Wireless technology plays
a crucial role in our lives today compared to the past. In addition, methods of
communication have evolved along the time due to advancements in the technology
enabling and without any doubt Wireless communications can be considered as the
fastest growing segment in the communications industry. There are different
wireless communication technologies available in the world. Bluetooth is one
such technology and has come a long way from its early days. In the year 1999, Bluetooth version 1.0 was
introduced which only supported Gaussian Frequency Shift Keying (GFSK)
modulated scheme and it did not have Adaptive Frequency Hopping (AFH) spread
spectrum and issues with the of interoperability. Later versions addressed
these issues while Bluetooth 4.0 which was officially introduced in 2011 became
a turning point with the introduction of Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE). In
December 2014, Bluetooth 4.2 was introduced with many added features than previous
versions. The latest advancement is Bluetooth 5 which was introduced in December
2016 which further enhanced the Bluetooth Low Energy technology.
Bluetooth 5 features and comparison
There are many upgrades
in Bluetooth 5, compared to previous versions. Bluetooth 4.0 have two
categories: “Bluetooth Classic” which powers wireless keyboard, mouse, speakers
etc. and “Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE)” used in Bluetooth beacons, health care
gadgets like smart watches, fitness devices etc. With Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth
classic remained unchanged while BTLE came across many changes.
Bluetooth 4.0 has
the fastest data transfer speed of 1 Mb/s compared to the previous versions.
Bluetooth 5 has doubled the rate by introducing speeds up to 2 Mb/s. This
enable the audio to be synced with the video, when using a Bluetooth device to
listen to audio parts.
With Bluetooth 5,
the range has increase by 4 times. Bluetooth 4.0 has a range of 50m outdoors
and 10m indoors (depends on the number of walls) while Bluetooth 5 has a range
of 200m outdoors and 40m inside. However, user won’t be able to have higher
speeds at higher distances.
was an issue with Bluetooth technology. With the introduction of Bluetooth 5,
consumption of power was greatly reduced. But due to better use of the
frequencies and different ways of modulation, Bluetooth 5 reduces power
consumption by 2.5 times depending on the usage situation.
With Bluetooth 4.0
introduced connectionless broadcasting (advertising) which eventually lead to
the idea of Bluetooth beacons. Bluetooth 5 has increase the size of
broadcasting messages (broadcasting packet size) from 31 bytes (in Bluetooth
4.0) to 255 bytes. This enable to send more additional data in a single
Bluetooth has been one of
the main technologies of the Internet of Things (IoT) and it is considered that
BTLE most crucial technology for IoT. Bluetooth 5 is the latest iteration of
the present wireless standard and its aim is to expand IoT capabilities.