Publisher and Managing Editor's
Topic - Forrester says
Bluetooth Will Be Pervasive - In What Context, we Ask?
Last month, trade press
carried a report from Forrester Market research company suggesting
that Bluetooth will be the pervasive technology in future and not
Wi-Fi. The research company used valid statistics about
incorporation of Bluetooth in cellular handsets to come to an
respect Forrester as a research company with depth. Unfortunately, we do not agree with
all the conclusions made by Forrester. It appears that Forrester
analyst got overwhelmed by the Bluetooth numbers against lower Wi-Fi
deployments in smart phone, PDA and notebook-based devices.
We offer the following points for technical and business professionals to
- There is no practical contest
between Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi have
their own unique roles in the world of wireless - Bluetooth is for
the lower-end and cheaper voice-centric devices (primarily
handsets) - low-power, low battery
consumption, shorter coverage distances, cheaper chip costs and lower
communications speed. This serves handsets and a whole lot of
other accessories very well. Wi-Fi is the bigger brother of Bluetooth -
stronger, muscular who eats more battery power, runs faster and
costs more money. It is better suited for those devices that are
- If we just count numbers,
Bluetooth already does and will continue to dominate in numbers.
No arguments, there at all. Forrester, we rest our case on that
issue. However, if that is your definition of pervasiveness,
please state so clearly for the benefit of simple-minded
professionals. Wi-Fi should not be in a counting contest with Bluetooth.
Let it concede that. We shall have no arguments with Forrester
if the report said - In terms of cellular handsets, Bluetooth
will be more pervasive than Wi-Fi.
- When smart phone handsets become
more data-centric doing some heavy-duty applications, vendors
will have to consider Wi-Fi for these devices. Major device vendors are already
doing that, including Qualcomm at the chip level. We see more dual-technology devices in future at
the high end of the device spectrum i.e. incorporating both Bluetooth and
- Both technologies will survive for
the foreseeable future. Numbers will be in Bluetooth's favor -
wireless data horsepower will be in Wi-Fi's favour.
- In the home networking arena,
Wi-Fi has a much greater chance pf succeeding than
- In fact, ignoring future
technology developments and breakthroughs that we do not know
about, we see high-end wireless data-centric devices in future
to support three network technologies Bluetooth for
communication to accessories, Wi-Fi for hotspot/enterprise
connectivity and 3G or 4G for pervasive mobility when data needs
are less intensive. Our forecasts are not based on any numbers
but fundamental strengths (and weaknesses) of individual
- Future hotspots should and we
think, will support both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth devices. Next
generation of Access Points or WLAN switches will support
Bluetooth devices as well.
- Chander Dhawan
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