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The Zigbee Alliance this week is addressing an Internet of Things (IoT) pain point with a new mesh network technology capable of supporting multiple frequency bands.

The Alliance said its new Zigbee PRO 2017 technology allows for operation in two ISM frequency bands, including the 800-900 MHz range for local operation and 2.4 GHz for global access. The group indicated the solution’s flexibility is well-suited to support massive IoT deployments from manufacturers, municipalities, and consumers.

“PRO 2017 is the ideal wireless solution to cast large IoT networks across buildings, business parks, large facilities, cities, and venues challenged by connectivity issues such as reinforced concrete and steel studs,” Victor Berrios, Zigbee Alliance VP of technology, commented. “The deployment potential is tremendous for smart homes, smart buildings, and smart cities.”

The Zigbee Alliance pointed out the PRO 2017 specification was born out of an initiative to roll out smart electric and gas meters to 30 million homes in the United Kingdom by 2020. Those meters reportedly required a blend of 2.4 GHz and sub-GHz support, and that technology is now being shared with the public as an open standard.

Looking ahead, Parks Associates has estimated more than 442 million connected consumer devices across the entertainment, mobile, health, and smart home verticals will be sold stateside in 2020. And the new Zigbee multi-band technology will be key to providing increased network reliability to support those devices, the firm indicated.

“As both the volume and breadth of connected products grows and the market moves past early adopters, network reliability is paramount,” Parks Associates Director of IoT Strategy Tom Kerber observed. “Dual-band radios and sub-GHz frequencies will provide reliable network solutions to cover the huge variety of architectures and building types throughout the world.”  

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