Wi-Fi preps for 900 MHz with 802.11ah

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The stage will be set for Wi-Fi's migration beyond the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrum bands and onto 900 MHz spectrum with an initial IEEE vote on the new 802.11ah standard, which may occur within the month. However, even if the vote happens that quickly, the final standard will probably not arrive until January 2016, though chips and systems based on 802.11ah specs could hit the market as early as 2015. according to EE Times. In the United States, the available band for 802.11ah will be the unlicensed 902-928 MHz Industrial, Scientific and Medical (ISM) band.

The 802.11ah version of Wi-Fi is aimed at offering throughput of 150 kbps with a 1 MHz band to as much as 40 Mbps over an 8 MHz band and would compete with other technologies for building and home automation such as Zigbee and Z-wave. 802.11ah Wi-Fi would have longer range than higher-band Wi-Fi, making it useful for extending Wi-Fi range for cellular offloading and rural communications. Other use cases might include sensor networks, backhaul for sensors and other machine-to-machine communications. Companies working on the standard are said to include Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Broadcom, Huawei, Intel, LG, Marvell, NEC, Samsung and ZTE. For more, see this EE Times article.