The Wi-Fi Alliance decided to start 2016 off with a new standard to introduce to the world, this one meant to make homes with connected devices even better.
Recently, The Wi-Fi Alliance officially approved the 802.11ah standard, which it has dubbed “HaLow.” For devices, that means they’ll be operating in the unlicensed 900MHz band, which offers up to double the range of the 2.6GHz standard. At the same time, it uses less power, while it is also able to better penetrate walls.
All of those elements mean that this particular standard is meant to offer better connectivity for the “Internet of Things,” or smart-connected devices in the home. Right now, the current standards are good enough, but not when it comes to long distances for transmissions needed for devices like smart locks or other sensors speaking to a centralized hub.
As far as security and interoperability goes, The Alliance says that HaLow will “broadly adopt existing WiFi protocols,” so things should be smooth sailing moving forward as the standard is rolled out in the days ahead. Devices that launch with support for the new standard will also function within the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, indicating that there will be many devices down the line that support the HaLow standard.