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Bluetooth Specification and Qualification

Bluetooth Standard & Qualification - What 
is it all about?

For a manufacturer to use Bluetooth technology in their products they must first sign a Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) membership agreement, this is subject to to an intellectual property license (which includes qualification). The purpose of the qualification process is to enable interoperability of Bluetooth equipment between different manufacturers. Bluetooth Qualification allows members to make sure their product complies with the Bluetooth specification. Also see Bluetooth Specification.

Bluetooth qualification works by conformance testing with a reference test system as well as functional interoperability testing against another qualified Bluetooth product. Testing also involves the submission of compliance declarations as well as the assessment of the compliance documentation by a Bluetooth Qualification Body (BQB). Once a product is Bluetooth qualified the company is then permitted to use the Bluetooth brand.

The significance of the Bluetooth Qualification Program (BQP) is that it assures product quality and conformance with standards. It thus is an important mechanism to ensure interoperability with other, similarly qualified, Bluetooth enabled products. Put simply, if people buy Bluetooth products and find that they don't interoperate with each other sales of Bluetooth will dive; on the other hand, if the reverse is true they will accelerate.

For a comprehensive description of the qualification process, please visit the Blueooth Qualification Program website - be sure to check the FAQ's on the site which provides some useful detail.  Here we provide just a succinct overview.  

Bluetooth Qualification Program (BQP)
The Bluetooth Qualification Program defines certain minimal testing standards for all products which implement Bluetooth wireless technology.   Qualification is a necessary precondition of the intellectual property license for Bluetooth wireless technology.   Successful participation in the Qualification Program is also necessary in order to use applicable Bluetooth trademarks on product.  The qualification program is overseen and administered by the Bluetooth Qualification Review Board (BQRB).

Bluetooth qualification encompasses both physical testing alongside conformance declarations, in an effort to balance interoperability with time-to-market requirements. The Bluetooth product qualification process involves Adopters, Bluetooth Qualification Bodies (BQB), Bluetooth Qualification Test Facilities (BQTF) and the Bluetooth Qualification Administrator (BQA).  Details on these are available below:

Bluetooth Qualification Body (BQB)
A BQB is a person authorized by the BQRB to add products to the Qualified Products List.   As of early 2002 there exist around 30 BQBs worldwide - a current list may be found in the qualification area of the Bluetooth SIG website.  Any BQB can guide a potential manufacturer through the qualification process in detail.

Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility (BQTF)
A Bluetooth Qualification Test Facility (BQTF) is an organization which has been accredited by the SIG's BQRB to perform those Bluetooth qualification tests requiring an accredited facility,  identified as "Category A" in the Test Case Reference List (TCRL). A BQTF must be a SIG Member or a wholly owned subsidiary of such. 

Bluetooth Qualified Products List
The Bluetooth SIG maintain a publicly available list of Bluetooth qualified products - as of early 2002 there were some 480 qualified products listed, an indication of the increasing availability of Bluetooth technology and products.

Further Information
Further documents, listed below, define the different detailed aspects of the Bluetooth Qualification Program.  
Availability of these documents is restricted to members of the Bluetooth SIG. 

Bluetooth Qualification Program Reference Document (BQ PRD)
Official publication listing Bluetooth Qualification Program policies.

Test Case Reference List (TCRL)
Lists all test cases related to Bluetooth product qualification. An Addendum (at the same location) reports errata and category changes between Test Case List releases.

Test Specifications
Describes conformance and interoperability test cases in detail, for Bluetooth protocol and profile testing - access restricted to SIG members.

Bluetooth ICS & IXIT Proforma
A declaration provided by a manufacturer to state the supported capabilities and features of a Bluetooth specification compliant product. The document is subdivided into annexes, covering the Bluetooth protocols and profiles. 


Copyright 2001-2003 WTIS Ltd, Wireless Telecommunications  Information & Services  
All rights reserved. mailto:
Bluetooth is a registered trademark owned by the Bluetooth SIG Inc.
All registered servicemarks and trademarks mentioned on this site are acknowledged.
Last modified: Wednesday December 03, 2003.

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