AXIS 5800 Mobile FAQs

AXIS 5800 is discontinued and the information about this product is for reference only.

Q: How many end-user devices support Bluetooth™ Wireless Technology today?
A:
A fast growing number. Ericsson has released mobile phones with support for Bluetooth printing and synchronization. Several vendors (e.g. Motorola, IBM, Toshiba, Xircom, 3COM) have released Bluetooth PC cards for laptop computers. PDA vendors are planning to release Bluetooth capable devices in the near future. For an up-to-date list, please check the official Bluetooth Qualified Product List on the official Bluetooth web site at www.bluetooth.com

Q: Can Bluetooth coexist with other wireless LAN techniques such as 802.11b?
A:
Yes, but since both Bluetooth and 802.11b operate in the same frequency band (the 2.4GHz ISM band), some interference such as performance loss and range limitations is to be expected. Bluetooth uses the complete ISM band (2.402 to 2.480 GHz) divided into 79 1-MHz channels, while 802.11b units typically uses fewer (wider) channels and only operates on parts of the ISM band. Therefore, in a situation with relatively few Bluetooth and 802.11b units operating in close proximity, the interference will be limited. The level of interference will increase as more 802.11b units are added. Early investigations show the Bluetooth performance loss due to 802.11b interference will range from zero to 30% when the units are placed very close to one another.

Q: What is the maximum throughput I can expect from a Bluetooth network?
A:
The Bluetooth baseband (radio level) throughput is 1Mb/s. Due to various overheads, this is reduced to a maximum of about 723 kbps on the HCI application level. Not all Bluetooth hardware today supports this high-speed mode, so further throughput limitations may apply.

Q: What are the range limitations for Bluetooth communication?
A:
It depends on the power class of the radio transmitter, antenna characteristics, receiver sensitivity and environment. Generally, for low power units (class 2), the maximum range is limited to about 10 meters between units. This may be further limited if there are solid objects, such as walls, between the units. For high power (class 1) units the range can be up to 100 meters in ideal situations. AXIS 5800 Mobile uses a low power (class 2) radio.

Q: What is the throughput for AXIS 5800 Mobile and how does that affect pages printed per minute?
A:
AXIS 5800 has a theoretical throughput of 460 kbps using Bluetooth Wireless Technology. The actual printing speed depends on the type of printer that is being used. Axis investigations show that when printing to a standard Laser printer the total time from when the user starts the print job, to when the printout is ready, will not be longer than for normal network printing. The time spent transporting the printing data wirelessly could, in some cases, be slower compared to high-speed wired Ethernet networks. This is, however, not normally where the bottleneck is. The most time spent is in the mechanisms of the printer, generating the printout.

Q: What is AXIS Wireless Printing Utility?
A:
Axis is promoting the need for ease of use when printing wirelessly in order for the technology to be perceived as pervasive. AXIS Wireless Printing Utility is a software suite that enables printing over Bluetooth in a simple and intuitive way:

  1. User selects File | Print in any Windows application
  2. The vicinity is scanned and available printers are displayed for the user to pick from.
  3. Job is printed at the printer.

Q: Is the AXIS wireless printing solution standardized?
A:
No. At Axis Communications AB we have developed our own wireless printing protocol. Our proprietary solution is similar to the standard suggested by the Bluetooth SIG. As soon as the standard is approved coming Axis products with Bluetooth ä Wireless Technology will support the official standard.

Q: Can I upgrade my AXIS 5800 Mobile when the Bluetooth printing standard has been approved?
A:
Yes, you will be able to upgrade your software by downloading new versions from the Axis Web site.

Q: Can someone listen into a wireless transmission and get unauthorized access to the network?
A:
Yes and No. It is possible to listen to wireless transmission between a laptop and an AXIS 5800 Mobile print server but it is not possible to listen to network transmission or get access to the network.

Q: Can several users print at the same time?
A:
AXIS 5800 Mobile can receive information from one user a time. This is due to the fact that the current version supports Point-to-Point transmission. Future versions will support Point to Multi-point transmission. If the printer is busy with a print job, it cannot send information back to the next user that it is available for wireless printouts. But the software suite AXIS Wireless Printing Utility will keep sending information until the printer is free.

Q: How far away can I be when I print and can I go away after I have sent the printout to the printer?
A:
That depends on the surroundings where the printer is located. If there are no obstacles like walls or doors the maximum distance is 10 meters (30 feet) As long as print data is being sent to the printer you need to be within the maximum distance. As soon as the printer has received the data you can walk away since the data is then stored in the printer. AXIS Wireless Printing Utility software will inform the user when the printer has received the print data. 

Q: What PC-Cards with Bluetooth Wireless Technology are you supporting?
A:
For the wireless functionality, software called AXIS Wireless Printing Utility must be installed on the laptop. The application is supplied with the AXIS 5800 Mobile and supports the following operating systems:

  • Windows 95b or later
  • Windows 98
  • Windows ME (Millennium Edition)
  • Windows NT 4
  • Windows 2000

AXIS Wireless Printing Utility works with PC cards equipped with a “PC Card driver” called Bluetooth Software Suite version 1.07 or later. The software is delivered by respective PC card vendor. Bluetooth PC Cards from the following vendors support this:

  • Motorola
  • IBM
  • Dell
  • NEC

Q: Is the AXIS 5800 Mobile compliant with the Bluetooth Wireless Technology standard?
A:
Yes. The AXIS 5800 Mobile is Bluetooth compliant and also certified for usage in the following Regions/Countries: European Community (EC), United States, Canada, Singapore, Korea and Japan.

Q: How many units can participate in a Bluetooth network?
A:
It's basically unlimited. The Bluetooth 'piconet' is the smallest unit in a Bluetooth network. When more than one units are present in a piconet, one is the master and all other units are slaves, managed by the master. Since the Bluetooth standard specifies seven as the maximum number of slaves to each master, the maximum number of units participating in a Bluetooth piconet is eight (seven slaves and one master). But the master can also communicate with other piconets, enabling piconet-to-piconet communication (this feature is called scatternet). The smallest possible number of units in a Bluetooth network (piconet) is thus one single unit. On the other hand, when using scatternet, a Bluetooth network can dynamically grow to any size! To effectively handle very large dynamical networks, efficient routing protocols will of course have to be devised. The Bluetooth SIG is currently investigating this.

Q: What are the rules to become master in a piconet?
A:
Normally a piconet first forms when two isolated units (i.e. none are participating in any previous piconets) try to establish communication with each other. The unit that first takes the initiative and tries to establish communication will be the master by default. Any piconet slave can subsequently request to be master (this feature is called master-slave switch).

Q: What are the main practical differences between the master and slave roles in a piconet?
A:
You have to be master to communicate with more than one Bluetooth unit simultaneously. 
An example: A Bluetooth Print Server is contacted by a laptop computer with a print job. The Print Server accepts the link and then becomes slave by default. If the Print Server is to serve other incoming print requests while printing, it must become master. To achieve this, it issues a master-slave switch request to the laptop computer. 

Q: How are new units added to the piconet?
A:
  When a unit makes an inquiry scan for other units, it will find the piconet master and/or isolated units in discoverable mode. When the new unit tries to establish communication with the existing master or isolated units, the link is only accepted if the existing units can handle one more communication link, in which case the piconet has been expanded with one more unit. In this case the new unit also becomes master by default. It is also possible for the existing master to initiate communication with any new units it finds by making an inquiry scan. In this case any new unit will assume a slave role.

Q: Will appliances such as microwave ovens interfere with Bluetooth?
A:
Yes, microwave ovens emit radio emissions on the same frequencies as Bluetooth Wireless Technology. But the level of interference depends on the type of microwave oven and on the distance between Bluetooth units and the oven. Generally, it is recommended to keep a distance of at least 10 meters between any Bluetooth unit and a microwave oven.

Q: How about the future of Bluetooth Wireless Technology? What's around the corner?
A:
The Bluetooth 2.0 specification is in the works, but it's still a couple of years in the future. Among other things it will feature higher bandwidth (throughput), probably up to 10Mb/s. Bluetooth routing protocols and the next standard Bluetooth 3.0 are also something that is under investigation.

Q: Where can I find more information about Bluetooth Wireless Technology and listed products?
A:
The official Bluetooth SIG website (www.bluetooth.com) should contain most things you may need.