Federal Internet Law & Policy
An Educational Project
Wireless: Unlicensed: Bluetooth Dont be a FOOL; The Law is Not DIY

Derived From: Steve Karty, Bluetooth Personal Area Network Technology, NCS Technology Note (2000)

The National Telecommunications Act opened new public access to the ultra high frequency (UHF) and very high frequency (VHF) bands. As a direct consequence, wireless local area networking is becoming the communications standard for small and mobile corporations. Hybrid networks composed of fixed and wireless assets appear to be the next step. An important aspect of these new wireless networks is the integration of household (and business office) appliances, laptop computers, and personal communications service (PCS) devices. The facile connectivity promised but unrealized by infrared (IR) technology may now be available via embedded omni-directional transceivers based on breakthrough radio technology chips. This technology, called Bluetooth, seamlessly connects each intelligent appliance in a household or an office in a piconet wireless network.

Bluetooth is an embedded, low-power, short-range, radio-frequency (RF) technology. Also, this mobile network technology is IR media-based with moderate bandwidth. It will be a network-ready unit that meets the radio link, protocol, profile, and information requirements in the emerging standards.

Bluetooth will be most applicable for exchanging data between personal devices such as cell phones, radios, pagers, personal digital assistants, notebook computers, video and still cameras, audio players, and local area networks (LAN). The mechanism would support automatic synchronization of mobile devices when end users enter their offices. Some writers also discuss the use of Bluetooth in household appliances, but the applications are unclear. Cell phone to cell phone relay is also considered practical (range permitting) as an alternative to the metered cell relay station.

With an operating range of 10 meters or less, Bluetooth’s reach exceeds the current range of IR, but falls far short of other wireless networks. Implemented at 2.4 GHz in the Industrial, Scientific, and Medical (ISM) band, it has active and sleep mode power targets of 100 milliWatts and 100 microWatts, respectively. The Bluetooth developers are attempting to keep the cost per unit at about $10 by using only a few, highly integrated chipsets that will make Bluetooth acceptable for small electronic devices.

. . . . .

Meeting the very low power drain requirements with a 10-meter operating range, and implementing networking rather than just link communications, makes the design task more complex. However, engineering models of the radio and baseband unit have been successfully demonstrated, and only refinements remain to achieve the power level and range goals. Production engineering is expected to achieve the price goal.

The Bluetooth architecture integrates a combination of hardware and software into the networking device. The hardware is an embeddable module or a module residing on a card, which interfaces with the host device. It interfaces on one side with the host and on the other side with another Bluetooth device via its RF or IR transceiver. On the host side, there are four identified interfaces: the universal serial bus (USB), the PC card (or PCMCIA), and two serial interfaces, UART and RS232. All of these have established standards that define the physical and logical interaction. However, the higher level interaction between the Bluetooth device and the host is defined in unique Bluetooth protocols and packets.

The software includes salutation and security managers, a database, and the protocol stack. The transport technology is digital packet-oriented communications (rather than analog or streaming digital). Communication with the host includes hardware control and event monitor packet types. Asynchronous connection-oriented (ACO) and synchronous connection-oriented (SCO) packets are used for the link communication between devices, with SCO used primarily for real-time audio and video. Conventional packets, such as the Telephony Communications Service (TCS) and Internet Protocol (IP), are encapsulated in the Bluetooth SCO and ACO data packets, adding one more layer to the stack and therefore one more encapsulation with its overhead. Therefore, Bluetooth requires an additional protocol stack for a PC.

Derived From: Kenneth Carter, Ahmed Lahjouji, Neal McNeal, Unlicensed and Unshackled: A Joint OSP-OET White Paper on Unlicensed Devices and Their Regulatory IssuesPDF, OSP Working Paper 39 p 30 (May 2004)

Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology that allows devices to interact at a range of up to 30 feet with a maximum transmission speed of 1 Mbps. Bluetooth is named for 10th Century Danish King who united the nation and is a trademark for the standard promulgated by a trade association called the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).51 Bluetooth was initially envisioned as a cable replacement technology and is primarily used to connect computer devices and peripherals. For example, a mobile phone equipped with a Bluetooth chipset can be used to exchange information such as telephone number lists with a Bluetooth enabled laptop. Similarly, Bluetooth can be used to link a desktop PC to a nearby printer without need for unsightly wires.

Bluetooth is now gaining acceptance for applications other than cable replacement. For instance, Delphi Corporation recently displayed Bluetooth technology in a new Saab 9-3. With Bluetooth, drivers can connect a wireless headset to a mobile telephone and operate more safely in a "hands free" mode, or connect to a PDA right from the vehicle. Bluetooth, coupled with other wireless technologies, is also expected to permit a driver to communicate from an automobile to an external computer or even a home networking systems. Accordingly, a driver will eventually be able to download music, for instance, from a home network and enjoy the music during his commute to work.

RFC Request for Comments

Special Publication 800-48, Wireless Network Security: 802.11, Bluetooth, and Handheld Devices

Releases July 24, 2002; Comments due September 1, 2002: The DRAFT Special Publication 800-48, Wireless Network Security: 802.11, Bluetooth, and Handheld Devices (.pdf : 2,294,825 bytes) is available for public comment. The document examines the benefits and security risks of 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), Bluetooth Ad Hoc Networks, and Handheld Devices such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDA). The document also provides practical guidelines and recommendations for mitigating the risks associated with these technologies. NIST is particularly interested in comments on the technical and operational countermeasure recommendations. NIST will be accepting comments on this document until September 1, 2002. NIST Notice

News & Blogs

© Cybertelecom ::