLow products integrated with NRC7292, the world’s first 802.11ah Wi-Fi SoC provided by NEWRACOM. AdvanWISE recently developed and introduced the world’s first Tri-band Industrial Gateway, HaLow AP/ Station, HaLow Mini PCI-e Module to penetrate IoT markets.

HaLow is targeted at IoT markets, which include the smart home/ office/ industry, connected car, digital healthcare, smart farm, and smart grid. Distinct from conventional Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n/ac/ax), HaLow products operate at sub 1GHz bandwidth and promise long-range data transmission with low power consumption. Even though 802.11ah already faces increased competition from other low-power and long-range connectivity technologies such as Sigfox, LoRa, NB-IoT, Wi-SUN, it boasts a higher data rate up to 15Mbps and connects thousands of devices on a single access point.

802.11ah compared with other LPWA technology transmission distances and transmission rates. (Source: Newracom)

As a first mover of HaLow technology, NEWRACOM generated buzz for the release of the world’s first 802.11ah SoC, NRC7292 last year. As a Wi-Fi solution optimized for IoT devices and gateways, NRC7292 is the world’s first and only commercial chipset compliant with the IEEE 802.11ah standard. Operating in the Sub 1GHz license-exempt band, it offers a greater range up to 1 mile (1.6km) over 2.4GHz and 5GHz technologies. 1/2/4MHz channel widths with optional short guard interval (SGI) yield 150 Kbps to 15 Mbps PHY throughput which can support low-rate sensors to high-rate surveillance camera applications. The protocol’s power-saving mechanisms such as a longer sleep mode greatly reduces power consumption and increases battery life.

ISM unlicensed bands
The so-called ISM unlicensed bands vary around the world. (Image: Morse Micro)

According to ABI Research’s forecast on the HaLow market, the shipment of HaLow will be only 2.2 million in 2019 as the first market presence. However, with 152% CAGR during the period in 2018-2023, the shipment will exponentially increase and reach 31.1 million in 2023.

*(Source: Newracom)*

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