Bluetooth in communication and connection use

Bluetooth profiles

  To use Bluetooth wireless technology, a device must be able to interpret certain Bluetooth profiles, which are definitions of possible applications and specify general behaviors that Bluetooth-enabled devices use to communicate with other Bluetooth devices. These profiles include settings to parameterize and to control the communication from the start. Adherence to profiles saves the time for transmitting the parameters anew before the bi-directional link becomes effective. There are a wide range of Bluetooth profiles that describe many different types of applications or use cases for devices.

bluetooth profiles (from wiki)

Communication and connection

  A master BR/EDR Bluetooth device can communicate with a maximum of seven devices in a piconet (an ad-hoc computer network using Bluetooth technology), though not all devices reach this maximum. The devices can switch roles, by agreement, and the slave can become the master (for example, a headset initiating a connection to a phone necessarily begins as master—as initiator of the connection—but may subsequently operate as slave).

  The Bluetooth Core Specification provides for the connection of two or more piconets to form a scatternet, in which certain devices simultaneously play the master role in one piconet and the slave role in another.

  At any given time, data can be transferred between the master and one other device (except for the little-used broadcast mode). The master chooses which slave device to address; typically, it switches rapidly from one device to another in a round-robin fashion. Since it is the master that chooses which slave to address, whereas a slave is (in theory) supposed to listen in each receive slot, being a master is a lighter burden than being a slave. Being a master of seven slaves is possible; being a slave of more than one master is possible. The specification is vague as to required behavior in scatternets.

ClassMax. permitted power Typ.Range
(mW)( dBm)(m)


  Bluetooth is a standard wire-replacement communications protocol primarily designed for low-power consumption, with a short range based on low-cost transceiver microchips in each device. Because the devices use a radio (broadcast) communications system, they do not have to be in visual line of sight of each other; however, a quasi optical wireless path must be viable. Range is power-class-dependent, but effective ranges vary in practice. See the table on the right.

  Officially Class 3 radios have a range of up to 1 meter (3 ft), Class 2, most commonly found in mobile devices, 10 meters (33 ft), and Class 1, primarily for industrial use cases,100 meters (300 ft). Bluetooth Marketing qualifies that Class 1 range is in most cases 20–30 meters (66–98 ft), and Class 2 range 5–10 meters (16–33 ft).

Bluetooth versionMaximum speedMaximum range
3.025 Mbit/s [17]10 meters (33 ft)
4.025 Mbit/s [18]60 meters (200 ft)
550 Mbit/s240 meters (800 ft)

  The effective range varies due to propagation conditions, material coverage, production sample variations, antenna configurations and battery conditions. Most Bluetooth applications are for indoor conditions, where attenuation of walls and signal fading due to signal reflections make the range far lower than specified line-of-sight ranges of the Bluetooth products. Most Bluetooth applications are battery-powered Class 2 devices, with little difference in range whether the other end of the link is a Class 1 or Class 2 device as the lower-powered device tends to set the range limit. In some cases the effective range of the data link can be extended when a Class 2 device is connecting to a Class 1 transceiver with both higher sensitivity and transmission power than a typical Class 2 device. Mostly, however, the Class 1 devices have a similar sensitivity to Class 2 devices. Connecting two Class 1 devices with both high sensitivity and high power can allow ranges far in excess of the typical 100m, depending on the throughput required by the application. Some such devices allow open field ranges of up to 1 km and beyond between two similar devices without exceeding legal emission limits.

  The Bluetooth Core Specification mandates a range of not less than 10 meters (33 ft), but there is no upper limit on actual range. Manufacturers’ implementations can be tuned to provide the range needed for each case.

Bluetooth vs. Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11)

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are to some extent complementary in their applications and usage. Wi-Fi is usually access point-centered, Wi-Fi suits better in applications where some degree of client configuration is possible and high speeds are required, especially for network access through an access node.

However, Bluetooth access points do exist, and ad-hoc connections are possible with Wi-Fi though not as simply as with Bluetooth. Wi-Fi Direct was recently developed to add a more Bluetooth-like ad-hoc functionality to Wi-Fi.

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