Bluetooth 5 introduced two new technologies, one for extending the range of Bluetooth at the expense of data rate (LE Coded - henceforth referenced as "long range") and one for increasing the data rate at the expense of range (LE 2M). These are supplement to the standard Bluetooth technology (LE 1M).


Theoretically, Bluetooth long range devices could reach up to 4x the range of their standard counterparts, however in practice only 1.5-2x the range is typically achieved.


The long range functionality of Bluetooth is a recent development so not all devices support it. To communicate using the long range technology, both the scanner and tag are required to support Bluetooth 5 and the long range functionality, otherwise both must be configured to use the "standard" technology. Please note that although a device's datasheet may claim it supports Bluetooth 5, it does not necessarily mean it supports Bluetooth long range as it is an "optional" component of the Bluetooth specification. Certain Digital Matter tags and scanners support long range, for more information, contact your local Digital Matter representative.


Scanners

Devices cannot scan for long range and normal devices simultaneously, so Digital Matter devices such as the Remora 2 and G120 have the option to scan for either, or both standard devices and long range devices*. If you would like to scan for both types it is recommended to double the scan length. 


*Not all Bluetooth devices support long range. Contact the device manufacturer if you are unsure.

Tags

Certain Digital Matter tags can be configured to use standard and/or long range Bluetooth. Using both requires more power, so it is suggested to match the technology used by the tag with the technology used by the scanner.


Extending the Range Further


A major factor that affects the range of a Bluetooth device is its transmit power. The larger the transmit power, the larger the range, but the higher the power usage. Bluetooth 5 extends the maximum allowable transmit power from +10dBm to +20dBm, increasing the range for devices. There is an option for Digital Matter tags to be equipped with a transmitter capable of achieving a power up to +19dBm (in comparison to the standard option of up to 8dBm). For more details contact your local Digital Matter representative.