ZigBee Will Lead the Fixed Wireless Sensor Network Market to 1 Billion Units in 2018

With its dominance for smart lighting assured, ZigBee is poised to drive the fixed Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) market to 1 billion annual unit shipments within the next five years.

ZigBee Light Link assures a dominant role for ZigBee in the fixed Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) market, according to global technology research firm ON World.

ZigBee’s outlook for the smart home is brighter now that the Connected Lighting Alliance– composed of major lighting manufacturers such as Philips, Osram and GE– has chosen ZigBee Light Link as the standard for residential lighting. Smart lighting has become a launching pad for additional smart home WSN applications that will in turn drive other ZigBee markets such as metering, commercial building controls, retail and healthcare.

As Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) markets continue to mature, two landscapes have emerged: fixed and mobile.

“ZigBee and 802.15.4 have the biggest impact on fixed WSN markets, ” says Mareca Hatler, ON World’s research director. “While mobile sensing markets will increase the fastest over the next five years, fixed WSN markets have a larger number of applications, higher device profit margins and large opportunities for services revenues.”

Smart lighting demonstrates ZigBee’s strengths for fixed WSN including its wireless mesh capabilities, low power consumption, adaptability and multiple chipset suppliers. While ZigBee and IEEE 802.15.4 are commonly used for building-wide and outdoor lighting networks, ZigBee is poised to dominate the residential lighting market. ZigBee Light Link in particular is quickly becoming the preferred communications technology for residential LED lighting. Over the past year, consumer adoption of wireless LED light bulbs increased by 270% and most of these use ZigBee.

In 2018, there will be 1 billion annual WSN chipsets shipped worldwide for fixed WSN markets up from 114 million in 2012. Although ZigBee is facing increasing competition from Bluetooth and WiFi, it will make up the majority of the shipments over this period.

Based on over 800 surveys and interviews with end users, vendors and suppliers, ON World’s report, “802.15.4 & ZigBee: Enabling the Internet of Things,” analyzes the global market opportunity for IEEE 802.15.4 and ZigBee as well as competing alternatives such as WiFi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, EnOcean, ANT and others.