Technical Committee (TC) Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Activity Report 2021

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, DECTTM (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’s recent activities have been primarily focused on development of the DECT-2020 NR (‘New Radio’) system. This work culminated in October 2021 with the approval by ITU-R Working Party 5D of DECT-2020 NR as fulfilling the requirements for new 5G IMT-2020 radio interface technology (RIT). This landmark decision has marked the world’s first non-cellular 5G standard being included as part of ITU-R’s IMT-2020 technology recommendation.

Incremental updates to the Technical Specification representing the first release for DECT-2020 NR were issued in April and subsequently December. At the end of 2021, latest published versions of this multi-part deliverable comprised:

Throughout 2021 TC DECT also continued to develop and revise numerous other standards, specifications and reports supporting ‘traditional’ DECT and its evolutions, as well as DECT-2020.

This work continues into 2022, and variously covers Harmonised Standards for access to radio spectrum, technical requirements to support future applications, interworking with 3GPP networks, speech and radio test specifications, the Advanced Audio Standard for non-telephony applications and the LC3plus audio codec. An update of the committee’s DECT Technology Roadmap is also in preparation to reflect continuing advances in DECT-2020 technology.

See the list of current TC DECT Work Items in development here.