Technical Committee (TC) Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Activity Report 2020

Chair: Günter Kleindl, OVE

Responsible for the development and maintenance of standards for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECTTM).

ETSI’s Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) specification is the leading standard around the world for digital cordless telecommunications. Originally developed by ETSI as a European standard in the early 1990s, DECT™ (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) is implemented in more than a billion short-range communication devices around the world.

The capabilities of DECT have evolved over the last three decades, with improvements to security and voice quality plus the addition of video telephony and broadband data streaming. In 2011 our specification of DECT ULE (Ultra Low Energy) broadened the technology’s appeal to M2M markets such as smart metering and home automation. In parallel with these initiatives, DECT Evolution is an ongoing programme that includes new audio codecs and coding enhancements. At the request of TC DECT, ITU-R updated the Recommendation M.1457 for IMT‑2000 to include latest versions of the DECT standards which incorporate DECT‑Evolution improvements.

Interacting closely with the DECT Forum and ITU-R (WP5D), our DECT Technical Committee focused its efforts during 2020 on development of the DECT-2020 NR system and its submission as an official 5G technology (IMT-2020).

While it shares several attributes with its DECT predecessor – and the same widely recognised brand name – DECT-2020 reinvents this ubiquitous technology to support small- and large-scale industrial (and consumer) IoT and M2M use cases. In this respect the new standard presents a complement to other cellular 5G systems standardized by 3GPP.

The new standard brings mMTC and URLLC performance to a new level, providing great flexibility to address large-scale and high-density applications in logistics and building automation, and low-latency applications in industry automation. In terms of bit rates, communication range and reliability, the DECT-2020 NR technology offers completely new opportunities for local and private networks as industrial companies, solution providers and other players can independently develop their own solutions and services.

Released in July 2020 as part of ETSI’s proposal to ITU-R for a new 5G IMT-2020 radio interface technology, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR) enables wireless IoT applications supporting both massive machine type and ultra-reliable low-latency communications, while support for mesh communication obviates the need for dedicated infrastructure investments. The technology also facilitates professional wireless audio applications with point-to-point or multicast communications.

This work was reflected in publication by TC DECT of a suite of Technical Specifications for DECT-2020 NR, comprising a Release 1 overview [TS 103 636-1] plus radio reception and transmission requirements [TS 103 636-2] as well as physical [TS 103 636-3] and MAC [TS 103 636-4] layers.

These specifications were complemented by a Technical Report [TR 103 637] describing the security architecture for DECT-2020 NR.

Meanwhile we continued to maintain existing DECT deliverables. Accordingly we published an update to the Low Complexity Communication Codec plus (LC3plus) specification [TS 103 634] and completed a first update of the four parts of TS 103 636.


 EN on Harmonised Standard for access to radio spectrum Part 2: DECT-2020 NR

  • Revision to EN on Harmonised Standard for access to radio spectrum; Part 10: FDMA/TDMA (DECT) - Base Stations, Repeaters and User Equipment for IMT-2000 networks
  • Revisions to multi-part EN on base standard for DECT Common Interface
  • Revision to Harmonised Standard for access to radio spectrum Part 1: DECT, DECT-Evolution and DECT-ULE to include changes due to RED; includes DECT-2020
  • Revision to EN on speech test specification
  • Technical Specification (TS) on DECT-2020; Part 5: DLC and Convergence layer
  • TS on DECT Advanced Audio Standard for non-telephony applications (e.g. gaming headsets, smart speakers)
  • TS plus revision to EN on radio test specification
  • Revision to multipart TS - maintenance and extension of DECT-2020 NR (Release 1)
  • Revision to TS on Low Complexity Communication Codec plus (LC3plus)
  • TR studying DECT-2020 technical requirements and additional functionality to support new applications in future releases
  • TR on DECT interworking with 3GPP networks
  • TR on DECT-2020 NR - study of self-evaluation towards IMT-2020 submission
  • Revision to TR on DECT properties and radio parameters & application in compatibility studies – reflecting recent developments e.g. DECT ULE, DECT evolution, DECT-2020 and technology evolution in adjacent bands
  • Revision to TR on DECT Technology Roadmap