The Importance of Mesh Interoperability

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Jason Marcel

Selecting the right low-power wireless mesh network technology is a critical choice for any new product in the market, and ensuring true multi-vender interoperability is important to not only the success of the product, but vital to the creation of new markets to support that product. Markets flourish when true multi-vendor interoperability exists and consumers are assured that your product works with those from other vendors. Bluetooth mesh networking supports global interoperability in three important ways.

Full-Stack Solution

By virtue of the Bluetooth technology it's built on, Bluetooth mesh networking is a full-stack solution. The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) defines everything from low-level radio to the high-level application layer.

A recent performance study conducted by Ericsson verified that, “Bluetooth mesh is standardized and interoperable by design. Qualification and interoperability testing is rigorous and involves all aspects of the protocol stack, including security. There is no risk of companies developing separate processes for different parts of the stack. Moreover, the specifications are open and can be tested by the community.”

Interop-Centric Specification

In the Bluetooth mesh specifications, models define the behavior of nodes on a network and are immutable. This means that once a model is adopted it can never change. By making models immutable, it ensures a light switch purchased this year can still control a light bulb purchased 30 years from now.

Additionally, interoperability testing is completed prior to specification release, not after. In the development of Bluetooth mesh networking specifications, 15 interoperability testing events were conducted over a two-year period with more than 1,400 test-case passes. “After two years of interoperability testing, and with contributions from the leading software, silicon, and lighting companies, we are certain that Bluetooth mesh networking will be wildly successful," said Szymon Slupik, CTO, co-founder at Silvair, chair of the Mesh Working Group at Bluetooth SIG.

Time-Tested Tools and Processes

The Bluetooth SIG has a 20-year history of delivering the tools and processes you need to ensure true, multi-vendor interoperability. Upon launching a new mesh product supported by Bluetooth technology, you can immediately count on global interoperability.

In William Wong’s article for Electronic Design, Meshing with Bluetooth, he highlights Bluetooth mesh networking’s capability to ensure interoperability with third-party nodes. Wong says, “Bluetooth mesh underwent comprehensive, multi-vendor interoperability testing throughout the specification development process. This should allow a mixture of third-party nodes to properly interact within a mesh network. The success of Bluetooth, in general, in terms of compatibility between third-party products is an achievement that will extend to mesh products.”

Choosing Blue

To ensure the success of any new product, it’s important you select the right technology to power your innovation. For most consumers, knowing a product includes Bluetooth technology can positively impact purchasing decisions. When you choose a Bluetooth mesh network, you can count on the proven global interoperability, value-added services, and comprehensive market presence associated with Bluetooth technology.

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Jason Marcel

Jason Marcel

Jason is a Senior Marketing Copywriter with Bluetooth SIG who specializes in translating technical information into easy-to-read content. He enjoys sharing stories that show how people are using Bluetooth technology to shape our wireless way of life.

View all posts by Jason Marcel