Bluetooth spec booming
- By Robert Frazier
- Apr 19, 2000
Imagine going to a meeting with your cell phone in your briefcase and your
notebook computer in tow. You open the computer and, without plugging in
to anything, begin receiving e-mail. In the meeting, you also receive files
from others in the room without receiving e-mail messages, or you send files
All of this is possible through a revolutionary radio chip developed
through a collaboration of the computing and communications industries,
Bluetooth also is the official name of a specification that has become
the fastest-growing technology standard ever. It is a specification for
wireless technology, a global standard that enables devices to communicate
with each other using a secure radio frequency.
Bluetooth-enabled portable computers, mobile phones, office equipment,
household appliances and more can communicate at short ranges without the
burden of cables securely, inexpensively, at a high rate of data transmission
and without line-of-sight requirements.
World leaders in mobile technology IBM Corp., Ericsson, Nokia Corp.,
Intel Corp. and Toshiba in 1998 created the Bluetooth Special Interest
Group to further Bluetooth as a global standard.
The Bluetooth device is a small, low-powered radio on a chip that communicates
with other Bluetooth-enabled products. Bluetooth technology uses the 2.4-GHz
radio band, which is unlicensed and available almost worldwide. It supports
data speeds of up to 721 kilobits/sec (including a 56 kilobits/sec back
channel) and three voice channels.
Up to eight users or devices can communicate in a small network called
a piconet. Ten of these piconets can coexist in the same coverage range
of the Bluetooth radio. To provide security, each link is encoded and protected
against eavesdropping and interference.
Network administrators face a challenge if an enterprise has wireless
local-area network deployed and wants to use Bluetooth piconets. The Bluetooth
technology and wireless LANs may interfere with each other. Bluetooth piconets
must be placed within a larger wireless LAN to minimize such interference.
For more information about enterprise networking, go to Network World
Fusion at www.nwfusion.com. Story copyright 2000 Network World Inc. All