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STUDY: Consumers can save Money with Internet access through Bluetooth - says Bluetooth SIG
Posted by Arne Hess - on Monday, 07.12.09 - 13:28:40 CET under 01 - General News - Viewed 8930x
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The Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group) today announced the launch of its "Ditch The Dongle" campaign in response to a recent study conducted in Sweden. The study shows two-thirds of surveyed consumers using 3G dongles for connecting to Internet are interested in saving money by connecting through the mobile phone instead. Not only is it less costly to add a data plan to an existing mobile phone subscription but it is also more convenient. By leveraging the convenience of Bluetooth wireless technology for their mobile Internet connection consumers can avoid the costs associated with the purchase of a separate 3G modem and the restraints of the standard 12-24 month required subscription typically used in many European markets.

Research also shows that among four major Swedish carriers consumer savings was up to 40 % when using a mobile phone as a Internet access point compared to a 3G dongle with subscription.

"We hear from a lot of consumers that it is difficult to see what way of mobile connecting to the web is most convenient and affordable", says Anders Edlund, Marketing Director for the Bluetooth SIG: "As we found that it was indeed very difficult to compare apples with apples, we asked an independent study to analyze the situation for us."

Accessing the Internet with a Bluetooth connection to the mobile phone acting as a Internet access point is easy and step by step instructions can be found at It is typically done by making Bluetooth discoverable (visible) in the mobile phone and then creating a PAN (Personal Area Network) connection from the computer by accessing the Bluetooth functionality from the control panel. This also assumes the mobile phone is Internet capable and configured for direct Internet access.

So far so good and the Bluetooth SIG's press release. And I have to admit that I was always a big fan of wireless Internet connections using Bluetooth! However, the Bluetooth SIG seems to have overseen that today's HSDPA is too fast for the widely used Bluetooth 2.0+EDR and Bluetooth 2.1+EDR standards. While HSDPA can server up to 7.2 or even 14.4 Mbps (while HSPA+ can even serve up to 28 Mbps), Bluetooth 2.0/2.1 +EDR is only able to serve gross air data rates of 2 to 3 Mbps. Therefore the bottleneck isn't the air interface anymore but the connection between the mobile phone and the Notebook. Only with Bluetooth 3.0+HS, the situation will become better because Bluetooth 3.0+HS is designed to theoretically support data transfer speeds of up to 24 Mbps, which is sufficient for HSDPA but again not good enough for HSPA+, not to talk about LTE.

So yes, theoretically Bluetooth would be a great connection to bridge a Notebook to a mobile phone to use the mobile phone's WWAN capabilities but Bluetooth evolved too slow and isn't on the level of USB or WiFi anymore which are the way better technologies today to connect a mobile phone with a PC to use it as a kind of wireless modem.

Cheers ~ Arne

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