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BLE or IEEE 802.15.4: Which Home IoT Communication Solution is more Energy-Efficient?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4
JournalEAI Endorsed Transactions on the Internet of Things
Issue number5
Early online date1 Dec 2016
DateAccepted/In press - 5 May 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print - 1 Dec 2016
DatePublished (current) - 20 Dec 2016


IEEE 802.15.4 (used by Zigbee, 6LoWPAN and Thread) and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) are two widely used wireless standards for ultra low power IoT (Internet of Things) technologies and smart home applications. In this article, we present the first comparison of the physical layer of the two protocols, focusing on two performance metrics: energy efficiency and wireless coverage. The comparison uses the first radio that seamlessly supports both protocols; therefore, the protocols are compared on identical hardware and software. By combining the two metrics, we quantify the performance, and identify in which types of links it is preferable to use one protocol or the other, thus providing practical guidelines to developers of short-range energy-constrained wireless networks and smart home applications.

    Structured keywords

  • Digital Health

    Research areas

  • IEEE 802.15.4, Bluetooth Low Energy, physical layer, energy-efficiency, smart homes, Internet of Things

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    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via EAI at Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 294 KB, PDF document


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