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Ericsson pulls Bluetooth division

The mobile developer disbands the unit that developed the short-range wireless technology used in some cell phones and notebook PCs.

One of the key developers of Bluetooth is shutting down the division that helped foster the personal area networking technology.

Ericsson has already started to shut down its 125-worker Technology Licensing group and will reshuffle employees into other divisions, a representative confirmed Friday. A majority of the workers affected will remain with the company. Ericsson did not make a formal announcement of the closure.

Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology that connects portable devices such as cell phones, handheld devices and notebook computers. The technology has a range of up to 10 meters and wirelessly transfers data at rates of up to 720 kilobits per second.

Ericsson doesn't plan to continue design and development around Bluetooth, but it will continue to support existing customers and include it in products, the company representative said. Bluetooth technology efforts will be incorporated into the work of Ericsson's Mobile Platforms group.

Further advancements in Bluetooth technology will be made by the Special Interest Group, which consists of a number of companies with ties to the technology. Ericsson will remain a part of that group.

Engineering and technical news Web site EE Times first reported on the move.