WBA Announces Wi-Fi HaLow Entering Real-World Commercial IoT Deployments Across a Range of Sectors


The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the global organization that connects people with the latest Wi-Fi initiatives, has today announced that its “Wi-Fi HaLow for IoT” program has moved into a new phase, showcasing 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow solutions in real-world use cases with contributing industry members. These include a range of applications including Smart Home, Smart City, Building Automation, Smart Retail, Industrial IoT, and Agriculture Technology. A new “Wi-Fi HaLow for IoT” white paper released today also gives an overview of the features, expected use cases, and markets for Wi-Fi HaLow.

These commercial deployments will demonstrate how Wi-Fi HaLow extends the benefits of Wi-Fi into more Internet of Things (IoT) applications where unique technical challenges must be overcome to realize the business benefits. Wi-Fi HaLow delivers extended ranges, improved material penetration capabilities, extended battery life, enhanced device density, minimized end-to-end delay, a higher level of security, ease of installation and management, and elevated data throughput in IoT scenarios.

The Wi-Fi HaLow trial scenarios

In the coming months, the project team will test the use cases and applications to demonstrate the benefits and performance Wi-Fi HaLow has in the real world, including understanding crucial metrics such as coverage areas, data rates, throughput, and signal reliability. A detailed analysis from the trials will inform new deployment guides, helping the wider industry successfully roll-out IoT solutions, without having to resort to proprietary or non-IP technologies to gain the automation, insights and business benefits that IoT promises to deliver.

Smart Home – Evaluate Wi-Fi HaLow against traditional Wi-Fi in security cameras, HVAC, appliances, detached garage connections, solar power systems, power backup generators, and EV chargers.

Smart City – Focus on infrastructure monitoring, smart utilities, and traffic management to highlight wider coverage benefits, high data throughput, increased device density, and low-cost maintenance.

Smart Building Automation – Conduct testing to support smart building applications such as physical security, surveillance, access control, safety alarms, and water sensors.

Smart Retail – Showcase how Wi-Fi HaLow enhances consumer satisfaction and increases productivity for retailers and partners. The assessment will cover scanners, readers, point-of-sale equipment, asset tracking, security monitoring, warehouse robots, and handlers.

Industrial IoT – A focus on testing industrial applications including asset tracking, infrastructure monitoring, remote equipment control, safety automation, and security monitoring.

Agriculture Technology – Trials in smart agriculture or precision farming systems, including environmental monitoring, soil monitoring, plant health monitoring, actuator control, and data collection for predictive breeding.

Wi-Fi HaLow includes a host of key features such as operation in the sub-1 GHz radio band, the use of narrow channel bandwidths, an increased number of supported devices and new operating modes to accommodate battery-operated devices. It also, builds upon the foundations of Wi-Fi, retaining such features as the most up-to-date high levels of security and native-IP support inherent in all internet connectivity.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “The move to demonstrating Wi-Fi HaLow in real-world scenarios is an important milestone for the WBA and the contributing industry members supporting these activities. Each scenario will highlight how Wi-Fi HaLow solves connectivity problems, which previously may have required non-standard RF radio technology, or incurred higher costs of ownership. A detailed analysis from these deployments will inform new deployment guides, helping wider industry to successfully roll-out IoT solutions, without having to resort to proprietary or non-IP technologies to gain the automation, insights and business benefits that IoT promises to deliver.”

Marleen Boonen, CEO and Founder of Methods2Business, said: “The initiation of Wi-Fi HaLow’s real-world trials marks a significant milestone, allowing users to first-hand experience the technology’s extended range, energy efficiency, and high penetration capabilities. These trials validate Wi-Fi HaLow as a reliable and secure IoT connectivity solution for wide range of applications in diverse environments, further stimulating adoption. The overwhelming results from the initial trials are a real stimulus for intensifying our investments in this compelling technology.”

Prakash Guda, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Morse Micro, said: “We applaud the WBA’s use case trials of Wi-Fi HaLow in real-world ‘smart’ applications and believe the results will underscore the protocol’s superior long-range, low-power connectivity for the IoT. Momentum is building for Wi-Fi HaLow as deployments accelerate in industry IoT, security camera and access point products, many of which were showcased at CES 2024. Offering 10x the range, 100x the coverage area, and 1000x the volume of traditional Wi-Fi technologies, Wi-Fi HaLow is ready for primetime in the IoT ecosystem and is a natural fit for edge-based AI, especially for long-range, intelligent applications.”

Zac Freeman, Vice President of Marketing & Sales of Newracom, articulated: “Wi-Fi HaLow deployments underscore the profound impact of the Wi-Fi HaLow standard. The extensive capabilities and robust connectivity features of Wi-Fi HaLow elevate IoT to a heightened level, overcoming limitations imposed by older connectivity standards. This technology enables the deployment of IoT solutions with unprecedented scope, fully realizing the vision of smart services without constraints. We are genuinely enthusiastic about sharing the transformative influence of Wi-Fi HaLow in real-world scenarios.”