Bluetooth Over Wi-Fi Around the Corner


Image 1 for post Bluetooth High Speed: you got your Bluetooth in my WiFi!( 2008-02-12 00:22:30) Are you ready for Bluetooth 3.0? Let’s hope so, although I strongly suspect it will be here if you’re ready or not. Expectations are that the updated wireless standard will appear next week and that you won’t necessarily have to buy new hardware to take advantage of it. Aside from faster throughput of up to 480Mbps and better power management, I’m looking forward to AMP, or Alternate (MAC/PHY) Bluetooth.

AMP is the official name for using Bluetooth over Wi-Fi, something we caught an early peep of back in February. Using the new feature on a Bluetooth 3.0 device, your Bluetooth connection can piggyback over far faster 802.11 Wi-Fi networking. Where exactly might this be useful? I’d say all of those Verizon Wireless (s VZ) smartphones that offer Bluetooth but no Wi-Fi radio could be a big benefactor, for starters.

We still don’t know which chips from Broadcom (s BRCM) or others might be software upgradable to the new specification, so stay tuned. Windows for Devices says we can expect all of the deets from the Bluetooth SIG on April 21st.


Blair Poloskey

Hey Kevin – I work with the SIG and there seems to be a little confusion in this post (I know it was prior to the announcement, but thought I would call some attention to it anyway). Bluetooth 3.0 will actually be using 802.11, not Wi-Fi – while it seems nit picky to harp on that, there are very good reasons for it – Mike Foley explained it really well on his blog last week. If you are interested, check it out here.


I think I might be misunderstanding something but I’ll go ahead and make a fool of myself anyways: how would AMP help your hypothetical Verizon customers? I was under the impression that both Bluetooth and WiFi radios would still be required for this to work: the Bluetooth radios would do the handshaking required for the link up and then switch over to the WiFi radios to do the actualy data wrangling. Is this not the case?

Kevin C. Tofel

Nope, you’re not making a fool of yourself and I’m glad you asked about my hypothetical situation. You’re 100% correct and I’m dead wrong. In my anticipatory glee over the new spec, I missed out on the fact that Bluetooth over Wi-Fi will leverage an EXISTING Wi-Fi radio, so my scenario was 100% wrong. Sorry for those that have Bluetooth and no Wi-Fi in a smartphone; I was trying to be optimistic for ya! I’ll strike-out the incorrect statement above. Sadly, I might add… sniff. :(

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