The ZigBee Alliance Adds the Sub-GHz Band to its IoT Mesh Network Technology

The ZigBee Alliance, an association of companies creating, maintaining and delivering open, global standards for the Internet of Things (IoT) has introduced their latest offering in the Alliance’s flagship mesh networking technology. Designed to connect and facilitate interoperability between smart devices, the ZigBee PRO 2017 is the underlying network technology that supports full-stack interoperable devices certified under ZigBee 3.0.

With PRO 2017, ZigBee is now the first mesh network capable of operating in two ISM frequency bands simultaneously: sub-GHz 800-900 MHz for regional requirements and 2.4 GHz for global acceptance. This dual-band option enables flexibility and design choices for manufacturers, municipalities and consumers wanting to connect products across buildings, cities and homes.

Devices based on the ZigBee PRO 2017 network specification are part of Europe’s biggest engineering projects today. ZigBee PRO-based solutions are being deployed across the United Kingdom, which has a government mandate to roll out smart meters to approximately 30 million homes by 2020. This roll out will give them an estimated $15 billion in net benefits based on consumer energy savings and lower energy generation demand. The PRO 2017 initiative had its genesis in this smart electric/gas meter roll out for the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (formally the Department of Energy & Climate Change), which required a blend of 2.4 GHz and sub-GHz ZigBee devices (on average, there are five nodes – where ZigBee technology lives – used per household). As a global, open standard driven by industry leaders, ZigBee Alliance member companies worked together to address this need, and to bring the PRO 2017 network specification to market.

Leveraging ZigBee PRO 2017, product manufacturers can now build devices that utilize a single network operating on multiple bands to address the challenges of surrounding physical environments. The inclusion of sub-GHz capabilities supports IoT networks for multiple use cases including smart outdoor lighting, use within facilities such as retail settings and data centers that need to monitor broad ambient conditions, and when deployed across harsh environments. The PRO 2017 network specification provides key advantages including longer range, reduced power consumption and lower operating costs for low-data-rate applications ranging from home security and automation, to smart metering and connected lighting.

To complement PRO 2017-based products, the Alliance offers its ZigBee Certified Products Program, which ensures that quality, interoperable ZigBee devices are available for ecosystem developers, service providers and their customers. Leveraging ZigBee technology to build for the IoT now gets innovators into a rapidly growing market today, puts them on a proven and reliable path toward dotdot – the universal language for the IoT – and fosters collaboration between hundreds of leading tech organizations invested in and designing for ZigBee-based networks.