Wi-Fi Alliance fires back at GE endorsement of ZigBee

Wi-Fi Alliance fires back at GE endorsement of ZigBee


It’s on! Freaklabs writes

Earlier this month, GE officially endorsed ZigBee as the wireless standard of choice for smart appliances in a white paper, but the Wi-Fi guys aren’t having any of it. The Wi-Fi Alliance released a statement yesterday denouncing the white paper as “flawed” and “inaccurate.”

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6 thoughts on “Wi-Fi Alliance fires back at GE endorsement of ZigBee

  1. johngineer says:

    “oh no they didn’t!”

    I smell a format war. A costly and completely unnecessary format war that accomplishes nothing, except to delay innovation by several years. Those who do not study history are doomed to make the rest of us miserable.

  2. Rahere says:

    Format wars only happen when an innovative product appears for the first time, not when upgrades happen. WiFi’s so deeply entrenched now the only way ZigBee will get anywhere is to redefine itself as an entirely new paradigm, and for that it needs a serious application base, for all that its credentials are to the taste of this site.
    The best it might hope for is to be adopted/taken over.

    On the critical side, I find its argument weak as I’d have expected a comparative signal strength map to substantiate such an argument. Anyone can use half the power if the signal only carries a quarter of the distance.

  3. RocketGuy says:

    I’m probably one of the few people with actual field experience of both large scale wifi and zigbee deployments.

    I’m a Network Engineer, and have no connection to either corporate player, just a fondness for sanity and some data in hand.

    Initially I was not enthused about another 2.4Ghz technology on my campus, due to RF contention worries with our WIFI network.

    As it turns out, properly deployed ZigBee is virtually undetectable even being used by dozens of endpoints. And ZigBee can be configured to use channels outside the standard WIFI channel space, eliminating even a small contention for bandwidth in the 2.4Ghz space.

    We watched with a spectrum analyzer as the ZigBee systems were commanded repeatedly, and couldn’t even discern the transmissions. Not so for the WIFI networks, which were of course much more active. WIFI is a big, noisy truck while ZigBee is a carrier pigeon. Can’t carry as much, but boy is it quieter!

    For appliances with low data transmission needs, but with high device counts, ZigBee would be a clear winner on this issue alone. Add 900Mhz capability for longer range with the same power and I would pick ZigBee every time. ZigBee plays nicer, both with WIFI and with other ZigBee devices, having been designed for just this purpose.

    I’ve also worked with WIFI bridges and mesh technologies. They work, but frankly they aren’t very elegant or reliable. And they make a lot more noise. WIFI is crowded enough, I don’t want a billion little devices making it worse, even with just a low rumble.

    So from my perspective, ZigBee for appliances and home automation please…

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