Bluetooth's chief advantage over infrared is that Bluetooth does not require line of sight. Its backers hope the component costs will be so low that it will ultimately replace infrared. Others believe that, although there are clear areas of overlap, IrDA and Bluetooth are complementary with either being the most appropriate for certain applications and intended usage models.
Bluetooth operates in the unlicensed Industrial Scientific and Medical (ISM) 2.4GHz band, ranging from 2.4 to 2.4835 GHz in the US, Japan and Europe. Parts of this band are also available in France and Spain. By using the 2.4 GHz band, Bluetooth Wireless Technology promises to be a universal wireless solution. Essentially, it is the same kind of microwave radio technology that has given us wireless door chimes and automatic garage door openers. It draws heavily on existing wireless LAN technology since it is based around the IEEE's 802.11 - the existing standard for wireless Ethernet. The main differences are that in order to consume less power, Bluetooth is initially restricted to an operating distance of just 10 metres and a speed of approximately 1 Mbit/s.