Communications is about data and speech transfer, it is about the transmission of information over distance, indeed tele as a prefix comes from the Greek word for far. We have come to expect a free and easy access to voice, data, video and music wherever we are and to a large extent this is delivered by the PSTN ( traditional telephone network ), broadband, 3G, 4G and Wifi dependent upon our location or whim.
We also use an increasing amount of devices to access this data. At home we have a myriad of mobiles, PC’s, tablets, Apple devices – even televisions now. At work, in the office we have unified communications where data is accessible anywhere via many routes.
So devices need to speak to each other and this is achieved in many ways. The majority of office data is transferred via wired Ethernet networks – these are reliable, secure and fast and these carry the huge pipe of data into a business in general. However, these streams of information will then be split up and sent to multiple devices wirelessly – across the ether rather than via Ethernet so to say. The predominant methods of transmission are the following :
- DECT – a 2.4Ghz communications method widely used for a variety of transmissions from cordless phones to cordless headsets
- WiFi– there are multiple wireless protocols allowing the connection of tablets, mobile phones and laptop computers to the www
- GSM/ 4G LTE – the normal and now extended to 4G mobile network allowing mobile phones, dongles and compatible devices to communicate.
- Bluetooth – see below
Since its initial development by Ericsson in the 90’s Bluetooth ( named after a King of Denmark ) was thrown open to a team of scientists and developers from other companies such as IBM, Nokia and Toshiba who worked for many years to develop the technology ( a frequency hopping one ) so that it could communicate seamlessly with any other device which also contained a Bluetooth chip and Antenna.
Quite clearly it worked as it has proliferated throughout the consumer market with common usage in audio, in car, central heating, alarms, sensors and handheld device connectivity – the list is endless.
In the business environment Bluetooth has also made its mark. Manufacturers such as Jabra, Sennheiser and Plantronics produce Bluetooth Headsets which connect with telephone systems and also offer the facility to switch their allegiance to a mobile device or audio player when desirable. Bluetooth is also used in device to device communications in specialised headsets such as those for use in industrial areas – let us look at a few examples of Bluetooth usage in business :
Peltor XP Bluetooth
- the Bluetooth allows headset to headset two way speech anywhere – without the need for a base station which makes it perfect for remote outdoor environments – it can be used anywhere
- the Bluetooth can also be connected to a mobile phone – allowing one to take calls via GSM as well
- you can also stream music into the headset via Bluetooth – whistle while you work
Jabra Stealth Bluetooth Headset
The Jabra Stealth headset is, as its name suggests, an unobtrusive and lightweight headset with astounding HD sound and supporting NFC pairing.
It is available in Microsoft Lync and Unified Communications versions and, hence can hook up to an entire telephone system or a mobile phone – or both at once. It is lightweight enough to be worn all day and comes packaged with a USB Bluetooth transmitter which allows one to connect it to a laptop or PC easily. Similar models are made by Sennheiser and Plantronics
Polycom VVX600 Media Phone
There are many other ways in which Bluetooth is used on telephony devices such as Mitel’s Bluetooth Handset options for their 5300 series phones which allows you to convert a desktop phone to a cordless one and some conference phones such as the Avaya B169 support mobile connectivity via Bluetooth.
Bluetooth is, indeed, an industry standard and continues to allow the pairing of a range of devices by virtue of its protocol and simple usage.