Experimental Performance Evaluation of BLE 4 Versus BLE 5 in Indoors and Outdoors Scenarios

  • Heikki KarvonenEmail author
  • Carlos Pomalaza-Ráez
  • Konstantin Mikhaylov
  • Matti Hämäläinen
  • Jari Iinatti
Conference paper
Part of the Internet of Things book series (ITTCC)


This paper focus on an experimental performance evaluation of the recently published Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5 technology. Measurements have been conducted both in indoors and outdoors scenarios. Performance of BLE 5 is compared to a previous release of BLE 4 which is currently the most used technology in commercial wireless healthcare and medical devices. This new improved BLE version may continue fostering the success of BLE use in those application scenarios as well as enable novel Internet of Things solutions. The main goal of this work was to evaluate, experimentally, the communications range and throughput performance of BLE 5 coded version which claims to provide fourfold improvement to the previous version of BLE. Measurement results obtained using the Nordic Semiconductor nRF52840 chipset are reported for indoor and outdoor cases relevant to healthcare and medical scenarios. Results show the practical communications range and throughput of the BLE 5 coded version, giving insight about the possible application space improvements for BLE technology. Specifically, our measurements showed that BLE 5 coded mode provides approximately 9 dB radio link budget gain compared to BLE 4, which leads to more than twofold communications range improvement in line-of-sight outdoor scenario and 10–20% improvement in non-line-of-sight indoor scenario.


BLE 5.0 Communications range Unlicensed band Healthcare and medical applications Internet of Things 



This work has been partially funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the WILLE project.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Tractica: Healthcare Wearable Device Shipments to Reach 98 Million Units Annually by 2021 (2016).
  3. 3.
    Karvonen, H., Hämäläinen, M., Iinatti, J., Pomalaza-Ráez, C.: Coexistence of wireless technologies in medical scenarios. In: European Conference on Networks and Communications (EUCNC), Oulu, Finland (2017)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    IEEE 802.11 LAN Working Group.
  5. 5.
    IEEE Standard for Low-Rate Wireless Networks, IEEE Std 802.15.4-2015 (Revision of IEEE Std 802.15.4-2011) (2016)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    ZigBee Alliance.
  7. 7.
    IEEE Std. 802.15.6: IEEE Standard for Local and Metropolitan Area Networks—Part 15.6: Wireless Body Area Networks. Standard, The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hämäläinen, M., et al.: ETSI TC SmartBAN: overview of the wireless body area network standard. In: International Symposium on Medical Information and Communication Technology (ISMICT) (2015)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
  10. 10.
    Nokia White Paper: LTE evolution for IoT connectivity (2017)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Karvonen, H., Pomalaza-Ráez, C., Mikhaylov, K., Hämäläinen, M., Iinatti, J.: Interference of wireless technologies on BLE based WBANs in hospital scenarios. In: IEEE International Symposium on Personal, Indoor and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC), Montreal, Canada (2017)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Bluetooth SIG: Bluetooth Core Specification v 5.0 (2016).
  13. 13.
    Bluetooth SIG: Bluetooth Core Specification 5.0 FAQ (2016).
  14. 14.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heikki Karvonen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlos Pomalaza-Ráez
    • 2
  • Konstantin Mikhaylov
    • 1
  • Matti Hämäläinen
    • 1
  • Jari Iinatti
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Wireless CommunicationsUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  2. 2.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringPurdue UniversityFort WayneUSA

Personalised recommendations