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ZigBee Alliance completes Smart Energy Profile 2

Targets leading role in smart meters, electric vehicle charging - and in a wider range of applications in future

By CAROLINE GABRIEL

Published: 30 April, 2013

READ MORE: M2M | Standards | Zigbee

The ZigBee Alliance has completed its Smart Energy Profile 2 specifications, aiming to establish an important standard for wireless connectivity in the internet of things (IoT).

The standards body, which governs the ultra-low power, short range communications protocol, believes SEP 2 will take ZigBee beyond its traditional markets in industrial controls and into millions of connected devices such as smart meters or home security systems.


The timing is good, at a time when large players are talking vocally about plans to extend their networks to all kinds of sensors and gadgets. AT&T last week unveiled its Digital Life home automation and security service in 15 US cities, for instance. While that is designed to provide a new revenue stream for its cellular network, many smart home and IoT initiatives are using unlicensed spectrum technologies, with a major battle in the offing between low energy Wi-Fi, ZigBee, Bluetooth and some emerging alternatives like white space standard Weightless. SEP 2 is targeted at smart grid applications but is likely to be the basis for broader use cases in future.

The ZigBee SEP 2 provides IP-based information and control for energy management in so-called HANs (home area networks), for both wired and wireless networks. SEP 2 supports new capabilities such as control of plug-in and hybrid electric vehicle chargers; and deployments in multi-dwelling buildings. It is designed to be flexible, for instance by supporting interfaces to allow multiple energy services in one premises. And it supports any IETF IP-compliant transport protocol, with the new ZigBee IP only one option.

Work on SEP 2 was carried out in partnership with the HomePlug Alliance and other industry groups have participated too.

Tobin Richardson, chairman and CEO of the ZigBee Alliance said: "Now that the standard is done, the Alliance and our partners are working hard to complete the test plans and tools necessary to certify SEP 2 products."

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