What is a Bluetooth Gateway? Complete Guide 2023 (In-depth Explained)

A complete Bluetooth gateway guideline offered by Dusun to tell you what is a bluetooth gateway, why it is so important in IoT field, how to use it, its generic benefits, and application scenarios. Read further to know details.
ble gateway introduction
Table of Contents

The Bluetooth gateway is an relay device that receives BLE data from terminal devices and uploads it to the server through the network. The role of Bluetooth in the Bluetooth gateway is to connect BLE devices to the network by broadcasting + scanning or Bluetooth connection. Some people also refer to it as a Bluetooth access point, which is similar to a WiFi access point, iwhich is to connect WIFI devices to the network. In addition, the Bluetooth gateway incorporates a network communication module (such as Ethernet, WiFi, cellular 4G network, etc.) that is used to  send the gathered data, in the form of TCP/UIP, to the backend cloud server.

Since Ethernet and Wi-Fi are based on the TCP/IP protocol stack, Bluetooth and TCP/IP are not compatible. Therefore, if users needs to access the internet and control BLE end devices remotely, the Bluetooth message must be encapsulated at the application layer or converted according to the TCP/IP protocol. The reverse is also the same. From this perspective, Bluetooth gateway is also a Bluetooth bridge to Wi-Fi. It can also function as Bluetooth Z-Wave bridge, Bluetooth to USB bridge, depending on your own usage.

Explore: DSGW-030 BLE Z-Wave to WiFi Etherent gateway with USB dongle here.

what is a bluetooth gateway

Why is Bluetooth IoT Gateway So Important?

Bluetooth gateway gets more and more wide use becasue of the increasing market share of BLE (Bluetooth Low Enengy), and a large amount of BLE devices are employed by various IoT applications.

Proved popularity of BLE protocol

The freshly published report State of IoT 2023: Number of Connected IoT Devices Growing 16% to 16 Billion Globally listed Bluetooth (or more specific: Bluetooth Low Energy) as the second leading IoT connectivity technologies. It claims that 27% of global IoT connections rely on Bluetooth. BLE is obviously the preferred option for battery-powered IoT devices like smart home sensors and asset tracking devices. Even industrial sector is starting to show its increasing interest in BLE for communication between sensors/actuators and I/O master.

From my perspective, this is not strange. Bluetooth provides rapid and easy connection with BLE end devices. Despite lacking the speed and range of Wi-Fi and cellular communication, Bluetooth nevertheless provides dependable and straightforward connectivity for one-to-one or many-to-many devices.

Learn about BLE mesh gateway and industrial IoT gateway here.

Increasing quantity of BLE devices Need Bluetooth gateways to Bridge data to the Backend Cloud

Bluetooth SIG published the latest 2023 Market Update as well, mentioning that the shipments of BLE devices in 2023 reach up to 1.5 billion. Bluetooth LE are very attractive to wearable consumer gadgets and Internet-connected devices. BLE is designed to send small amount of data. For IoT devices like sensors that only need to communicate status data, this works perfectly. By putting IoT devices in sleep mode while not in use, Bluetooth LE also aids in energy conservation.

ble device shipment shown by bluetooth sig

As we mentioned before, Bluetooth devices has no IP address, so how to send data gathered by BLE devices to backend servers via TCP/IP-based network? That’s the meaning of Bluetooth gateway, with both Bluetooth receivers and WiFi/Ethernet/Cellular backhauls, making protocol conversion.

Bluetooth Gateways are more Specialized Hardware than Other Versatile Hardware

IoT developers can choose to use versatile Raspberry Pi or even pads and tablets to build Bluetooth gateways. But Raspberry Pi do have some limits such as no built-in WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. Read further: is Raspberry Pi an IoT gateway? Pads and tablets are all-round as well, but if you use it as a Bluetooth gateway, it will be too luxury. IoT developers nowadays are abandoning such more expensive and outdated IoT connectivity hardware, and instead looking for innovative, scalable, and specialized Bluetooth IoT hardware solutions.

Here we take some examples:

Example 1: directly using ERF32BG24 Bluetooth Wireless SoCs as MCU of gateway

This DSGW-340 BLE to WiFi/Cellular LTE CAT 1 gateway uses Silicon Labs’ EFR32BG24 wireless SoCs as the main control unit of gateway box, this EFR32BG24 can function as Bluetooth receivers and MCU in the mean time. Developers can furnish it with Wi-Fi or LTE 4G connectors to forward info the backend servers. In this way, this BLE gateway will be more cost-efficient than Raspberry Pi, pads and tablets.

Example 2: using MTK8788 SoCs with WiFi function already to make BLE WiFi gateway

Unless you are an experienced software or hardware engineer, it is not alwasy easy to develop one-button WiFi configuration, but use MTK7688 can help you a lot becasue it already has WiFi function. What you need is just adding a Bluetooth Low Energy SoC like Silicon Labs’ EFR32BG21, which supports Bluetooth 5.3, and compatible with Bluetooth 5, Bluetooth 5.1 AoA and Bluetooth mesh specification. Build BLE WiFi gateway can be comparatively simpler.

Further read: A complete understanding of DSGW-030 BLE to WiFi/Ethernet Gateway

Customize or Off-the-shelf, Which Should I Choose?

As the application of Bluetooth in the Internet of Things becomes more and more popular, IoT projects and solutions’ desire to use cutomizable and programmable Bluetooth gateways for their business model upgrades is stronger and stronger.

Some IoT solution providers want to know about Bluetooth IoT gateway and use it as architectural references for their commercial custom solutions, like Dusun IoT’s partner Navigine, an indoor location solution supplier, adding our Bluetooth gateway into their indoor warehouse tracking solutions; Some software and hardware developers also want to know about programmable and modular Bluetooth gateways, because they want to develop hardware by themselves or develop applications firmware suitable for their businesses; Some IoT project operators also want to know about BLE gateways, they care about the reduced cost, ROI (return on investment), and future-proofing.

Whenever which kind of purchasers you are, there are usually two types of kinds:

Customizable Bluetooth Gateways

For large-scale IoT deployments connecting tens of thousands of devices, the economies of scale make customizable Bluetooth Low Energy gateways the most cost-effective option. Customers are allowed to design their own proprietary solution to suit the application’s specific needs and build their brand.

Ready-to-use Bluetooth Gateways

Off-the-shelf Bluetooth IoT gateways can be a more affordable and time-efficient option for small to midsize IoT applications. The design and development process is substantially simplified by its pre-certification, which removes the time-consuming and expensive testing and approval procedure.

Customers can choose to buy ready-made Bluetooth gateway products, but the off-the-shelf Bluetooth gateways on the market may not be able to meet their needs. More and more IoT developers choose to customize their own exclusive Bluetooth gateways. However, due to the complex structures, which is composed of many components such as processors, ARM storage, PCBA boards, various connectors, enclosure design, etc., it is not always that easy to self-develop Bluetooth gateways. A professional technical support team will be very helpful. Explore Dusun Developer Community here.

Dusun IoT provides modular-designed and programmable IoT Bluetooth gateways that can be quickly developed from the bottom of the hardware, supporting development from structure, hardware physical layer, software system layer, third-party platform layer, etc., making enterprises quickly develop highly customized IoT gateways suitable for their own business scenarios.

Explore More on IoT Gateway Development

How Does a Bluetooth Gateway Work?

The Bluetooth IoT is to connect the device to the network and put the data in the cloud. Bluetooth smart gateway is the critical device in this process responsible for collecting and interpreting data. Bluetooth gateway must be able to connect with external sensor devices and the cloud through different communication interfaces, and integrate data analysis functions.

With the Bluetooth gateway, the data of Bluetooth devices can be synchronized to the cloud through WiFi in real time, and users can remotely monitor and operate them, which greatly expands the function and value of Bluetooth devices.

how does a bluetooth iot gateway work
It’s crucial to understand how the Bluetooth IoT gateway looks for Bluetooth devices within its range to function and collect data. When the Bluetooth IoT gateway locates a device (usually within 100m), it recognizes the features and data structures of surrounded BLE devices, which will transmit signals at regular intervals. After that, the Bluetooth IoT gateway handles a request using MQTT or another communication protocol to establish a connection. The MQTT server is called a broker and the clients are simply the connected devices. When a device (a client) wants to send data to the broker, we call this operation a “publish”. When a device (a client) wants to receive data from the broker, we call this operation a “subscribe”. Through the MQTT protocol, data from BLE devices can be quickly retrieved by the cloud, and commands from the cloud will be sent back to BLE devices.
how does mqtt broker work in ble gateway application

Indoor Positioning Based on Bluetooth Gateway

Hardware Configuration

A complete set of network-side Bluetooth positioning system is composed of terminal display device, server, positioning engine, positioning algorithm, cloud data transmission, Bluetooth gateway, and Bluetooth tags (Bluetooth bracelet, Bluetooth work card, and Bluetooth Beacon).

Working Principle of Bluetooth Indoor Positioning

  • The moving Bluetooth beacon enters the range of a Bluetooth gateway, connects with the Bluetooth gateway, and transmits the current data
  • The Bluetooth gateway receives the data, connects with the WiFi module through the serial port and transmits the data
  • The W-iFi module of the Bluetooth gateway uploads data to the server through a wireless router
  • The control terminal loads the server data, and controls and modifies the current situation
  • After calculation and analysis, the server displays the positioning information of the Bluetooth Beacon on the front end, and the control command can also be transmitted to the Bluetooth gateway, and the Bluetooth gateway transmit the data to the Bluetooth device to realize control.

Data Acquisition Based on Bluetooth Gateway

Hardware Configuration

  • Bluetooth-based sensor for collecting data
  • Bluetooth gateway
  • Ethernet (or connect to the network through WiFi or RJ45)
  • Cloud server: used to store cloud data

How Data Acquisition Works

  • The Bluetooth gateway regularly captures the data packets of the Bluetooth-based sensor
  • The Bluetooth gateway uploads the captured data packets to the cloud server through RJ45 or WiFi
  • If there is a control command, the control command can also be transmitted to the corresponding Bluetooth-based sensor through the Bluetooth gateway to realize two-way transmission.

How to Use a Bluetooth IoT Gateway?

The Bluetooth gateway operates in a very simple manner. Pair the Bluetooth device with the Bluetooth IoT gateway to get started. The Bluetooth IoT gateway will then be able to upload data from the Bluetooth device to the cloud. When the Bluetooth devices are engaged again after the initial connection with the gateway, they will immediately transfer data. Once authorized, the gateway will receive the signal transmitted by the Bluetooth devices. In a word, connect, configure, and go!

Bluetooth IoT Gateway Using Guideline (Take BLE Beacon Gateway as an Example)

  1. You have to first deploy the Bluetooth tags and beacon devices in the target area.
  2. Then, you have to place the BLE beacon Gateway at an optimum location.
  3. The BLE beacon Gateway will scan the Beacons and Bluetooth devices.
  4. It will then fetch the desired data.
  5. Once it receives the data, it will use Ethernet, LTE, or Wi-Fi to send it.
  6. This data will then reach the cloud server through the HTTP/HTTPS and MQTT(TCP/SSL) protocols.
  7. You can then access this data over the cloud platform and use it as per your needs after analyzing it.
how to use bluetooth gateway

Bluetooth IoT Gateway Using Example in Smart Hospitals 

For Patients: Easy Hospital Check-ins

Taking IoT hospital management as an example, Patients once had to queue for medical check-ups. Not to mention that some found it difficult to access urgent medical care because of these queues. But a Bluetooth LE-capable wristband can expedite the process that the hospital staff will be informed when a patient enters a specific building, so patients don’t have to spend hours in line to check in at a hospital, which will speed up check-ins and check-outs and help hospital procedure more efficient. Patients have to do nothing to be detected as the Bluetooth radios are integrated into their wristbands by Bluetooth IoT gateways.  

bluetooth iot gateway example in medical treatment

For Professionals: Remote Health Monitoring

Bluetooth IoT gateways can also be used for remote health status monitoring. Bluetooth-based blood pressure cuff device can be used to track patients’ blood pressure and heart rates; Bluetooth-based pulse oximeter is very useful for determining a patient’s oxygen saturation especially when they are in a remote area or in a Pandemic situation. Bluetooth-based Glucometers are additional tools that can be used to monitor the health of patients. The majority of fitness and medical wearables that can be conveniently worn on various body parts are made to track various things, such as heart rates and daily sleep patterns. Bluetooth-based glucometers can monitor your blood sugar levels and inform your doctor through Bluetooth IoT gateways sending data to the public server. What medical professionals need to do is to check and analyze data in front of their smartphones or laptops.  

For Hospital Management: Tracking Environmental Conditions

Bluetooth healthcare devices equipped with sensors can be used to measure the environmental conditions of various rooms and patient rooms. To make hospital environments comfortable for patients and beneficial to daily medical care and examination, hospitals rely on Bluetooth-based devices to track environmental conditions such as oxygen density, temperature, and humidity levels. Data collected by devices is transmitted to IoT platforms by Bluetooth IoT gateways, making it easier for hospital staff to interpret the data. Usually, all of these Bluetooth setups and configurations will be finished before the hospital building layout planning. Professionals are able to analyze the data in the management room to determine whether certain wards and rooms are suitable for patients. 

Bluetooth IoT Gateway Benefits

Generic Bluetooth IoT Gateway Benefits

Low Cost and Energy Consumption

At present, Bluetooth is a cheaper wireless communication technology, and Bluetooth usage scenarios are very rich. Therefore, the shape of the Bluetooth chip is smaller and smaller, especially the Bluetooth low-energy chip. And the cost of Bluetooth chips is also gradually reduced. What’s more, Bluetooth devices usually consume low power, and changing battery takes place very rarely,  so daily costs are lower

Powerful BLE Mesh Network

Bluetooth Mesh network allows devices to be installed over a wide area while maintaining communication among each BLE device. Bluetooth Mesh network allows direct communication directly between BLE devices within the wireless coverage range, or communication with devices outside the wireless coverage range through a relay device. In the Bluetooth Mesh network, the data packet loss rate and data transmission delay are superior to other mesh networks. Data can be sent from any node to the entire network. When a node fails, the entire network can still maintain normal communication, which has the advantages of convenient networking and strong anti-interference ability.

High Security

Bluetooth gateway secures device connections and data with mutual authentication and end-to-end encryption.

Better Data Transfer Performance in Close Distance

BLE 5 supports physical layer (PHY) transmission modes up to max. 2M, and the transmission speed can reach up to 2Mbps. The closer the BLE devices are the better the data transfer performance.

Distinctive Benefits of Dusun Bluetooth IoT Gateways

Higher Transmit Power

Dusun boosted the transmit power (TX) of each BLE beacon from 8 dBm to 19 dBm by installing a power amplifier intended for wide coverage areas.

Higher Sensitivity

The Dusun Bluetooth IoT Gateway includes a high-sensitivity new generation series Bluetooth chip from Silicon Labs.

Open Source

Customers can perform secondary development on the basis of the open-source nature of Dusun Bluetooth IoT Gateway to suit their particular requirements.

Types of Technologies Used in Bluetooth Gateways

Bluetooth RSSI Used for Indoor Location

With the continuous development of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, indoor Location Based Service can be found in anywhere like offices, parking lots, airports, large shopping malls, hospitals, high-end hotels, museums, nursing homes and other crowded places, bringing users a safe, convenient, and efficient living and entertaining experience. Indoor Location Based Service can also realize IoT based asset management and tracking in industrial manufacturing scenes, reducing industrial costs and special operation risks.

What is Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI)?

Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) is a positioning method to determine the location coordinates of Bluetooth devices based on the spatial relationship of Bluetooth signal propagation. RSSI can be used to estimate the distance between transmitter and receiver. Once the power of the transmitter is known, the position of the items can be estimated by measuring the signal attenuation.

Since RSSI can only roughly estimate the distance, and this method is easily affected by the environment. Obstacles between the transmitter and receiver, such as a crowd of people, can significantly increase signal attenuation, thus reducing the accuracy of the distance estimated. So if you consider that low cost is more important than increased accuracy, RSSI based location systems can be your choice. Furthermore, you can improve the accuracy level of RSSI-based indoor location systems by increasing the number of beacon/tag devices.

Bluetooth RSSI Technology and Bluetooth Beacon Gateway

BLE beacon gateway is a kind of Bluetooth gateway. BLE beacon gateway is mainly used to scan Bluetooth beacons and determine the location. Bluetooth RSSI technology is used in this Bluetooth scanning process, mainly on Bluetooth beacons.

The working principle of Bluetooth beacon is that when you deploy Bluetooth beacons in the area where you need to locate(generally at least 3 Bluetooth beacons need to be deployed, because the positioning algorithm requires at least knowing the RSSI values of three points to accurately calculate the positioning), the Bluetooth beacons will broadcast a data packet to the surroundings at regular intervals.

The BLE beacon gateway uses the reverse positioning function, that is, uses the Bluetooth scanning function to determine the RSSI value in the scanned Beacon device data, and then uses this RSSI value to determine the distance or range between the Beacon device and the Bluetooth gateway, so as to achieve the purpose of location tracking. At the same time, we can also mark the scanning range of the Bluetooth gateway as a safe area. Once the Beacon device leaves the safe range, it can trigger a security alarm in the background. This is also the key to achieving safe care and material management.

Bluetooth Angle of Arrival Used For Indoor Positioning

Compared with Bluetooth RSSI, Bluetooth Angle of Arrival is obviously a much more accurate method for indoor location. The Bluetooth RSSI accuracy is generally within 3 to 5 meters, while BLE AoA positioning can reach to 0.1-0.5 meter average accuracy.

Bluetooth Angle of Arrival (BLE AoA) works by having a Bluetooth Tag transmitting a special direction-finding signal. While the receiving device, a AoA locator that has multiple antennas arranged in an array, receives the signal from the tag. When the signal passes through, it will generate a phase difference due to the different distances received in the array, and then the relative signal direction can be calculated, which greatly improves the accuracy of Bluetooth positioning, so as to provide much more accurate location services.

BLE AoA wins popularity not only because of its higher accuracy , but also thanks to its flexibility, high concurrency, low cost, low power consumption, and high compatibility, which means the IoT  projects and solutions can effectively save costs brought about by large-scale positioning tag/beacon applications on various people, vehicles, and objects.

When you choose an indoor location technology, do remember that, there is no absolute advantages or disadvantages. The key point is to look at your application scenarios, you need to choose location solution and technology depending on what uses you want to serve, or the complexity, budget, robustness and so on.

Bluetooth GATT Used For Remote Patient Monitoring

Bluetooth GATT is a general specification for sending and receiving very short data segments over a Bluetooth connection. A GATT connection must first go through the GAP protocol. Therefore, before understanding GATT, we suggest that you need to understand GAP (Generic Access Profile) at first.

GAP is used to control BLE device connections and broadcasts. GAP makes your BLE device visible to other BLE devices and determines whether and how your BLE device can interact with contracted BLE devices. For example, Bluetooth beacon devices only broadcast to the outside world and do not support connections. Remote patient monitoring wearables can be connected with the central devices like Bluetooth gateways.

GAP defines several roles for BLE devices, the main two of which are: Peripheral and Central. Peripherals are generally very small or simple low-power BLE devices that provide data and connect to a more powerful central device. For example IoT pulse oximeter. The central device is relatively powerful and is used to connect other peripheral devices, such as Bluetooth gateways.

In GAP, the peripheral device broadcasts data through Advertising Data Payload and Scan Response Data Payload (the peripheral device must continuously broadcast to the outside, so that the central device knows its existence. Scanning and replying is optional, and the central device can request a reply from the peripheral). In GAP’s broadcast workflow, the peripheral device will set a broadcast interval, and in each broadcast interval, it will resend its own broadcast data. The longer the broadcast interval, the more power-saving, but also less easy to be scanned.

In most cases, the peripheral advertises itself to let the central device discover it and then establish a GATT connection. GATT defines two BLE devices to communicate through Service and Characteristic. And special attention should be paid to GATT connections: exclusivity. That is, a BLE peripheral can only be connected to one central device at the same time. As soon as a peripheral is connected, it stops broadcasting and becomes invisible to other devices. When the device is disconnected, it starts broadcasting again. Therefore, if the central device and the peripheral device need two-way communication, the only way is to establish a GATT connection.

Bluetooth GATT gateway uses Bluetooth GATT technology and is often applied in remote patient monitoring device solution. It usually deals with BLE peripherals(remote patient monitoring devices) through Characteristic. Users can read data from Characteristic and write data to Characteristic. This enables two-way communication.

For example, Heart Rate Measurement Characteristic, which is the Characteristic that must be implemented by the Heart Rate Service, its UUID is 0x2A37. Its data structure is 8 bits heart rate data format at first, and the next is the actual heart rate data in the corresponding format.

Bluetooth Mesh Used For Grow Lighting Control

Bluetooth Mesh gateway can be used to control lighting of greenhouses. Obviously, this gateway can be used to control Bluetooth Mesh network, which is widely used in lighting control, building automation, and smart agriculture.

Different from the previously-mentioned one-to-one or one-to-many communication of Bluetooth devices, Bluetooth Mesh enables Bluetooth devices in the network to realize many-to-many communication. Bluetooth mesh can support multiple BLE device networking at the same time, which means one command can simultaneously control all BLE devices in the entire network, and it supports multi-point real-time status feedback and no-delay switch control. The entire Bluetooth mesh device network breaks through the limitation of distance, so that large-area space can be easily covered.

After joining the Bluetooth Mesh gateway, the Bluetooth Mesh light device can also be linked with other IoT devices such as temperature and humidity sensors, soil condition sensors, etc., to realize a variety of smart agricultural scenarios.

Explore More on smart greenhouse monitoring system and Bluetooth Mesh lighting control

Bluetooth Long Range Used For Ultra-Long-Distance Sensors

Bluetooth Long Range is a new mode introduced in Bluetooth 5.0 protocol. This mode is achieved by adding a coded PHY option in the physical layer, which would significantly increase the signal transmission distance, but with the price of the signal transmission rate.

Explore More on Bluetooth Long Range technology

There are three key factors determining the range of Bluetooth transmission: radio spectrum, transmit power, and receiver sensitivity. With appropriate antenna tuning and range extension, Bluetooth range can be comparable to entry-level low-power wide-area network (LPWAN) , while retaining its unique ability to interact with smartphones and to configure sensors. But this does not mean that Bluetooth long range will replace LPWAN. Through the comparative analysis, we will find that the cost-efficiency and versatility will become the key for you to choose Bluetooth technology. 

Bluetooth Long Range technology extends the Bluetooth applications. For example, In the industrial field, the smart meter reading such as gas, pressure, and temperature/humidity can also be realized through long distance Bluetooth technology. In these applications, Bluetooth long range gateway makes coordination to these long-distance sensors.

Bluetooth Roaming Used For Smart Hospitals

In order to improve the user experience of patients living in the hospitals, Bluetooth roaming gateway has been invented. It enables patients to move inside the hospitals without worrying being trapped by medical wearables in the ward. At the same time, hospitals can let patients move at their will without worrying that the vital sign data will lose. How?

Compared with traditional Bluetooth communication way, Bluetooth roaming is helpful to ensure stable Bluetooth data communication while the sub medical wearable device is moving from one location to another.

In details, Bluetooth roaming technology refers to when a Bluetooth wearable moves from the coverage of a Bluetooth gateway to the next Bluetooth gateway, it automatically switches to the next Bluetooth gateway with a stronger Bluetooth signal and without interruption.

Bluetooth to Wi-Fi/Cellular/Ethernet/ Gateway

IoT devices prefer low-power networks. Bluetooth technology featuring low power consumption, low cost, globally unified standards and brand compatibility and thus is widely used in beacons, medical wearables, smart home tempt&humidity sensors, etc. A Bluetooth gateway can help Bluetooth end devices connected to a high bandwidth network such as WiFi, Ethernet, or a cellular network.

Bluetooth gateways integrates Bluetooth communication modules and network communication modules (such as Ethernet, WLAN, 4G cellular network, etc.) so as to collect data from Bluetooth end devices and then transfer it to the cloud. As for Wi-Fi/Cellular/Ethernet, which one should you choose? That depends on your needs and costs. Here we just give some tips.

WiFi and Cellular network transmits data via wireless signals, while Ethernet transmits data over cable. If you prefer mobility and flexibility while moving freely around a space, you can choose WiFi and Cellular. But Ethernet can have a better experience on quicker speed, lower latency, and a more reliable connection. As for WiFi and Cellular network, Cellular covers large areas such as cities and towns but with limited amount of data, thus suitable for some simple activities. While Wi-Fi only transfer data within small areas such as cafes, your home, or airports but faster and larger amount of data, perfect for data-intensive activities.

Dusun IoT offers protocol conversion gateways, so do not hesitate to consult us about your IoT needs.

Technologies That Help Bluetooth Gateway Talk to the Cloud Platforms

Wireless 2G/3G/4G/5G, NB-IoT, Wi-Fi, ZigBee, LoRa, Bluetooth protocols and wired RS232, USB protocols (the physical layer/data link layer protocols) are used to for networking and communication between devices. While we also need application layer protocols like HTTP and  MQTT to make data exchange and communication from the device to the cloud platform through the Internet. Here we mainly introduce the MQTT and HTTP protocols widely used in Bluetooth gateways.


MQTT is a lightweight protocol with a simple and compact architecture and a small code footprint. It is ideal for low-cost, low-power IoT microcontrollers. Based on a publish-and-subscribe model, MQTT is ideal for resource-constrained devices and helps save battery power. MQTT is widely favored in a variety of IoT applications, such as smart meters, asset tracking tags, and sensors for industrial equipment.

Explore More on Bluetooth MQTT


MQTT is data-centric while HTTP is document-centric. HTTP is a request-response protocol for client-server computing. The HTTP protocol was proposed to provide and receive an HTML interface, through which the web interface information is transmitted on the Internet. In the world of the Internet of Things, the HTTP protocol is also used, especially when the device itself has rich hardware resources and supports directly uploading data through HTTP.

Which One Should Choose? MQTT or HTTP?

The features such as faster response time, greater throughput, and lower power consumption and higher bandwidth usage make Bluetooth to MQTT ideal for IoT scenarios, especially when device resources are limited. If there are abundant resources, choose HTTP is also a good consideration.

Bluetooth IoT Gateway Solutions

BLE AoA Positioning Hardware Solution

AoA positioning (also called Bluetooth angle of arrival) is widely used in item-finding solutions, real-time location service solutions, and IPS solutions. AoA positioning uses the Angle of Arrival (AoA) positioning algorithm to reach the unique direction of the incoming wave and position of the tag, which improves the 5-meter accuracy of traditional low-precision Bluetooth by ten times and reaches 0.1-0.5 meter average accuracy. Dusun provides an AOA locator and beacon positioning hardware solution called BLE AoA Solution, which supports Bluetooth 5.1 and is backward compatible with all Bluetooth 4.0 tags or phones. Dusun BLE AoA solution can achieve sub-meter accuracy of about 0.3-0.5 meters, connected to about 1000 tags, consumes low power and the service life can reach up to five years. Dusun BLE AoA devices have open API interfaces to connect to customers’ private and shared platforms. It is easy to install and supports a PoE power supply.

BLE Mesh Lighting Control Solution

IoT smart lighting is made possible by the emerging connected lighting platform known as BLE mesh. Larger, more effective lighting networks are made possible by their quick, dependable performance, unparalleled scalability, high levels of security, and out-of-the-box interoperability. Dusun offers an all-in-one BLE mesh lighting solution package including 1 x BLE mesh gateway, 3xBLE mesh development kit, and quick start guides to enable you quickly deploy and test BLE mesh network function, and quickly connect to wireless lighting systems.

ble mesh lighting system block diagram

Customers can create simple to complex smart lighting products with Dusun BLE Mesh Gateway, and they can pick and choose the features that best suit their requirements. The Users can control everything through third-party applications without worrying about integration or developing their own applications. Dusun provides an open API, which helps you quickly configure our devices to your platform. The application solution has the advantages of reliability, scalability, high-level security, and easy integration.

Roam Bluetooth RPM Solution

RPM solution includes a patient-care team communication platform. Preventive measures can reduce ED visits, hospitalizations, and hospital stays, lowering healthcare costs. RPM’s comprehensive tools and data connections power efficient virtual care across multiple settings, allowing care providers to create a customized monitoring plan for each patient.

Dusun RPM solution uses Roam Bluetooth gateway to enable patient-staff-facility-equipment interactions. Bluetooth roaming technology is helpful to ensure stable Bluetooth data communication while the sub-device is moving from one location to another, allowing real-time patient monitoring and analysis. This helps advance information technology, especially for managing chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.

Retail and Shopping Mall Proximity Marketing Solution

Any smartphone, laptop, or hands-free device that enters the coverage area of this Bluetooth iBeacon Gateway can be detected, as can any other device that uses Bluetooth interfaces in general. Dusun BLE Beacon Gateway can help your shopping cart and goods positioning management, consumer navigation, and shopping guide, empower supermarket big data analysis and refined management, without needing to be connected to a specific Access Point.

Bluetooth Gateway FAQs

How Do I Connected My Bluetooth Gateway?

As we mentioned before, the configuration of Bluetooth gateway is very simple. What you need to do is to pair your Bluetooth end devices like beacons and sensors to Bluetooth gateway hub to get started data transmission. After the first time connection, the smart Bluetooth gateway device will automatically register the Bluetooth end devices and automatically send the Bluetooth device endpoint information to the your cloud server.

What is the range of a Bluetooth gateway?

The range of Bluetooth gateway is mainly determined by the Bluetooth chip embeded in the Bluetooth module. The output power and receiving sensitivity of Bluetooth chip will influence how far your signal can travel. Also, if you add extra antennas, the signal range may be larger. On the other hand, if there is obstacles like concrete walls, it will attenuate the radio signal.

Take DSM-054 Bluetooth module as an example, it is with up to 20 dBm maximum power output and an excellent receive sensitivity of -97 (1 Mbit/s GFSK) dBm, which means excellent receiving sensitivity and output power. what’s more. it uses an onboard PCB antenna whose frequency band is 2.400 to 2.483 GHz to optimaize RF performance.

If you want to extend Bluetooth range over hundreds or thousands of meters, you may consider Bluetooth Long Range Technology or BLE Mesh technology.

How Many BLE Devices can be Connected to Bluetooth Gateway?

Dusun Bluetooth GATT gateways can connect Max. 32 devices at the same time.

Can Bluetooth Signal Go Through Walls?

Yes, it can, but with the price of decreasing Bluetooth signal strength. It is mainly influenced by the power of Bluetooth modules and the construction of walls (It is proved that solid concrete walls will weaken Bluetooth signal more than drywall).

What is Bluetooth?

The reason for creating Bluetooth is to solve the problem of the transit data transmission process from wired to wireless way. Current different Bluetooth versions include: 1.1, 1.2, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 5.0, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3. After Bluetooth version 4.0, the technical mode is divided into two types: Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Classic Bluetooth (BR/EDR). But you should be noticed that the Bluetooth 4.0 is not equivalent to BLE. Most Bluetooth products in the market only support BLE, and some support both. The chip of Bluetooth 4.0 is divided into Single mode and Dual mode. Single mode can only communicate with Bluetooth 4.0 and cannot be backward compatible with version 3.0/2.1/2.0; Dual mode can be downward compatible with version 3.0/2.1/2.0. The Single mode is used in sensor devices that use button batteries, such as heart rate detectors and thermometers that require high power consumption; while the Dual mode is used in traditional Bluetooth devices with the needs of low power consumption.

To know Bluetooth better, we had better know how Bluetooth protocol architecture. The Bluetooth protocol divides Bluetooth as a whole into a two-layer architecture. The bottom layer is the core protocol, which describes the foundation and specifications of the Bluetooth core technology, including Host and Controller. The application layer uses the mechanism provided by the core protocol to implement different functions based on specific requirements. These two parts are slightly different in different Bluetooth protocol versions. The function of the Bluetooth protocol stack is a bridge between software and hardware, which packs application data and then generates air data packets that can be sent through radio frequency and its reverse process.

bluetooth protocol architecture

DSGW-210 IoT Gateway

DSGW-210 IoT gateway supports Bluetooth 5.2 protocol and edge computing functions. It provides reliable connectivity for a wide range of wireless IoT devices. DSGW-210 IoT gateway’s modular architecture provides the ability to customize many gateway features providing an off-the-shelf solution that meets your exact needs. DSGW-210 IoT gateway has Bluetooth(BQB) Certification.

dswg 210 iot gateway

DSGW-210 IoT Gateway Bluetooth Performance

• TX Power: 19.5dBm

• Range: 150 meters minimum, open filed

• Receiving Sensibility: [email protected]%BER

• Frequency offset: +/-20KHZ

• Frequency Range (MHz):2401.0~2483.5

• Low Frequency (MHz):2400

• High Frequency (MHz):2483.5

• E.i.r.p (Equivalent Isotopically Radiated power) (mW)<10mW

• Bandwidth (MHz):2MHz

• Modulation: GFSK

DSGW-030 IoT Gateway

DSGW-030 IoT gateway is widely used in the smart home, intelligent security industry, and pension services. DSGW-030 IoT gateway supports Bluetooth 5.2 wireless protocol. Smart sensors can be connected through BLE. DSGW-030 IoT gateway has Bluetooth(BQB) Certification.

dswg 030 iot gateway bluetooth
dswg 030 iot gateway bluetooth

DSGW-030 IoT Gateway Bluetooth Performance

Bluetooth Protocol: Bluetooth 5.2

TX Power: 19.5dBm

Range: 150 meters minimum, open filed

Receiving Sensibility: [email protected]%BER

Frequency offset: +/-20KHZ

DSGW-040 IoT Gateway

DSGW-040 IoT Gateway supports Bluetooth 5.2 protocol and is a smart gateway with a DC power supply. It can control BLE device remotely, receives the data sent by the BLE devices, and sends it to servers. DSGW-040 IoT Gateway reserves the ZigBee3.0 function, Z-WAVE, Sub-G, and 4G LTE function. It can be used in various scenarios flexibly.

dswg 040 iot gateway

DSGW-040 IoT Gateway Bluetooth Performance

TX Power: 19.5dBm

Bluetooth: 19.5dBm

Range: 150 meters minimum, open filed

Receiving Sensibility: [email protected]%BER

Frequency offset: +/-20KHZ

Frequency Range (MHz): 2401.0~2483.5

Low Frequency (MHz): 2400

High Frequency (MHz): 2483.5

E.i.r.p (Equivalent Isotopically Radiated power) (mW)<10mW

Bandwidth (MHz): 2MHz

Modulation: GFSK

DSGW-020 IoT Gateway

DSGW-020 IoT gateway is also a wireless router complying with the latest IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard and LTE 4G function. It offers continual high-speed data transmission for multiple devices at the same time. Built-in 600MHz processor provides powerful data handling capacity to improve wireless transfer efficiency. Meanwhile, a simultaneous dual-band with a middle power design on both bands makes the wireless connection more flexible and stable, especially over long distances. DSGW-020 IoT gateway supports Bluetooth wireless protocol. Therefore, the DSGW-020 IoT gateway can be used as a control center for smart homes and can connect to Bluetooth devices at the same time. 

dswg 020 iot gateway

DSGW-020 IoT Gateway Bluetooth Performance

TX Power: 19.5dBm

Bluetooth: 19.5dBm

Range: 150 meters minimum, open filed

Receiving Sensibility: [email protected]%BER

Frequency offset: +/-20KHZ

Frequency Range (MHz):2401.0~2483.5

Low Frequency (MHz):2400

High Frequency (MHz):2483.5

E.i.r.p (Equivalent Isotopically Radiated power) (mW)<10mW

Bandwidth (MHz):2MHz

Modulation: GFSK

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