What is ZETA Technology?

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- everything RF

Feb 9, 2021

ZETA is a global Low-Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN) technology for low-cost, long-range IoT connectivity. ZETA leverages an advanced M-FSK modulation and coding scheme created by ZiFiSense that allows the system to detect and demodulate signals from transmitters of extremely low power. M-FSK receiver sensitivity can get as low as -150 dBm. Hence, ZETA can achieve an extremely long wireless-communication range with low transmitter output power.

ZETA technology is already well established throughout China and Japan, and the technology is now gaining momentum in other countries. As of Feb 2021, the Zeta Alliance website only shows China and Japan as countries that have adopted this technology.

Functional Characteristics of ZETA Technology:

  • Bi-directional Communication: ZETA supports real-time bi-directional communication. It supports both the data feed and the control signaling transmissions from/to sensors at the time they are initiated by a user-defined event.
  • Frequency of Operation: ZETA can operate in all license-free sub-1GHz ISM bands (e.g., 433, 470, 500, 787, 868, and 915MHz) and support data rate in the range of 100 bps-50kbps. All ZETA devices are hardware agnostic in terms of the RF front-end and they could be easily adapted in order to operate in the licensed spectrum.
  • Multi-hop self-organizing network access: ZETA provides flexible networking, blind area coverage, node convergence, and network self-healing.
  • Multiple protocol version: ZETA can accommodate variety of customised protocol versions to suit the needs in difference user scenarios.
  • Ultra-low power consumption: This technology consumes very low power.
  • Long Range: ZETA boasts ultra-narrowband technology with high receiver sensitivity. It further assures stable transmission of 2 to 10 km in urban environments. Longer range connectivity cab be provided in rural locations or where the propagation condition is ideal.
  • Multiple security mechanisms: It provides efficient security solutions for IoT applications. ZETA further supports frequency hopping (over 50 channels), time-based authentication, MAC address filtering and optional AES-128 or LCG-based lightweight data encryption.
  • Best-in-Class Capacity: This configuration is a combination of a highly distributed network architecture with its own Mesh Access, virtual OFDMA and multi-hundreds Hz UNB channels. Hence, it delivers 3 to 10 times extra capacity against existing LPWA solutions.

When compared with the traditional IoT technology, ZETA, as an LPWAN technology, has a few noticeable advantages such as wide coverage, low power consumption and long battery life.

ZETA Alliance

The ZETA Alliance has been set up to promote ZETA Technology. The alliance has over 300 members who are primarily located in China and Japan. Key members of this alliance are Shanghai Nokia Bell Co., Ltd., STMicroelectronics (China) Investment Co., Ltd., Toray Advanced Materials Research and Development (China) Co., Ltd., NTT DATA (China) Co., Ltd., Toppan, Techsor, Socionext, Maxell, Mitsuiwa, KDDI Research, OYO, Sky Technology, and Silicon Technology.