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Compare different Link Systems

To compare different system means to search the most suitable solution. Each system has its advantages and disadvantages. To find the right solution, the following question should be asked.

  • How long are the distances? (Range)
  • Which Data Transmission Rate is necessarily? (Data Transmission Rate)
  • Is Low-Power a Topic? (Power Consumption)
  • How many participants communicate together?
  • In which environment is it used?
  • Do you except interferences (other wireless systems, microwave,...)?

Overview about the Wireless-Technologies

in a pdf-file


Different Wireless Technologies Range
Bluetooth class 1 (100mW) ~100m
Bluetooth class 2 (2.5mW) ~20m
Bluetooth class 3 (1mW) ~10m
Ultra Low Power Bluetooth < 10m
ZigBee (1mW) ~100m
RFID 0cm - 10m
NFC < 10 cm
WiMAX 2-3km
UWB < 10m
WLAN 100 m
Dust ~ 100m
Nanotron (10mW) 900 m (Outdoor), 60m (Indoor)
Cypress WirelessUSB 10m - 50m
ANT Networks < 30m

Data Transmission Rate

Different Wireless Technologies Data Transmission Rate (Brutto)
Bluetooth 1.1 und 1.2 723.2 kBit/s
Bluetooth 2.0 2.1 MBit/s
Bluetooth 3.0 480 MBit/s
Ultra Low Power Bluetooth 1 MBit/s
ZigBee 20-250 kBit/s
RFID Tag 10-100 Byte
RFID active Transponder several kBit
NFC 424 kBit/s
WiMAX 108 MBit/s
UWB 480 MBit/s
WLAN a/h 54 MBit/s
WLAN b 11 MBit/s
WLAN g 54 MBit/s
Dust 20-250 kBit/s
Nanotron 2 MBit/s
Cypress WirelessUSB 62.5 kBit/s
Ant 20kBit/s

Power Consumption

The table should only give a smart overview of the power consumptions. The highest in the table needs the most and the lowest the few energy.

Hierarchy Different Wireless Technologies Example
1 WiMAX  
2 UWB  
3 WLAN  
4 Bluetooth  
5 ZigBee Jennic JN5121 50mA, 400m
6 Dust  
7 NanoNET (Nanotron)  
8, 9, 10 ANT, NFC, Ultra-Low-Power Bluetooth  
11 RFID  

Interferences (2.4GHz-Band)

More and more companies produce products that use the 2.4-GHz portion of the radio spectrum. This leads to interferences under the devices. Different technologies like Bluetooth, ZigBee and WLAN are used. Each of them has its own range of application with its advantages and disadvantages.

The aim is to show how Bluetooth, ZigBee and WLAN minimize the interferences from other sources. This should only give a small overview. For more information look at the Link-List.

  Data Rate Number of channels Interference-Avoidance-Method Minimum quiet Bandwidth required
WLAN 802.11 11 Mbps 13 Fixed channel collision avoidance (DSSS) 22 MHz (Static)
Bluetooth 723 Kbps 79 Adaptive frequency hoping (FHSS) 15 MHz (Dynamic)
WirelessUSB 62.5 Kbps 79 Frequency Agility 1 MHz (Dynamic)
ZigBee 250 Kbps 16 Frequency Agility 3 MHz (Dynamic)

Fixed channel collision avoidance (DSSS)

(DSSS, direct-sequence spread spectrum)
The transmission is made on a selected channel. Collision are avoided by the CSMA/CA - Methode. The devices measure  the radio-channel if there are some other transmissions. If not they send the data.

Adaptive frequency hopping (FHSS)

(FHSS, frequency-hopping spread spectrum)
The transmission is implemented on several frequencies. The different channels are selected randomly from the devices.

Frequency agility

WirelessUSB and ZigBee uses DSSS instead of FHSS as Bluetooth. The devices are frequency agile, in other words, they use a “fixed” channel, but dynamically change channels if the link quality of the original channel becomes suboptimal.