Mokosmart is a company focused on designing and producing Bluetooth beacons. Our first Bluetooth beacon was launched in 2015, which enables us to locate people and their phones with relatively high precision even in buildings. We were able to develop this product with the help of Bluetooth Low Power, which was an emerging technology at the time. Our creative design and easy-to-use software have made it the most popular beacon for branded retail stores. Today, LTE Beacons are also beginning to enter the public eye thanks to the emerging Internet of Things technology. So how is it different from the original Bluetooth beacons? In this article, we will closely examine the distinctions and investigate the specific use cases to which each one is suited.
What is an LTE beacon?
An LTE beacon is a type of wireless device that uses the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) cellular network for communication. It can transmit data over long distances and is typically used in applications that require extensive coverage, such as asset tracking, cold chain monitoring, and smart cities. LTE beacons are battery-powered and can operate for extended periods, making them a reliable solution for remote and challenging environments.
What is a Bluetooth beacon?
A Bluetooth beacon operates similarly to a smart lighthouse, as it periodically sends out a singular signal that can be detected by other devices. However, instead of emitting visible light, it transmits a radio signal that consists of a combination of alphanumeric characters at a regular interval of around one-tenth of a second.
Applications of LTE Beacons and Bluetooth Beacons
LTE and Bluetooth beacons have different features that make them more suitable for certain applications.
Cold chain monitoring: LTE beacons can be installed on those products that have strict temperature requirements. The beacons send real-time location and temperature, and alerts if they are out of range. This way we can know if the cold chain has broken and detect the problem so that it can be fixed in time.
Asset tracking: LTE beacons can locate assets, such as goods inside a warehouse. Transportation companies that install beacons on goods stored in warehouses can speed up their transmission because the asset is always located and the company can know its status in real-time.
Indoor and outdoor navigation: LTE beacons combine IoT technology, BLE, and GPS to make it work easily both indoors and outdoors.
Proximity marketing: BLE beacons have the flexibility to recommend products that may be of interest to customers through the preferences users select, as well as their purchase history. When they get close to the beacon, the store can push coupons or discounts in time.
Indoor outdoor location: Unlike LTE beacons, BLE beacons are only suitable for indoor navigation. By establishing a connection with smartphones, BLE beacons can assist customers in navigating through stores and locating products. It is conducive to improving the customer shopping experience and increasing store sales.
Comparison Between LTE Beacons and Bluetooth Beacons
LTE beacons and Bluetooth beacons have some similarities in that they are both wireless communication technologies used for location-based services. However, they also have several differences. We have devised a comparison table that evaluates nine distinct aspects:
BLE beacons are generally utilized for communication over short distances, ranging from around 10 to 100 meters. In contrast, LTE beacons are better suited for long-range communication, with a coverage area that can extend up to 30 kilometers. This attribute makes LTE beacons particularly suitable for use cases that demand extensive coverage, like cold chain monitoring.
LTE beacons offer faster data transfer rates than Bluetooth beacons. LTE technology can transmit large amounts of data at high speeds, making it more suitable for applications that require real-time data transmission.
Bluetooth beacons typically exhibit a latency of 100-300 milliseconds, whereas LTE beacons may experience several seconds of latency. As a result, BLE beacons are better suited for applications that require low-latency communication.
Compared to LTE beacons, Bluetooth beacons are typically more energy-efficient. BLE technology is specifically designed to consume minimal power, which enables it to operate for extended periods, sometimes up to several years, on a small battery. In contrast, LTE beacons require a more significant power source due to the larger coverage area they provide. Consequently, BLE beacons are ideal for applications where the beacons must be placed in hard-to-reach areas or where frequent battery changes are not feasible.
Bluetooth beacons are generally less expensive than LTE beacons, making them a more cost-effective solution for many use cases.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Bluetooth and LTE Beacons
Taking into account several factors is crucial when deciding between LTE and Bluetooth beacons. These include the range, power consumption, data rate, and cost. Consider the following fundamental questions to make the best choice:
- What is the range and accuracy required for your particular application?
- Is power consumption a concern?
- What is your budget for the beacons?
- Are data rate and latency a concern?
Answering the questions mentioned earlier can aid in determining the type of beacon that is the most suitable for your specific application scenarios.
To sum up, LTE and Bluetooth beacons each provide distinctive benefits and are applicable across a diverse range of use cases. To make a decision between LTE and Bluetooth beacons, it’s essential to take into account various factors, such as the distance of coverage, accuracy, latency, speed of data transmission, power consumption, and price. By thoughtfully assessing these factors and comprehending the advantages and drawbacks of each beacon type, one can opt for the alternative that is most fitting for their particular requirements.
Overall, regardless of the type of beacon required, MOKOSmart can assist in taking things to the next level. With MOKOSmart, clients can have confidence in partnering with a reliable and knowledgeable beacon provider.
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