Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>

Gary Audin | January 09, 2015 |


The Next ZigBee, 3.0

The Next ZigBee, 3.0 If you're working Internet of Things into your IT plan -- as you should be -- then you'll need to know all about this latest wireless standard.

If you're working Internet of Things into your IT plan -- as you should be -- then you'll need to know all about this latest wireless standard.

If the Internet of Things isn't already part of your IT plans, it will be soon -- IoT endpoints are proliferating, and efficient resource use demands your attention. And, if IoT becomes part of your world, then ZigBee wireless networks will too, as I wrote in my recent No Jitter post, IoT Meets ZigBee.

Developed by the ZigBee Alliance, ZigBee is a wireless standard for supporting the IoT and enabling interoperability among a wide range of smart devices for businesses and consumers. The latest version, ZigBee 3.0, is based on the IEEE 802.15.4 standard, which operates in the 2.4-GHz frequency band accepted worldwide with no geographic restrictions. ZigBee Alliance members currently are testing ZigBee 3.0 and expect to ratify the standard by 4Q15.

Why ZigBee 3.0?
With ZigBee 3.0, the alliance aims to simplify choices for developers of IoT products and services. It will deliver all the features available in previous versions, already implemented in tens of millions of IoT devices, in a single, unified standard. Because ZigBee 3.0 will enable communications and interoperability among disparate device types, product developers and service providers should more easily be able to build fully interoperable solutions for building automation, smart homes, connected lighting and other IoT environments.

Previously, the ZigBee Alliance had focused on optimizing standards on a market basis and with an eye toward addressing processor speed, memory size and other hardware limitations. Hardware advancements, including development of fast, low-cost chips, combined with the goal of connecting a wide variety of devices in every market, led the alliance to create the unified ZigBee 3.0 standard.

ZigBee 3.0 initially will include ZigBee Telecommunication, ZigBee Home Automation, ZigBee Light Link, ZigBee Building Automation, ZigBee Retail Services and ZigBee Health Care services; others will follow. It uses ZigBee PRO, a low-power, low-cost, low-complexity spec that supports mesh networking for reliable operations. ZigBee PRO can be run in tiny devices, such as simple sensors.

Adding Application Level Standards
The IEEE 802.15.4 standard covers the lower two levels of the OSI model. Previous ZigBee Alliance standards cover the presentation through network layers. ZigBee 3.0 adds the application layer standards, as shown below.

Source: ZigBee Alliance

At the application layer, ZigBee 3.0 supports more than 130 devices, including building and home automation, lighting, energy management, smart appliances, security, sensors and health care monitoring products. It supports easy-to-use, do-it-yourself installations as well as professionally installed systems. All current device types, commands and functionality defined in current ZigBee PRO-based standards are available in ZigBee 3.0.

ZigBee for Telecom Services
The ZigBee Alliance members have created a ZigBee public application profile, ZigBee Telecom Services, that covers a wide variety of application scenarios for mobile devices designed to deliver services. These include: indoor location-based services; information delivery services; infomobility services; mobile ticketing, payment, advertising, couponing and office services; multiplayer services (mobile gaming and multi-chatting); and social networks.

Mobile phones equipped with a ZigBee SIM card may receive a variety of information provided by network operators and can be used to pay for services, with the charges authenticated by the network operator. ZigBee Telecom Services allow mobile devices to move about in a ZigBee network and communicate among themselves. The devices can communicate with other fixed nodes/devices, including information nodes, ticketing machines and anchor nodes for indoor locations.

Impact on Existing ZigBee Implementations
ZigBee Home Automation 1.2 or ZigBee Light Link 1.0 products will be forward compatible with ZigBee 3.0. Getting a product ZigBee-certified today means that the product is ZigBee 3.0-ready. IoT endpoint devices supporting other standards may need to be updated.

Pertinent documentation includes the ZigBee PRO spec, which defines the network operations; a ZigBee 3.0 Base Device Behavior spec, which defines the behavior for all devices when forming or connecting to a network; a ZigBee 3.0 Application Architecture document, which provides guidance for implementing ZigBee; and the ZigBee 3.0 Cluster Library, which provides a single document defining all application-level functionality. (Click here for an on-demand webinar on ZigBee 3.0).

If ZigBee is unknown to you or your organization, now is the chance to learn about this latest version. Given that IoT endpoints are becoming a major part of how an organization manages its resources efficiently, IT professionals, facilities managers, automation implementers and operations personnel should all know what ZigBee 3.0 is and the role it plays in the IoT.

For more IoT coverage, read:


September 26, 2018

Join Kevin Kieller, Microsoft UC&C expert, along with Ribbon Communications and Polycom, for an update on Microsoft Ignite, and a focus on critical things you need to know about your voice deployme

August 29, 2018

Moving your voice services to the cloud introduces new challenges for 9-1-1 services. These include the need to serve multiple locations, and the increased mobility that comes with having a phone t

August 8, 2018

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming a reality for your contact center. But to turn the promise of AI into practical reality, there are a couple of prerequisites: Moving to the cloud and integr

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.