900 MHz Wi-Fi: Is It Better Than 2.4GHz Wi-Fi?

Wireless technologies use a wide range of frequencies. Some radio wave frequencies are higher up to 2.4 GHz, while others are lower at 900 MHz. According to the general impression, you may think that 2.4 GHz radio waves perform better than 900 MHz; nevertheless, that’s not true. For wireless systems that work in wide-open fields, this is true. However, the wireless world has to face many obstacles like buildings, trees, etc. Amidst so many obstacles, 900 MHz is the best operating frequency for the radios. Let’s have a clear picture of the 900 MHz wifi vs. 2.4 GHz wifi.

900 Mhz-The Wireless Workhorse

900 MHz is the unlicensed and lowest frequency that wireless communications bands use. You may also know it by the name of ISM band (Industrial, Scientific, Medical). This band is relatively low in frequency, and thus, it has a longer wavelength. As a result, the wavelength can curve or bend around different objects. However, the radio signals must have enough room to spread. Also, obstacles cannot absorb this long-wavelength like that in 2.4 GHz frequency bands.

Further, lower frequency signals travel farther than higher frequency signals. Thus, this is the most versatile radio wave available for non-line-of-sight applications. 

For 900 MHz wifi networks, the frequency range is from 902-928MHz. This limited bandwidth (only 26MHz) is the biggest drawback of this spectrum. Due to this, it may give noise when other products also operate in this spectrum band.

900MHz wireless vs. 2.4GHz Wi-Fi: Which is Better

Apart from the 900 MHz ISM band, radio operations have other frequencies with their unique strengths. At times, 900 MHz and 2.4GHz are used in place of each other. Why?

Advantage of both of them

Both offer certain advantages over hardwired solutions in the access control world. Some of those benefits are:

  • Overcoming architectural limitations

Some openings are challenging to hardwire in atriums, glass doors, and historical buildings. Also, it is pretty expensive to hardwire them.

  • Budget:

There are small openings in wood frames and drywall that are easy to wire. However, as their number increases, the labor costs rise so much. Further, it takes around 5-6 hours to hardwire an opening than an hour in the wireless option. With wireless options, you can reduce the cost significantly.

  • Flexibility: 

There is no need for coring or cutting of doors in wireless options. Further, if you want to relocate a lockset in your automatic gates, it is easier as it is a self-contained solution.

Where 900 MHz is Better and Where you Should use 2.4GHz

While both 900 MHz and 2.4GHz share some standard features, they are not identical. So, how will you decide which one is better? The selection of any of the two depends on the clients’ goals and the type of application.

Image: audio waves and microphone

When 900 MHz is the best option

Real-time is essential: If the client wants to communicate to a device within 10 seconds, a 900 MHz band wireless access system is suitable. You can use this band for some typical applications like real-time management of any changes in employee credentials or remote lockdown. For example, a device does real-time communication with its host and manages all events and alarms in real-time. Such devices are used in a monitoring application in the hospital for temperature monitoring, and it also saves battery life while performing all these functions.    

The signal range can be a problem:  A 900 MHz wifi connection offers a higher degree when compared to a 2.4 GHz wifi connection. Almost all Radio Frequency waves face some interference. However, the 900 MHz, due to its low frequency and higher wavelength, penetrates through building structures quickly. Always look for other frequencies in the surroundings when you propose a new frequency in that area, and it will help you know their compatibility.

When 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi is a good option

Real-time access control is not required: If your client wants access control but not real-time, it’s advisable to use a 24GHz wifi network.

Access rights seldom change: When the client rarely changes the access controls, it is enough to update credential information once or twice a day with a time delay.

When you want to use the present IP infrastructure: If someone wants to keep the locked network and the existing communication network the same, a 2.4Ghz wifi connection is better.

Image: wifi network connection concept

Conclusion

It depends on your applications when to use the 900 MHz band and the 2.4 GHz band. However, due to several advantages that 900 MHz operating frequency offers, it is an attractive option in several industries. If you need any help with wireless system installations, please reach us. We also deal in good-quality cable assemblies to support your wireless system.

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