IoT Gets Its Own Wi-Fi

RICHARD QUINNELL | March 1, 2016

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For many, wireless Internet connectivity is synonymous with Wi-Fi. But for many, if not most, Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Wi-Fi does not offer the required range and its implementation often costs more in complexity and power than such applications can tolerate. The WIFi Alliance aims to change that situation, though, with a variation of Wi-Fi specifically for the IoT.The Wi-Fi variant in question is IEEE 802.11ah, to be known as Wi-Fi HaLow (pronounced like halo) according to a recent release from the Wi-Fi Alliance. Despite reports circulating on the Internet, however, the standard is not yet finalized. So far, the only thing cast in stone is the name. The IEEE standard itself is still in the IEEE-SA Sponsor Ballot stage. The first ballot is complete, and a second ballot is scheduled to go out in March, 2016.
But it's coming close. If all goes well (and there is little reason to expect that it won't) the final specification approval should take place by September this year. For many chip developers, that's close enough that it's time to start designing the hardware.

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