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What is a Bluetooth Gateway?

In smart home scenes, there are many Bluetooth-based products that can be directly controlled by mobile phones, but they cannot be viewed remotely; In the commercial scenes, Bluetooth beacons can help large warehouses to do indoor asset tracking; In the industrial field, information such as gas, pressure, temperature and humidity can also be remotely monitored through Bluetooth sensors.
However, because Bluetooth is a short-range wireless technology standard that is used for exchanging data between fixed and mobile devices over short distances up to 10 meters in the most widely used mode (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluetooth). Therefore, the realization of above scenes require Bluetooth gateways to connect Bluetooth devices, so as to perform functions such as remote control, linking other devices, setting home/industry automation scenes, and so on.
ble gateway introduction

Bluetooth Gateway integrates Bluetooth communication modules and network communication modules (such as Ethernet, wireless local area network, 4G cellular network, etc.) together. Typically, Bluetooth IoT Gateways feature a distribution network that supports Bluetooth protocol. After receiving information from End BLE devices, Bluetooth Gateways forward information to the network server by connecting to a high bandwidth network such as Wi-Fi, ethernet, or a cellular network. In other words, Bluetooth IoT Gateway is a Signal/Message Relay Device that receives Bluetooth data from end Bluetooth devices and uploads it to the server through the network. The function of Bluetooth in the Bluetooth gateway is to connect downlink BLE devices such as beacons and sensors.

Commonly seen Bluetooth gateway mainly has four functions: Bluetooth scanning, Bluetooth connection, data transfer and indoor positioning. Dusun IoT has invested huge fund and almost 20 years in wireless technology R& D, therefore, Bluetooth Gateway offered by us includes Bluetooth beacon gateway (compatible with iBeacon/Eddystone/AltBeacon), Bluetooth GATT gateway(excellent data transmission, mainly for IoT healthcare), BLE mesh gateway(suitable for smart lighting system and building automation), Bluetooth long range gateway (long range bluetooth 1km for outdoor applications), Bluetooth roaming gateway(especially designed for smart hospitals), and AoA locators(for indoor navigation). Our Bluetooth gateway can be flexibly used in various places such as schools, shopping malls, factories, nursing homes, exhibition halls, tourist attractions, airports, etc., to realize functions such as personnel or asset positioning, and sensor data collection.

Take Beacon – Gateway – Cloud as an example. In a manufacturing factory or warehouse, the line manager wants to track all the workflow of forklifts, collect workflow data, and put forward efficiency-improving recommendations. He can put BLE beacons on every forklift, these beacons will advertise the data. After that, he can set Bluetooth IoT Gateways to collect these data, and the BLE gateway will send the data to the cloud server by MQTT/TCP/HTTP protocols and send the command from the server back. By continuously tracking location of forklifts, he can get real-time data of manufacturing process.

what is a bluetooth gateway

Bluetooth IoT Gateway has a variety of application scenarios. If you want to make data transfer, Bluetooth IoT Gateway can help transfer data from remote patient monitoring wearables like pulse oximeters to the cloud server. If you want to use BLE AoA positioning/Bluetooth RTLS for for indoor navigation, Bluetooth IoT Gateway can help collect and address the BLE beacon data of presence, distance, and direction. If you want to easily connect tens of thousands of devices in parking lot or commercial buildings, Bluetooth IoT Gateway can help you build a stable network so as to remotely control BLE devices and automate the entire system. If you are confused about the use of Bluetooth gateways, Dusun IoT can help you choose the best suitable Bluetooth solution.

Why is Bluetooth IoT Gateway So Important?

According to the latest Bluetooth market report, 35% of all IoT-connected devices rely on Bluetooth technology. In 2021, the total annual Bluetooth device shipment has reached 4.7 billion, and analysts anticipate that annual shipments of Bluetooth-enabled devices will see 1.5x growth, and a 9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), from 2021 to 2026. In 2022, It is estimated that 432 million of wearable Bluetooth consumer electronics will be shipped. The market has seen a trend of Bluetooth Location Services devices upward over the next five years, especially in indoor navigation and proximity marketing services. Also, analysts expect to see approximately 2.5 x rise in annual Bluetooth Device Network device shipments over the next five years. (all data from: https://www.bluetooth.com/2022-market-update/)

35 of all iot connected devices rely on bluetooth technology

“By 2026, ABI Research forecasts there will be more than 140 million annual shipments of Bluetooth personal tracking devices, accelerated by new experiences, new form factors, improved accuracy, and the proliferation of tracking network services from leading tag and mobile vendors. At the same time, the arrival of high-accuracy distance measurement in the future will enable Bluetooth to better service growing secure access applications for passive keyless entry and smart home access control applications”

— by ABI Research, 2022

“The commercial building automation market is expected to be one of the fastest growing applications for Bluetooth within the IoT between 2021 and 2026, achieving a CAGR of 76% and growing to nearly 50 million annual device shipments. Bluetooth commercial lighting, switch, and controller shipments are expected to reach nearly 8 million annual shipments by 2026, many of which will help accelerate the wider adoption of other commercial building use cases such as environmental sensors, which are expected to grow 13x between 2021 and 2026, reaching over 13.5 million annual shipments at this time.”

–By ABI Research, 2022

The data is from the 2022 Bluetooth® Market Update. From the above data and information, we can draw a conclusion: Bluetooth technology is surely a key enabler of the Internet of Things.

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 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

How Does a Bluetooth IoT Gateway Work?

The Bluetooth IoT is to connect the device to the network and put the data in the cloud. Bluetooth 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 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.

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.

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

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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