Nokia joins Z-Wave Alliance, integrates Z-Wave IoT standard into smart home offerings

Recognizing the size of the Z-Wave ecosystem and potential for accelerating smart home efforts, Nokia (NYSE:NOK) has joined the Z-Wave Alliance, which now boasts almost 400 members supporting the Z-Wave standard.

In fact, the alliance says it has seen unprecedented growth in the past year, with a 25 percent increase in members and more than 50 million devices shipped globally.

Z-Wave was founded by Zensys, which was purchased in 2008 by Sigma Designs of Milpitas, Calif. It's based on the ITU standard G.9959. Because Z-Wave is one of the key wireless Internet of Things (IoT) platforms being used in residential applications, Nokia is implementing Z-Wave in its latest generation of smart home gateway products.

"The size of the Z-Wave ecosystem and the functionality of the platform will allow Nokia to combine our core offerings of residential gateways for communication and entertainment to gateways that support Internet of Things functionality," said Leopold Diouf, general manager Digital Home at Nokia, in a press release. "Smart home is one of our strategic focus areas and the Alliance will absolutely accelerate these efforts. To realize the full potential of the smart home, interoperability is key. Being able to leverage the Z-Wave Alliance renowned certification program and work with Z-Wave vendors who have already been certified will significantly support our ability to deliver a robust offering."

Z-Wave boasts that it is by far the most widely used wireless protocol for the home automation industry. It's most prevalent in the security industry and companies incorporating the technology include Honeywell, 2GIG, ADT, Napco, Ingersoll Rand/Nexia Intelligence and In fact, 90 percent of the North American security company-based lifestyle solutions are powered by Z-Wave, according to the alliance.

The protocol is an interoperable, RF-based technology designed specifically for control, monitoring and status reading applications in residential and light commercial environments. It operates in the sub-1 GHz band and is impervious to interference from Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies, like Bluetooth and ZigBee, in the 2.4 GHz range. In the U.S., Z-Wave frequencies use 908.4 MHz and 916 MHz.

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