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The Bluetooth Qualification Program

The Bluetooth qualification program (BQP) is an integral part of the Bluetooth wireless technology. It is a program designed to test compliance to the specification and, to a certain extent, product interoperability. The latter implies that not only is compliance to the protocol specification tested, but also applications that claim to conform to a Bluetooth profile are tested for expected behavior. On the surface, the BQP might appear to be a hindrance to Bluetooth product introductions. However, it is intended not to place undue burden on product manufacturers, while at the same time providing the assurance of conformance to the specification. The BQP is likely to evolve over time as more experience is gained in the qualification process. Evidence that the relatively new BQP is working is offered by the fact that hundreds of Bluetooth products were already qualified in 2001.

An arm of the SIG called the Bluetooth Qualification Review Board (BQRB), made up of representatives from the nine promoter companies, oversees the BQP. The BQRB ultimately sets the policy for Bluetooth qualification, and is the final authority (aside from the SIG's Board of Directors) for managing and updating qualification procedures, granting compliance waivers in exceptional cases, and resolving disputes.

Overview of the Bluetooth Qualification Process

The BQP is a necessary step in product development for all Bluetooth products. Only products qualified through the BQP can be called Bluetooth products, receive the Bluetooth royalty-free license, and bear the Bluetooth trademarks. The BQP is the mechanism by which the Bluetooth brand is protected, assuring users of the technology a certain level of confidence in the product and in the functionality of products that carry the Bluetooth trademarks. Only products from SIG members (promoter, associate, and adopter) can be qualified. Qualified products are published on the Bluetooth SIG Web site: http://www.bluetooth.com.

Testing in the BQP includes the following:

  • Radio qualification testing

  • Protocol conformance testing, including the Bluetooth transport protocols and the service discovery protocol

  • Profile conformance testing, which includes, at a minimum, conformance to the generic access profile, and may include testing of other profiles, depending on the product type and the claims that the product makes

  • Profile interoperability testing for additional profiles.

Not all products must execute all of these tests. Tested products may include anything from basic Bluetooth radio components to complete end-user products, such as a wireless headset or a mobile phone with an integrated Bluetooth subsystem. The breadth of testing depends on the particular product considered.

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