What is Bluetooth Mesh?

Wireless networks often suffer the drawback of limited range when used in large-scale applications. Connection stability and strength diminishes at longer distances, which is something that wireless mesh technology is looking to enhance. Bluetooth Mesh is one of these technologies specifically for Bluetooth IoT devices, bringing range-extending properties and resilience to an array of industries. But what exactly is a Bluetooth Mesh, and what does it offer to different applications? 

What is a wireless mesh network? 

For close-range wireless communications like Wi-Fi, an access point (AP) represents a single device that connects all others to the wireless local area network (WLAN). All the devices within the network connect to the AP to receive and transmit data as well as communicate with one another. This system is an efficient close-range wireless network solution, but for larger areas there can be issues of weak connectivity or interference.

A wireless mesh network is a decentralised system that enables devices to communicate with each other in a WLAN that are too distant from a central AP. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, such as utilising dedicated AP nodes that devices can connect to, or via a multihop network where devices themselves act as nodes that connect and communicate with each other in a mesh pattern. Whatever method is used, mesh networks enable local networks to expand in size without sacrificing connectivity, bandwidth or speed. As a result, these mesh networks provide a range of benefits to businesses, factories and smart homes via expanding their network capabilities.

Bluetooth Mesh - an intelligent device networking solution 

As one of the most popular forms of IoT wireless communication, Bluetooth’s use is widespread across industries and households thanks to its impressive power-saving capabilities (especially with Bluetooth Low Energy). But a result of this is the highlighting of one of its biggest weaknesses, range. In order to maintain sufficient connectivity within the 2.4GHz frequency band, Bluetooth sacrifices optimal connectivity distance that sees its use mostly confined to short-range devices as a result.

Bluetooth Mesh is an innovative new technology that brings extended range and resilience to IoT networks and applications. As opposed to the traditional point-to-point connection of Bluetooth, Mesh has a many-to-many topology that allows individual devices to communicate with every other device in a network. It utilises a multihop framework by turning individual bluetooth devices into nodes that communicate with one another, creating a mesh. 

To reinforce connectivity, Bluetooth Mesh utilises managed flooding and multipath delivery methods. Each device broadcasts communications to all nodes in the mesh rather than those nearby to maximise the chance that distant devices will receive the communication. This increases the reliability of the network via utilising multiple connection paths to send the same communication, increasing the chance of it being successful. The result, a fully decentralised Bluetooth network that maintains high performance and connectivity whilst providing power-saving opportunities to the world of wireless.

  • Industrial - Provides a unified connection for devices on a large scale (such as a factory) that can then communicate with one another for automation, control and monitoring purposes.
  • Office - Expands the network of devices throughout a large office or business without detriment to speed or bandwidth, whilst also enabling efficiency opportunities via inter-device communications. 
  • Smart home - Enables a range of IoT devices to communicate with each other throughout an entire home, such as a light turning on one side of the home automatically when a door opens on the other. 

Integrate Bluetooth Mesh into your wireless device

Decentralised networks and Bluetooth Mesh technology are helping expand the reach of IoT devices past that of short-range applications. From manufacturing to smart homes, WNM provides a wide range of use cases, especially to Bluetooth devices. 

To take advantage of the potential offered by Bluetooth Mesh, you need an antenna solution that maximises your device’s performance. Antenova provides a range of solutions to accommodate different requirements. We also provide a detailed Integration Hub to further aid you in finding the perfect antenna for your device, or you can download our latest guide to fill you in on everything you need to know about Bluetooth antenna solutions. 

Everything you need to know to integrate a Bluetooth antenna solution  GET THE GUIDE

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