Wi-Fi Alliance lifts HaLow's market odds with certification program

WiFi
The Wi-Fi Alliance CERTIFIED HaLow program, like similar Alliance programs could serve to boost HaLow's commercial prospects. (Getty Images)

Wi-Fi HaLow, which is being positioned as a connectivity solution for IoT use cases, smart cities and other applications, got a much-needed commercial boost this week with the Wi-Fi Alliance’s introduction of its Wi-Fi CERTIFIED HaLow certification program.

The alliance has such a program for each of its numerous standards to help ensure interoperability in chips and products, and to help promote those products 

Fabless semiconductor company and early Wi-Fi HaLow backer Morse Micro semiconductor announced that its access point and station device solution  were among the first to pass certification testing. The company also is one of the testbed vendors for the certification program

“There are three testbed vendors that have been qualified to run all Wi-Fi HaLow certifications,” the company said in an email to Fierce Electronics. “There are about two dozen ATLs (Approved Test Labs) that are offering third party certification services, or alternatively they can sell these testbeds to customers so they could run cert testing in-house. Morse Micro is one of the three approved AP and STA [station device] testbed vendors and as such, we have already certified our solutions (both passed full Cert tests.)”

Meanwhile, Michael McNamara, Adapt IP, which offers a HaLow based industrial IoT platform, said of the certification program, “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED HaLow is the best choice for sensor communication and video feeds in RF challenged environments, such as manufacturing floors, construction sites, and commercial buildings. Operating in the ISM sub-GHz band, Wi-Fi HaLow brings exciting new features and Wi-Fi Alliance certification is of key importance to the IoT marketplace.”

WiFi HaLow has been in development for many years, and was approved as an IEEE standard more than five years ago, but largely has been waiting in the wings for the industrial IoT and consumer IoT markets to take flight. Among its advantages are its ability to deliver long-range connectivity of up to 1 km and 140 Kbps bandwidth at that range using a sub-1 GHz frequency. It also can deliver 43.3 Mbps bandwidth at very short ranges.

Morse Micro COO Vahid Manian previously told Fierce Electronics that one Wi-Fi HaLow access point also can serve up to almost 8,200 connected stations. “We’re talking about something that provides 10x the range of connectivity, 100x the area and 1000x the volume of traditional Wi-Fi solutions,” he added.

Stacey Higginbotham of Stacey on IoT wrote this week that when the HaLow standard first came out, she questioned its validity in a crowded market, but that she now believes it has an opportunity in enterprise settings because of the number of sensors and other products produced for that market.

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