Bluetooth Range: 100m, 1km, or 10km?

Bluetooth Marketing (polski)

bluAir Bluetooth Marketing

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Bluetooth Range

Among different bluetooth specifications, there are 2 most popular classes (types) of devices:

  • Class 1: range up to 100 meters (in most cases 20-30 meters)
  • Class 2: range up to 30 meters (in most cases 5-10 meters)

Additional facts:

  • the range depends not only on the transmitter, but also on the mobile phone which is receiving files;
  • the range depends on atmospheric, geographic, urban conditions (vendors provide the best achievable range in perfect conditions)
  • the bigger range, the slower transmission speed;
  • Class 1 devices might be boosted to work on a better range (like 200 meters), however you should not believe it is possibile to broadcast files (in a bluetooth marketing sense) to mobile phones over 1000 meters range, as some vendors suggest

Questions and Answers, Facts and Myths

Some most frequent range questions:

Is it possible to boost bluetooth range?

Technically it's possible. You can achieve 1km (or better) range, but this is only possible between two transmitters/receivers. It is not possible to have 1km range in a bluetooth marketing sense. What's moreover, in many countries Bluetooth devices with output power stronger than 20dB (which is Class 1, 100m) are prohibited.

Boosting Bluetooth range will increase my proximity campaign effectiveness, right?

Not exactly. Better range = better results, it sounds very reasonable, but real life case studies show quite the opposite. Better range results in poor results!

How could that be true?

The key issue to understand in technical aspects of Bluetooth proximity is content delivery hardware (like our bluAir Desktop) has its performance limits. If you increase effective range from, say 10 times, you will actually increase the number of potential handsets to be reached by 100 times! So if typically, on the average, the hotspot was detecting 30 persons per minute, now it's going to be 300. No device on earth will manage such a huge number of concurrent Bluetooth connections. In fact it's not possible because of the design of Bluetooth protocol.

So, if you're a marketer, and want to boost the effectiveness of your campaigns, instead of enhancing the range, use more hotspots in strategic places.

Does transmission speed depends on the distance between devices?

Yes it does. The closer you are to the bluetooth transmitter, the faster you will receive files.