Low-Power Sub-1GHz WLAN Standard Extends Range for IoT and Smart Grid

IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), today announced the availability of the IEEE 802.11ah™-2016 standard amendment, providing for an extended range Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) in the sub 1 GHz band. IEEE 802.11ah-2016 significantly lowers propagation loss through free space, walls and other obstructions, and offers a networking alternative to augment the heavily congested 2.4GHz band and the shorter-range 5GHz band used today.

IEEE 802.11ah-2016 defines a narrow-band orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) physical layer (PHY) operating in the license-exempt bands below 1 GHz, making it suitable for several potential applications, such as Internet of Things (IoT), smart grid, healthcare, smart appliances and wearables.

“The publication of IEEE 802.11ah-2016 exemplifies how comprehensive stakeholder engagement and participation can make step improvements to standards that meet the needs of industry and improve the overall end-user experience,” said Adrian Stephens, chair of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. “IEEE 802.11ah-2016 sets the stage for advancing the connected world with more efficient and robust networking options.”

The IEEE 802.11ah-2016 standard amendment offers multiple low rates modes (starting from 150 kb/s) for extended range (up to 1km outdoors) and higher rate modes (up to 347 Mbps) for applications requiring higher throughput. It supports outdoor deployment and can provide robust performance in large delay spread environments.

Low rate modes are suitable for IoT applications, and provide whole-home coverage for battery-operated, small form-factor devices, such as temperature and moisture sensors. Higher rate modes support plug-in devices with a power amplifier, such as video security cameras.

The IEEE 802.11ah-2016 standard amendment is optimized for long battery life and serving an increased number of devices with a MAC layer that enables increased scalability, higher power efficiency, and relay operation (single hop or multi-hop).

More than 300 individuals from equipment and silicon suppliers, service providers, systems integrators, consultant organizations and academic institutions from more than 20 countries participated in the development of IEEE 802.11ah-2016.

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