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The future of Bluetooth is far from blue
Posted on 8-Nov-2003 23:31. | Tags Filed under: News.

The ARChart group prepared an article on current and future Bluetooth trends:

"A couple of weeks ago we presented the compelling case for Ultra Wideband as a formidable cable replacement technology around the home, connecting printers, camcorders and home entertainment systems wirelessly. In its heyday, this was once seen as another natural domain for Bluetooth, the personal wireless area networking standard.

However, this does not mean the end is near for Bluetooth. From its inception, the standard has been optimised for short range (10 metres nominally), low power voice and data communications. This makes it ideally suited for use in small, portable, personal devices, ranging from handsets to headsets, which are powered by batteries (a higher power version, with a range of about 100 metres, exists for powered devices like access points and USB dongles). While UWB has yet to be standardised, and Wi-Fi still hogs battery life, Bluetooth will have this market to itself for many years to come.

While consumers are now increasingly becoming familiar with Bluetooth headsets, Bluetooth’s plethora of profiles facilitates a range of other cable replacement services: For example, using Bluetooth, a handset can be connected to a desktop PC to sync personal information; make an IP-based LAN connection for Internet access; and act as a cordless telephone (the CTP profile) for voice conversations run over Bluetooth instead of cellular. However, most handsets available today do not support the full range of Bluetooth profiles. CTP, for example, is not supported by any mass-market handset at the moment, although this is likely to change going forward.

The network and cordless telephone profiles have the potential to be particularly disruptive for the mobile network operators (MNOs). For example, connecting to the Internet over Bluetooth allows users to circumvent the cellular network entirely. A P800 for example can be relatively easily configured to surf the web and send emails using a $40 USB Bluetooth adaptor connected to a PC. While Bluetooth’s real world connection speed of 700Kbps compares poorly Wi-Fi’s 6Mbps, it is almost twenty times as fast as GPRS’ 40Kbps."

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