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Difference between Bluetooth mesh and WiFi mesh

This page compares BLE mesh vs WiFi mesh and mentions difference between Bluetooth mesh and WiFi mesh technologies with respect to various parameters.

Introduction: There are different topologies used by wireless system which are one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many based on communication between nodes or devices. In mesh topology, data can be exchanged with any neighbour. If receiver node is not within the range, the data can be relayed or routed until it reaches the destination node/device. Both the BLE mesh and WiFi mesh follow different relay/routing techniques.

There are numerous benefits of mesh network which include self healing, rapid deployment, resilient, greater range, higher bandwidth, low power consumption and so on.

Bluetooth mesh specification has been developed on top of existing BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) versions and launched in the year 2017. Bluetooth specifications are developed and maintained by Bluetooth SIG (Special Interest Group).

WLAN specifications are developed and maintained by IEEE under 802.11 series. WiFi mesh specifications have been released in IEEE 802.11s WLAN standard. Compare to traditional WLAN, wifi mesh supports greater number of APs. 802.11s is amendment to existing IEEE 802.11 WLAN standard to incorporate mesh networking services and protocols at layer-2 (i.e. MAC layer).

Difference between BLE mesh and WiFi mesh

Following table mentions comparative difference between BLE mesh and WiFi mesh technologies.

Parameters Bluetooth mesh WiFi mesh
Specification Published by Bluetooth SIG Published by IEEE under 802.11s standard
Frequency 2.4 GHz 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
Data Rate 1 Mbps 150 Mbps
Bandwidth Narrower Wider
Coverage range 10 to 100 meters 10 to 50 meters, as it depends on range of Access Point (AP) or router
Deployment Easy Setup Auto
Node or device types Relay node, Low Power Node (LPN), Friend node, Proxy node Mesh point, Mesh AP, Mesh Portal, Station (STA)
Delay or latency Low Moderate
Power consumption Low due to LPN node used in the network Higher than BLE mesh
Number of nodes 32767 255
Routing algorithm Uses managed flooding technique which is not very efficient method as every message needs to traverse through the entire network of nodes. Peer to peer, WiFi mesh uses routing algorithms which are Internet Protocol (IP) based and more efficient. 802.11s supports HWMP (Hybrid Wireless Mesh Protocol) and RA-OLSR routing protocols. HWMP is default protocol and RA-OLSR is optional to implement.
Cost Low High
Applications Industrial IoT use cases such as lighting, automotive etc. It is not suitable for audio and video transmission. Wireless LAN, internet, data, audio, video etc. The IoT applications include home automation, smart HVAC control, smart buildings etc.
References Refer features of Bluetooth mesh technology >> and its benefits and drawbacks.


Bluetooth RELATED LINKS

Bluetooth Tutorial  BLE Tutorial  Frequency  PHY Layer  MAC layer  Stack  Power classes  Security  products  versions  Bluetooth Vs BLE 


WiFi 6 Resources as per IEEE 802.11ax

Advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ac (WiFi 5)   Advantages and disadvantages of 802.11ax (WiFi 6)   BSS coloring in 11ax   RU in 802.11ax    MU-OFDMA in 802.11ax    MU-MIMO in 802.11ax   Difference between 802.11ac Wave1 and Wave2   Difference between 802.11n,11ac,11ad   WLAN 802.11ac tutorial   WLAN 802.11ax tutorial   WLAN 802.11ac frame structure   WLAN 802.11ac Physical Layer   802.11ac MAC Layer   802.11ax basics   WLAN 11a,11b,11n,11ac frame structures  


BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) Links

BLE connection establishment procedure

Bluetooth v4.2 versus v5.0 >>
Bluetooth v5.0 versus v5.1 >>
BLE states and state diagram >>
BLE advertising and data channels >>
BLE protocol stack architecture >>
BLE advertising message format >>
BLE connection process >>


Advantages and Disadvantages of other wireless technologies

IrDA    HomeRF    Bluetooth    Radar    RF    Wireless    Internet    Mobile Phone    IoT    Solar Energy    Fiber Optic    Satellite    GPS    RFID    AM and FM    LTE   

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