A Secure New Wireless Standard for the IIoT

IEEE finalizes Standard for Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems.

An updated wireless standard for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) was recently finalized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The standard, called IEEE 802.16s-2017Standard for Air Interface for Broadband Wireless Access Systems, provides secure, low latency, and reliable wireless connectivity using licensed radio frequencies.

IEEE 802.16s was developed in cooperation with the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the Utility Technologies Council (UTC), 20of the largest U.S utility companies, and select technology providers, including private network provider Ondas Networks (formerly Full Spectrum).

Initially developed for the U.S. electric utility industry, IEEE 802.16s, now in its fourth amendment, has been embraced by a number of other mission-critical sectors. These include the transportation industry, water and wastewater utilities, oil and gas industry, security and defense markets, among others.

The new version of the standard targets operation in the licensed 700 MHz band, with support for other Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) bands. 802.16s-2017 also offers a reduced channel bandwidth, specifying channels ranging from 100 kHz to 1.25 MHz. A new system profile has also been added to support the narrower channel bandwidths.

“The completion of the standard ensures a safe, secure and highly reliable wireless data communications protocol for the industrial Internet,” said Ondas Networks CEO Stewart Kantor. “Mission-critical operators have faced the dilemma of relying on unlicensed wireless technology like Wi-Fi or unsecure and unreliable carrier-based solutions designed for consumers. We believe our technology coupled with the standard will now ensure IIoT efforts will no longer have to compromise.”

With security a perennial concern of the IoT, and reliability a key factor for many IIoT applications, the new standard should provide an appealing option for private industrial networks. You can learn more about IEEE 802.16s-2017 on Ondas Networks’ website.

To learn about another way to communicate on the IoT, read Passive WiFi: A New Standard for the Internet of Things?

Written by

Michael Alba

Michael is a senior editor at engineering.com. He covers computer hardware, design software, electronics, and more. Michael holds a degree in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta.