Technical Committee (TC) Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Activity Report 2019

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. Over 1 billion devices have been installed worldwide: the system has been adopted in over 110 countries and more than 100 million new devices are sold every year. The number one cordless system in Europe and the USA, DECT products now account for more than 90% of the world’s cordless market.

DECT is now being enhanced to include Ultra Low Energy (ULE) – the new networking technology for residential and building applications driven primarily by low power requirements for battery-operated devices. With around 80% of data traffic generated by indoor systems, low-latency DECT ULE systems have the potential to be key contributors to the success of 5G and the Internet of Things – both in smart homes and in a range of vertical markets.

DECT ULE enjoys all the advantages of the DECT spectrum and technology as well as adhering to the technical parameters for the Internet of Things. As well as low power consumption, DECT ULE offers good Quality of Service (a unique feature compared with other low power wireless standards) and wider coverage than competing technologies. Although specifically designed for optimal coverage of homes and industrial premises, it can also be used in Personal Area Networks due to its low power consumption.

DECT ULE is not a minor adaptation of DECT but has been developed specifically for Machine-to-Machine communications. DECT ULE reuses the DECT physical layer, DECT spectrum and DECT channel structure, but there are significant differences in the MAC layer, security algorithms and channel selection. DECT ULE operates over license-exempt ‘high-quality’ spectrum (1 880 - 1 900 MHz) which provides a more reliable service than the industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) radio band.

The target applications of DECT ULE in the first phase of its development were smart home and smart living applications such as home automation and energy control, remote switches, the control of smart appliances, smart metering and temperature controls, security, alarms and eHealth applications.

In 2019 our DECT Technical Committee published its new DECT Technology Roadmap [TR 103 513 V1.1.1].

The committee meanwhile maintained its focus on two main work areas, ‘DECT Evolution’ and DECT-2020, which will both support home automation, industrial automation, the creative and culture industry (e.g. audio production), eHealth and conferencing. 

The goal of the shorter-term activity, DECT Evolution, is to address new applications and markets for DECT and ULE, whilst primarily still utilizing existing silicon and RF implementations. One of the main application areas is high-end and professional audio systems, such as those used by the PMSE industry, where audio streaming with higher data rates and very low latency is essential. The first phase of DECT Evolution was completed in 2019 with the publication of updates to all eight parts of the DECT base standard [EN 300 175-1 and subsequent parts], plus publication of a Technical Specification [TS 103 634] on the Low Complexity Communication Codec LC3plus. We also published a revision to the standard on audio and speech test specifications for DECT [EN 300 176-2].

DECT-2020 is a major new standardization activity, with the intention of meeting some of the requirements of Recommendation ITU-R M.2410, specifically Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications (URLLC) and Massive Machine-Type Communications (mMTC). State-of-the-art PHL design utilizing OFDM, MIMO and HARQ is used to allow much higher data rates, lower latency and reliability compared to legacy DECT. 

The DECT-2020 technology is part of a proposal from ETSI to ITU-R for a new IMT-2020 radio interface technology. The ITU-R WP5D has confirmed, that the ETSI submission is complete and has passed Step 3 of the IMT-2020 process. During the year we accordingly published our Technical Report [TR 103 635] ‘DECT-2020 New Radio (NR) interface; Study on MAC and higher layers’.

See the full list of all TC DECT deliverables published in 2019 via our website.

Look out for in 2020 – TC DECT work in progress

  • Revision to Harmonised Standard (EN) on Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) and Radio spectrum Matters (ERM) for base stations, repeaters and user equipment for IMT-2000 3G networks - Part 10: Harmonised Standard for IMT-2000, FDMA/TDMA (DECT) for access to radio spectrum
  • Technical Specification (TS) on overall description of DECT-2020 system and relation of specifications
  • TS on DECT-2020 radio reception and transmission requirements
  • Technical Report (TR) on interworking framework and functions of DECT and 3GPP networks
  • TR on DECT-2020 New Radio (NR) Interface – study of self-evaluation towards IMT-2020 submission
  • Multipart Technical Specification (TS) on DECT-2020 – Overall Description, Radio reception and transmission requirements, PHY, MAC and DLC layers
  • Revision to TR on DECT properties and radio parameters, relating to studies on compatibility with cellular technologies operating in frequency blocks adjacent to DECT band
  • Revision of Technical Specification on Low Complexity Communication Codec plus (LC3plus)
  • TR on performance characterization of Low Complexity Communication Codec Plus (LC3plus) – coordinated with ETSI TC STQ
  • TS on DECT Advanced Audio Standard for non-telephony audio applications such as wireless stereo hi-fi speakers, gaming headsets and smart speakers