The Bluetooth 5
specification standard advances bandwidth, range, broadcasting, and coexistence
v Speed enhancement
One of the major feature
of Bluetooth 5 is 2Mbps PHY. Due to this advancement, the amount of data that
devices can transfer has almost got double. Another advantage caused by this is
the time reduction in the transmitting and receiving data. This leads to a
lower average current consumption as more time can be spent in the low power
sleeping modes. The faster data transmission of Bluetooth 5 leads to improve
the responsiveness of time critical applications like security systems and
medical devices. Nevertheless this feature in the Bluetooth 5 devices are
compatible with that of the Bluetooth 4 devices.
v Longer range
The LE long range feature
of the Bluetooth 5 can quadruple the energy and provide reliable connections.
This is one of the feature that has not been handled earlier. This feature give
capabilities to introduce new use cases including industrial, commercial and
v Smarter beacons
Beacons are small
Bluetooth transmitters that is used to send data to any other Bluetooth low
energy technology enabled devices. These beacons make it possible to push short
messages and enable simple communication with them. These days, beacons are
used for retail advertising, asset tracking and indoor positioning. This
process of Beaconing is considered to be one of the most successful use case
for the Bluetooth. In Bluetooth 5 this beaconing works (advertisement) and as
the new specification there are significant updates of beaconing capabilities. This
enhancement allow for the development of advanced and intelligent beacons.
The basic development of the Bluetooth 5 advertising is that
the Advertising Data Sets feature, that gives possibility a single Bluetooth 5
device to send multiple advertisement data sets. A Bluetooth 5 compatible
advertiser can now also detect when a request is made by a remote device and
report the request to the application level. Thus it help to reduce the power
v Improved advertising capacity for long
The advertisement channels for the process of beaconing remain
exactly same as that of the Bluetooth 4, for the backward compatibility and
interoperability. These advertisement channels are addressed as primary
advertisement channels in Bluetooth 5. Furthermore Bluetooth 5 has the
capability to use the remaining 37 data channels as the secondary channels in
order to broadcast more data and offload the primary channel. Bluetooth 5 also has a new advertisement
packet type that is used to send over the primary advertisement channels and
this indicates the additional data will be available through the secondary
advertisement. This way the advertising
capacity has been increased in Bluetooth 5 for long range.
v More robust connections
Maximum transmit power in the Bluetooth 5 is defined to be
+20 dBm. Due to the fact that the Bluetooth 5 specification has improvements in
both channel selection algorithms and advertising that cause to use more RF
channels, the +20 dBm transmit power with Bluetooth low energy has been able to
achieve. This leads to create more robust connections. And also the long range
feature of Bluetooth 5 has led to this feature.
v Better user experience
Bluetooth 5 supports phones and tablets. The
Bluetooth 5 support is now available on the Samsung Galaxy S8 that supports the
Bluetooth LE 2M PHY. Silicon Labs has already launched the Bluetooth 5 compatible EFR32 Blue Gecko SoC already
supporting the Bluetooth LE 2M PHY and some of the advertisement enhancements.
Due to the improvements done in the Bluetooth 5 it has given many opportunities
to continue and increase the use of Bluetooth devices in evolving smart
wearable, medical, automotive, home, beaconing, location and various other IoT
Comparison with other
versions of Bluetooth
The speed of the Bluetooth 5 is higher to that
of the Bluetooth 4.2. Bluetooth 4.2 version supports about 2Mbps speed, while the
Bluetooth 4.2 gives 1 Mbps.
The maximum transmit power in Bluetooth 5 has
been increased by 10 times to that of the Bluetooth 4, so that this has given a
radical impact on the maximum range. And this leads to create more robust
connections over long range.
In Bluetooth 5 the beaconing works
(advertisement) with significant updates of beaconing capabilities with respect
to the previous versions of the specification. In Bluetooth 5 the message
capacity is large about 255 bytes while the Bluetooth 4.2 the message capacity
is small with about 31 bytes.
Beacons have become more popular since the
increase of the speed and the range of Bluetooth 5. But in previous versions of
the Bluetooth, it was less popular as less speed/ range and low message capacity.
There is a lower power requirement of Bluetooth
5 with respect to the previous versions.
What new possibilities for
The connectionless broadcasting was not much
popular in previous versions of the Bluetooth since limited message size, but
with the increase of message size in Bluetooth 5 it finds places in Bluetooth
complaint beacons used for advertising markets.
enhancement of the beaconing not only allow for the development of
advanced and intelligent beacons but also it generates completely new set of
use cases and applications including unidirectional data streaming over
An extra improvement in the Bluetooth 5
advertisement facilitates is a mode known as the Periodic Advertising, which
enables the advertiser to send out advertisement data periodically and with a
fixed interval, and one or more scanners can listen to it.
Henrik Snellman, Mikko
Savolainen, Jere Knaappila, Pasi Rahikkala. “Bluetooth 5, Refined for
the IoT” PDF file. Retrieved from http://ec.eepw.com.cn/center/download/userid/42164/id/6374