IEEE 802.15.1-2002 has derived a Wireless Personal Area Network standard based on the Bluetooth v1.1 specifications. It includes a medium access control and physical layer specification. An updated version of this standard, based upon the additions incorporated into Bluetooth v1.2, was published as IEEE 802.15.1-2005.
Following the publication of 802.15.1-2005, the IEEE Study Group 1b voted 90-0 to discontinue their relationship with the Bluetooth SIG, effectively meaning that the later versions of Bluetooth will not become future IEEE standards.
IEEE 802.15.2-2003 addresses the issue of coexistence of wireless personal area networks (WPAN) with other wireless devices operating in unlicensed frequency bands such as wireless local area networks (WLAN).
IEEE 802.15.3-2003 is a MAC and PHY standard for high-rate (11 to 55 Mb/s) WPANs.
The IEEE 802.15.3a most commendable achievement was the consolidation of 23 UWB PHY specifications into two proposals using : Multi-Band Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (MB-OFDM) UWB, supported by the WiMedia Alliance, and Direct Sequence - UWB (DS-UWB), supported by the UWB Forum.
On January 19, 2006 IEEE 802.15.3a task group (TG3a) members voted to withdraw the December 2002 project authorization request (PAR) that initiated the development of high data rate UWB standards. The process was in total deadlock. There were two technology proposals on the table backed by two different industry alliances. One of them was backed by the majority of the industry, the other was only supported by a small minority but had sufficient votes to block forward progress. The task group finally agreed to duke it out in the market place. The Working Group concurred. The technology at the time also faced significant regulatory hurdles, that have been resolved in 2008. This was not a factor in this decision but from a standards perspective it probably was too early to write a UWB standard. The main proposal was adopted by the WiMedia Alliance, and eventually by the USB-IF and Bluetooth SIG.
This mmWave WPAN will operate in the new and clear band including 57-64 GHz unlicensed band defined by FCC 47 CFR 15.255. The millimeter-wave WPAN will allow high coexistence (close physical spacing) with all other microwave systems in the 802.15 family of WPANs.
In addition, the millimeter-wave WPAN will allow very high data rate over 2 Gbit/s applications such as high speed internet access, streaming content download (video on demand, HDTV, home theater, etc.), real time streaming and wireless data bus for cable replacement. Optional data rates in excess of 3 Gbit/s will be provided.
IEEE 802.15.4-2003 (Low Rate WPAN) deals with low data rate but very long battery life (months or even years) and very low complexity. The first edition of the 802.15.4 standard was released in May 2003. In March 2004, after forming Task Group 4b, task group 4 put itself in hibernation.
The ZigBee set of high level communication protocols is based upon the specification produced by the IEEE 802.15.4 taskgroup.
The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) 6LoWPAN working group is working to specify methods for performing IPv6 networking over IEEE 802.15.4 networks. They have released RFC 4919 describing "the assumptions, problem statement, and goals for transmitting IP over IEEE 802.15.4 networks." In September 2007 the 6LoWPAN working group released the RFC 4944 which defines the 6LoWPAN header compression scheme. Also in the IETF 70 held in December of 2007 at Vancouver a BoF was held to determine if a new working group should be established to work on a standard routing solution for 6LoWPAN. The new working group was decided to be formed and was named ROLL (Routing Over Lossy and Low-power links). First ROLL WG meeting was held in IETF 72.
The principal interest is in providing communications and high precision ranging / location capability (1 meter accuracy and better), high aggregate throughput, and ultra low power; as well as adding scalability to data rates, longer range, and lower power consumption and cost.
In March 2005, IEEE802.15.4a selected a baseline specification. The baseline is two optional PHYs consisting of a UWB Pulse Radio (operating in unlicensed UWB spectrum) and a Chirp Spread Spectrum (operating in unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum). The Pulsed UWB Radio is based on Continuous Pulsed UWB technology (see C-UWB) and will be able to deliver communications and high precision ranging. In March 2007, 802.15.4a was approved as an amendment to IEEE Std 802.15.4-2006.
The IEEE 802.15 task group 4b was chartered to create a project for specific enhancements and clarifications to the IEEE 802.15.4-2003 standard, such as resolving ambiguities, reducing unnecessary complexity, increasing flexibility in security key usage, considerations for newly available frequency allocations, and others. IEEE 802.15.4b was approved in June 2006 and was published in September 2006 as IEEE 802.15.4-2006.
Mesh Networking of Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs)
This task group is focusing on BAN or Body Area Network Technologies. The goal is a low-power and low-frequency short-range wireless standard.
Wireless Next Generation Standing Committee