Bluetooth Low Energy

Bluetooth Vs. Bluetooth Low Energy

We'll get to that real soon...but first, what is Bluetooth?

Not this grumpy blue tooth...

Bluetooth is a wireless technology standard (not a piece of plastic you stick in your ear for phone calls). Of course the two are related, but the wireless connection between your phone and the earpiece is called Bluetooth… not the piece itself. As you can imagine, Bluetooth was developed as a way to exchange data over a short range (like from your pocket to your shoulder) without the need for wires. That’s why it is used for wireless headsets, hands-free calling through your car, and wireless file transfers. In engineering speak, Bluetooth operates in the 2400-2483.5 MHz range within the ISM 2.4 GHz frequency band. Data is split into packets and exchanged through one of 79 designated Bluetooth channels (each of which have 1 MHz in bandwidth).

Bluetooth’s Machine to Machine/IoT Applications

When considering the difference between Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy (it’s newer sibling), it’s important to talk about power consumption. Bluetooth was originally designed for continuous, streaming data applications. That means that you can exchange a lot of data at a close range. That’s why Bluetooth is such a good fit for consumer products. People like to receive data and talk at the same time, and exchange videos from one device from another. Here are some Machine to Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) uses for Bluetooth: Wireless headsets File transfers between devices Wireless keyboards and printers Wireless speakers

What Is Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE)?

Bluetooth Low Energy hit the market in 2011 as Bluetooth 4.0. When talking about Bluetooth Low Energy vs. Bluetooth, the key difference is in Bluetooth 4.0's low power consumption. Although that may sound like something negative, it’s actually extremely positive when talking about M2M communication. With Bluetooth LE's power consumption, applications can run on a small battery for four to five years. Although this isn’t ideal for talking on the phone, it is vital for applications that only need to exchange small amounts of data periodically. Just like Bluetooth, BLE operates in the 2.4 GHz ISM band. Unlike classic Bluetooth, however, BLE remains in sleep mode constantly except for when a connection is initiated. The actual connection times are only a few milliseconds, unlike Bluetooth which would take ~100mS. The reason the connections are so short, is that the data rates are so high at 1 Mb/s.

BLE’s M2M/IoT Applications

Blood pressure monitors Fibit-like devices Wi-Fi meshing Industrial monitoring sensors Geography-based, targeted promotions (iBeacon)

Bluetooth vs. Bluetooth Low Energy - The IoT Difference In summary, Bluetooth and Bluetooth Low Energy are used for very different purposes. Bluetooth can handle a lot of data, but consumes battery life quickly and costs a lot more. BLE is used for applications that do not need to exchange large amounts of data, and can therefore run on battery power for years at a cheaper cost. It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

This article first appeared HERE. Check out some Wi-Fi meshing solutions in our store by Cambium Networks and Ubiquiti Networks, that incorporate BLE.

802.11ac Wave 2 – The Business Enabler [Part 2]

Alright! It’s time to define the 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi standard and explore what it can do for you! In part 1, we dug into technology [read jargon] that defines Wave 2 WiFi, and laid the foundation upon which this article is all about. If you haven’t, please read it first here, and then come back. Go ahead...I’ll wait. All done? Good! So, Wave 2. What is it and what can it do for you? 802.11ac Wave 2 is the second wave of wireless networking technology based on the 802.11ac standard. It is an improvement of Wave 1 in terms of functionality and performance, in relation to PHY Rate, MIMO, Spatial Streams and Frequency Bands, making it the current cutting edge of Wi-Fi technology. Let’s explore these aspects some more...

PHY Rate

802.11ac Wave 2 provides significantly higher throughput, up to 3.47Gbps compared to Wave 1 which maxes out at 1.3Gbps. This offers great support for high demand WiFi networks that require gigabit speeds making it perfect for latency-sensitive traffic like video and voice. Higher throughput up to 3.47Gbps


802.11ac Wave 2 supports MU-MIMO [Multi User-Multiple In Multiple Out], offering greater density in concurrent usage, compared to Wave 1 which supports SU-MIMO [Single User - Multiple In Multiple Out]. This means that multiple connected devices can send and receive data at the same time and easily get on and off the network. It translates to efficient traffic management in an overcrowded network, greatly reducing congestion. A real world application of MU-MIMO is in the IoT -a high density interconnection of wireless devices- providing concurrent downstream communications to multiple wireless devices. This efficiency results to faster and more reliable wireless networks. MU-MIMO

Spatial Streams

802.11ac Wave 2 supports 4 spatial streams compared to 802.11ac Wave 1, which does up to 3 spatial streams. Spatial Streaming is all about transmitting and receiving antennas and the science behind it. I’ve discussed it in detail here. The extra spatial stream is a significant improvement. The more transmit and receive antennas are, the greater the distance of transmission with no effect on transmission speed. This translates in reliability and resilience in high density WiFi networks. 4×4 MIMO

Frequency Band

Both 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 operate in the 5GHz frequency band. While Wave 1 supports 20,40 and 80 MHz channels in the 5GHz band, Wave 2 offers a wider channel for transmission, up to the 160 MHz channel. The wider the channels, the higher the bandwidth and flexibility. This results to higher speeds and the flexibility to shift across the wide channels in noisy environments. Overall results? Reliable and resilient wireless networks.

So there you have it! 802.11ac Wave 2, the business enabler! Can it get any better with all these goodies?  802.11ax is in the offing... Looking to deploy 802.11ac Wave 2 Wireless systems? Visit our STORE today and explore our wide selection of wireless solutions. Place your order while at it, won't you?
ePMP Force 180

ePMP Force 180 – Reliable, High-Quality Wireless Broadband Connectivity

The ePMP Force 180 is a compact and powerful Integrated Radio with exceptional reliability and quality. It packs some significant performance features optimized for wireless broadband connectivity.

Operating in the 5GHz frequency band, it uses 2x2 MIMO-OFDM technologies to deliver 200 Mbps of real data throughput. It also comes equipped with a Gigabit Ethernet port so that nothing will limit it in delivering the maximum throughput. This allows you to confidently offer triple play services -voice, video and data- in the most demanding networks.

This radio combines an antenna gain of 16 dBi and transmission power of up to 30 dBm to give a range of up to 20km, making it perfect for use as an Access Point, Subscriber Module or PTP radio. Combine that with an IP55 rating to make it great for outdoor use! The Force 180 Integrated Radio also functions as a client to an ePMP GPS Synchronized Radio in either a PMP or PTP deployment forming a GPS Synchronized solution.

The radio module is powered by PoE [14-30V]. More to that, the Ethernet port has the unique capability of being powered from a PoE injector that conforms to standard pinouts or from a PoE injector that conforms to Cambium pinouts. This makes it possible to upgrade existing radio locations to the Force 180 without changing the PoE injector!

The Force 180 radio also features eFortify™ and eCommand™ software solutions. eFortify enhances the performance in high noise environments while eCommand provides a suite of management features and tools to assist in planning, provisioning and monitoring of their network. These software features provide operators with the ability to confidently deploy high performance networks, with greater visibility and control.

It also includes an adjustable mounting bracket that eases the task of installing and properly aligning the radio, for best link performance.

Powerful, right? What’s more, all these features come in a compact and sleek design at a very affordable price! Empower your customers today...choose the Force 180 Integrated Radio by Cambium Networks.

Hop over to the store [here] to place your order today!