DECT-2020: The first global non-cellular 5G technology approved

Over the past decades, DECT technology has had a big impact on a wide range of sectors and businesses. As the global leading technology for cordless communications, DECT and its sub-standards CAT-iq, DECT Evolution and ULE are now the basis for many applications in residential as well as professional markets and serve hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

The protected frequency band (1880-1900 MHz) ensures stable connections even in dense environments. As a result, companies which embrace DECT technology can offer their customers reliable solutions for home and enterprise telephony, professional audio, home gateways, smart homes and other areas.

Now, a new standard based on DECT has been developed, which allows companies to offer applications for even more sectors and areas, including Industrial IoT, Smart Cities and PMSE. The new “DECT-2020” standard has been adopted by “Study Group 5” of the ITU-R (International Telecommunication Union’s Radiocommunication Sector) for inclusion as part of the 5G standards. This decision recognises DECT-2020 as the first global non-cellular 5G technology. This next-generation OFDM-based technology retains and enhances DECT’s unique license-free capability to deploy self-organising networks of ultra-reliable voice, audio and/or data applications, and now adds the capability with mesh networking, to develop ultra-reliable massive IoT networks.

Ultimately, this means that companies and factories can run and operate their own wireless 5G network, independently of any provider. By doing so, companies can decide when and how to set up their own network, which is reliable, secure and cost-effective.

NR+ opens doors to completely new massive IoT applications

DECT Forum, the global association for the DECT industry, will be promoting the new standard under the name NR+ (New Radio plus). Professional applications such as voice/audio communication and streaming will benefit from much better indoor performance, lower latency, and higher user densities, whilst the new technology opens doors to completely new massive IoT applications such as smart cities. In meeting these needs of future customers and users, NR+ now takes its place as an IMT-2020 fifth-generation radio, providing Ultra-Reliable-Low-Latency Communication (URLLC) and massive Machine Type Communication (mMTC) as envisioned by ITU-R for IMT-2020.

Crucially the new NR+ harmonised standard, developed by ETSI TC DECT, has been designed to allow perfect DECT band spectrum sharing between classic DECT and NR+, thus preserving and protecting access to the DECT band for the millions of DECT systems that have been deployed and that will continue to be deployed.

“5G will be essential to build an inclusive, sustainable future”

“Together with our members we have promoted this initiative from the start,” said Andreas Zipp, chairman of the DECT Forum. “This is a great achievement in which the DECT Forum has worked closely with ETSI Technical Committee DECT (ETSI TC DECT).”

“New and emerging technologies like 5G will be essential to build an inclusive, sustainable future for all people, communities and countries,” said ITU’s secretary general, Houlin Zhao. “Under the ongoing International Mobile Telecommunications or IMT programme, our diverse global membership continues its long-standing contribution to advance broadband mobile communications, furthering our mission to leave no one behind in connecting the world.”

After dominating the market for cordless phones, and revolutionising the smart home sector, DECT technology is now once again the cornerstone for a new standard that will help millions of users on a daily basis.

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