Ericsson was the first company to finish the approval process, culminating in the
release of its Bluetooth
Module, a transceiver that manufacturers can embed within their products to provide
Does Bluetooth have a competitor? Because of its short-range connectivity, Bluetooth
products don't compete directly with IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs. Bluetooth's
primary competitor is IrDA, the Infrared Data
Association, which publishes standards for infrared signals. Infrared limits
connections to direct line of sight orientation between transceivers. There's no worry
about RF interference using IrDA devices, but the line-of-sight operation makes it
inappropriate for most truly mobile applications.
How should you plan for Bluetooth? As more and more wireless products become
available, carefully manage potential frequency interference. Tests have shown
significant interference between Bluetooth and other systems operating in the 2.4 GHz
band, such as IEEE 802.11 wireless LANs. To reduce chances of interference, take a look
at an article I
wrote on the interference potential between Bluetooth and 802.11.
I'll keep you posted as Bluetooth products become available. For now I recommend
that you start planning possible applications and consider ways to minimize RF
Next time we'll begin looking at wireless wide area networks.