Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: What is Bluetooth?A: Bluetooth wireless technology is a convenient, wire-free, short-range communication between devices. It is a globally available standard that wirelessly connects mobile phones, portable computers, cars, stereo headsets, MP3 players, and more. The low power consumption, small size and low cost of the chipset solution enables Bluetooth technology to be used in the tiniest of devices. The technology combines small-form factor radio, low power, low cost, built-in security, robustness, ease-of-use, and ad hoc networking abilities.
Bluetooth technology is an ad hoc technology that requires no fixed infrastructure and is simple to install and set up. You do not need wires to get connected. Bluetooth enabled products do not need to install driver software and since Bluetooth technology operates in the 2.4 GHz, (one of the unlicensed industrial, scientific, medical (ISM) radio bands,) there is no cost for the use of Bluetooth technology. The process for a new user is easy. You start with a Bluetooth branded product, check the profiles available and connect it to another Bluetooth device with the same profiles. The subsequent PIN code process is as easy as when you identify yourself at the ATM machine. When out-and-about, you carry your personal area network (PAN) with you and can even connect to others.
Bluetooth technology was designed with security needs in mind. Since it is globally available in the open 2.4 GHz ISM band, robustness was built in from the beginning. With adaptive frequency hopping (AFH), the signal "hops" and thus limits interference from other signals. Further, Bluetooth technology has built-in security such as 128bit encryption and PIN code authentication. When Bluetooth products identify themselves, they use the PIN code the first time they connect. Once connected, always securely connected.
Bluetooth radios operate in the unlicensed 2.4GHz Industrial, Scientific, and Medical application (ISM) frequency range. This frequency is already widely used by devices such as microwave ovens, baby monitors, cordless telephones, and 802.11b/g wireless networking devices. In order to avoid interference from these devices, Bluetooth uses a technology called spread spectrum frequency hopping. Spread spectrum frequency hopping changes the transmission frequency up to 1600 times per second across 79 different frequencies. As a result, interference on any one of those frequencies will only last a fraction of a second. This, coupled with the limited range of Bluetooth radio transmitters, results in a robust signal that is highly tolerant of other devices sharing the same frequency.
Bluetooth devices automatically attempt to communicate whenever one device comes within range of another. Bluetooth devices discover each other and initiate communication via inquiry and page transmissions. If device A would like to connect to device B, it will broadcast a page message progressively across the Bluetooth frequency range. Before device B establishes a connection, it will wait in standby mode listening for page and inquiry messages. In order for the page message to succeed in establishing communications, device A must know device Bís Bluetooth address and system clock settings. If device A does not have device Bís address, it will broadcast an inquiry message requesting this information. Device B will respond with the correct information and communication is then initiated with a page message. Bluetooth devices have the ability to form ad hoc networks. The topology of these networks is both temporary and random. An ad hoc network of two or more Bluetooth devices is called a piconet. When two Bluetooth devices initiate a connection, they automatically determine if one device needs to control the other. Generally, the device that initiates the communication assumes the role of master and exercises certain controls over the other members of the piconet which are known as slaves. Upon establishing a piconet, the slave devices synchronize their frequency hopping sequence and system clock with that of the master in order to maintain their connection. A master device can have up to seven slaves. A slave in one piconet can also be the master in another, thus allowing piconets to overlap and interact forming what is known as a scatternet.