Wi-Fi, a term that can be treated as a basic necessity for humans today, dates back to 1990s. Wi-Fi has seen a range of improvements since its inception. The speeds have increased and the range has improved. The transmission technology has also seen some astonishing changes.
The most recent standard would be the 802.11ah or “Wi-Fi HaLow”. This makes use of the completely different frequency of 900MHz. As a result of this, we get higher coverage area, better penetration through objects or environments. Using 900 MHz also reduces the power consumption drastically. This is the same range of the frequency that is being used currently in Indian Telecom Industry. The 900 MHz spectrum is one of the famous the ranges for the cellular operators in India. So there is a possibility of a backlash from the operators. The price associated with the auction to thousands of crores and it is an investment by the operators. There is another possibility of using other spectrum as per the country’s implementation, like 863-868 MHz in Europe, 717-723 MHz in Korea, 916-927 MHz in Japan, and 755-787 MHz in China. A similar approach can be implemented in India. And if this is not considered then it is highly unlikely that it would deploy in India anytime soon unless there is the difference in the encryption being used.
This standard would be completed along with other standards such as Bluetooth 5.0, ZigBee and Z wave which are commercially available and accepted. Let us consider Z wave as there is the similarity in the frequency used for transmission that is 900 MHz
Another benefit for the solution providers would be that they are going to implement an already familiar technology of Wi-Fi (802.11) rather than a completely new technology. Wi-Fi HaLow would also bridge the gap that is between the current ranges of the technologies. Fig 2 depicts the range of the other two commonly used Wi-Fi standards, 802.11ac (5 GHz) and 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz). This is a clear improvement over its predecessors, but this is again with the constraints of the speed.
From the current IoT market is expected to grow to $ 300 billion industry. With the current option of the connectivity that is available the industry is going to face certain challenges as the manufacturers may not be keen on producing the supported hardware. Wi-FI HaLow would be keen on tapping the market where ever the existing technologies fail. The new standard would be implemented by 2018 for the enterprise and the commercial markets. Along with the advent of this new standard there is also “White-Fi” or 802.11af and “WiGig” or 802.11ad that would compete to grab the market share based on the applications.
-SURYADEV MAHTO (Systems & Finance)