A fundamental strength of Bluetooth wireless technology is in its ability to handle simultaneous data and voice transmissions. This functionality gives users a variety of innovative solutions, such as hands-free headsets for voice calls, printing and fax capabilities, and synchronization of PCs and mobile phones, to name just a few.
The range of Bluetooth technology is application-specific. There is no set limit, and manufacturers can tune their implementations to provide the range needed to support the use cases for their solutions.
Bluetooth Core Specification
Unlike other wireless standards, the Bluetooth core specification gives product developers both link layer and application layer definitions, which support data and voice applications. For more information about the Bluetooth core specification, visit our Adopted Bluetooth Core Specifications documents page.
Bluetooth technology operates in the unlicensed industrial, scientific and medical (ISM) band at 2.4 to 2.485 GHz, using a spread spectrum, frequency hopping, full-duplex signal at a nominal rate of 1600 hops/sec. The 2.4 GHz ISM band is available and unlicensed in most countries.
Bluetooth technology's adaptive frequency hopping (AFH) capability reduces interference between wireless technologies sharing the 2.4 GHz spectrum. AFH works within the spectrum to take advantage of the available frequency. This is achieved by the technology’s detection of other devices in the spectrum and avoidance of the frequencies they are using. This adaptive hopping among 79 frequencies at 1 MHz intervals gives a high degree of interference immunity and allows for more efficient transmission within the spectrum. For users of Bluetooth technology, this hopping provides for greater performance even when other technologies are being used along with Bluetooth technology.
Range is application-specific, and although the core specification mandates a minimum range, there is not a limit, and manufacturers can tune their implementation to support the use case they are enabling.
The range varies depending on the class of radio used in an implementation:
- Class 3 radios — range of up to 1 meter or 3 feet
- Class 2 radios — most commonly found in mobile devices — range of 10 meters or 33 feet
- Class 1 radios — used primarily in industrial use cases — range of 100 meters or 300 feet
The most commonly used radio is Class 2, which uses 2.5 mW of power. Bluetooth technology is designed to have very low power consumption. This is reinforced in the specification for allowing radios to be powered down when inactive.
The Generic Alternate MAC/PHY in Version 3.0 HS enables the discovery of remote AMPs for high speed devices and turns the radio on only when it is needed for data transfer, giving a power optimization benefit as well as aiding in the security of the radios.
Bluetooth low energy technology, optimized for devices requiring maximum battery life instead of a high data transfer rate, consumes between one-half and 1/100th of the power of Classic Bluetooth technology.
The Value Proposition
Bluetooth enabled devices must be simple to use — much simpler and easier than it is today to get many of the hundreds of different types of devices to work with each other.
Bluetooth technology must be secure, so that users can trust Bluetooth products to protect their personal information, whether it's in a phone conversation or computer data.
Bluetooth products are everywhere. Our members ship billions of Bluetooth enabled products each year. This creates the Bluetooth network effect. If you want your product to be successful, make sure it connects to the vast network of other Bluetooth products.
Bluetooth wireless technology is a short-range communications technology. The key features of Bluetooth technology are robustness, low power and low cost. The Bluetooth core specification defines a uniform structure so that a wide range of devices can connect and communicate with each other.
The structure and the global acceptance of Bluetooth technology embody the promise that any Bluetooth enabled device, nearly anywhere in the world, can connect to other Bluetooth enabled devices nearby.
Connections between Bluetooth enabled electronic devices allow these devices to communicate wirelessly through short-range, ad hoc networks known as piconets. Piconets are established dynamically and automatically as Bluetooth enabled devices enter and leave radio proximity, meaning that users can easily connect whenever and wherever it's convenient for them to do so.
Each device in a piconet can simultaneously communicate with up to seven other devices within that single piconet, and each device can belong to several piconets simultaneously. This means the ways in which users can connect their Bluetooth devices is almost limitless.