Performance evaluation of Bluetooth low energy technology under interference

In this chapter, the focus is on analytical and experimental performance evaluation of the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. Studies have been conducted in indoor case relevant to healthcare and medical scenarios. Performance of the recently developed BLE 5 coded technique is compared to BLE 4 that is currently the most popular wireless technology in commercial healthcare and medical solutions. The improved version of BLE may continue the popularity of BLE usage in those application scenarios, and in addition it may enable novel Internet of Things (IoT) solutions. The main objective of this work was to explore the packet error rate (PER) of BLE communication under ZigBee interference, since it is envisaged, that coexistence problems may arise with the further growth of number of the different IoT devices deployed. In this chapter, we first develop an analytical model to characterize the PER of BLE link with varying distance to interfering nodes. Then we conduct a series of practical measurements using the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 chipset, which supports the new BLE 5 coded features. Our results show that ZigBee interference is very harmful for BLE communication when operating at the same frequency band, i.e., assuming worst-case scenario. The proposed model can be used to evaluate PER of BLE in various interference scenarios to get insight of communication reliability which is very important specifically for healthcare and medical applications.