Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee Combination in MDUs

Technology creates new opportunities every single day.

In the world of multi-dwelling units (condos, apartment complexes, and the like) a hodgepodge of communication protocols exists, on different levels. We are talking specifically about:

  •       Wi-Fi,
  •       Bluetooth, and
  •       Zigbee.

These protocols are powerful, invisible, essential. They are separate from one another and distinct.

Let’s say there is a 500-unit apartment complex in New York City.


The property managers at this apartment complex can harness the power of Wi-Fi to configure in-room controllers for each unit. And by continuing the use of Wi-Fi in this manner, they have ultimate control of each unit.

Like all of us, the building’s residents are using their mobile devices practically every waking hour. A resident could, in theory, use an app on their mobile device to set up “home” and “away” thermostat schedules, and even control the thermostat remotely, from wherever they are.


Residents use Bluetooth technology on their mobile devices to complete the process of pairing their phones to the thermostat.


And finally, there’s the Zigbee element. Zigbee is the communication protocol that’s driving an explosion of IoT devices that we, as a society, use every single day. Zigbee is a low-powered radio wave technology that can ultimately communicate across long distances by hopping across shorter distances. It avoids channel interference with Wi-Fi because of its low power. Zigbee devices can “talk” to one another forming a ‘mesh’ network.  


So, what’s the opportunity? It’s the combination of all three in a single smart device: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Zigbee; one device that utilizes all three. Telkonet has engineered such a device.

We call it the Touch Combo. With the Touch Combo, there’s something for everyone:

For building managers, they retain ultimate control of thermostats in every unit. They can prevent wild temperature swings in individual units. And when a unit is vacant, they can maintain appropriate temperature and humidity levels.

They can add an energy management platform to monitor and control energy expenditure. In-room controllers “talk” to other IoT devices. Think of the in-room controller communicating with a building management system (BMS/BAS) via BACnet. And thanks to Zigbee, other devices can join the “conversation”. Devices such as door locks, lighting, shades, even power outlets. Benefits include energy savings and more efficient building control…remotely!

Plus, they can save energy (which is their priority, not necessarily the residents’ priority).

For residents, it’s the slick Sonata mobile app with which they can control climate settings from wherever in the world they happen to be: at home in New York City, or on a business trip in Shanghai, even on holiday on an African safari, as long as there’s Internet access.

If you’re intrigued by Telkonet’s cutting-edge technology, get in touch with our sales reps today. We’re excited to talk to you about this one-of-its-kind technological advancement.