Technical Committee (TC) Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Activity Report 2022

Chair: Günter Kleindl, OVE

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


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 ETSI’s 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 activities in recent years 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 marked the world’s first non-cellular 5G standard being included as part of ITU-R’s IMT-2020 technology recommendation. This was followed in 2022 by ITU-R approving and publishing a first revision of the IMT-2020 Recommendation ITU-R M.2150, including ‘DECT 5G - SRIT’ technology, as proposed by ETSI. This has led to the DECT-2020 New Radio (NR) component now being officially recognized as an IMT-2020 technology. ITU-R has confirmed that DECT-2020 fulfils the ‘Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications’ (URLLC) and the ‘massive Machine Type Communications’ (mMTC) requirements.

During 2022 the committee’s work progressed on maintenance updates to the first release of DECT-2020 NR specifications, with completion planned by the end of the year. This will also be the version that will be used for the next revision of IMT-2020 Recommendation ITU-R M.2150. Updates in progress include:

  • TS 103 636-1, DECT-2020 NR, Overview
  • TS 103 636-2, DECT-2020 NR, Radio reception and transmission
  • TS 103 636-3, DECT-2020 NR, Physical Layer
  • TS 103 636-4, DECT-2020 NR, MAC Layer
  • TS 103 636-5, DECT-2020 NR, DLC and Convergence Layer

In March the committee published updates to various parts of the multi-part DECT Base Standard, namely:

  • EN 300 175-1 - Part 1: Overview
  • EN 300 175-2 - Part 2: Physical Layer (PHL)
  • EN 300 175-3 - Part 3: Medium Access Control (MAC) layer
  • EN 300 175-4 - Part 4: Data Link Control (DLC) layer
  • EN 300 175-5 - Part 5: Network (NWK) layer
  • EN 300 175-6 - Part 6: Identities and addressing
  • EN 300 175-7 - Part 7: Security features
  • EN 300 175-8 - Part 8: Speech and audio coding and transmission

During the year revisions were also issued to two parts of previously-published DECT test specifications, namely:

Regarding Harmonised European Standards for DECT, the previously-published EN 301 406 was split into two parts. Part 1 EN [301 406-1] considers traditional DECT technology (including DECT Evolution and DECT-ULE), while part 2 covers the essential requirements for the new DECT-2020 NR technology. The update of Part 1 was published in October 2022 and sent to the EC, anticipating publication in the OJEU by early 2023. Meanwhile a final draft of Part 2 was sent to the HAS Consultant contracted by the European Commission for review. After resolution of comments from the HAS Consultant in December 2022 the draft should be sent to for the ETSI approval process.

Published in January 2022, TS 103 706 specifies an Advanced Audio Profile (AAP) for devices such as loudspeakers, headphones or microphones, based on DECT radio communication technology. It is intended to enable the implementation of interoperable audio products but can also be used as a reference for best practices in audio systems which are not intended to be interoperable.

Other key activities and achievements during the year included:

  • Start of work on a new Technical Report detailing support for lower data rate audio support in DECT.
  • Originally published in November 2021, Part 10 of the Harmonised European Standard (HEN) for access to radio spectrum – covering Base Stations, Repeaters and User Equipment for IMT-2000 Third-Generation cellular networks [EN 301 908-10] – achieved citation in the OJEU in November 2022.
  • Progress on maintenance (of Release 1 DECT-2020 NR specifications) and development (of Release 2 DECT-2020 NR specifications) of numerous parts in the TS 103 636 series, with publication of the updated Release 1 specifications anticipated in early 2023.
  • The launch of work to revise a Technical Specification on Ultra Low Energy (ULE); Machine to Machine Communications; Part 2: Home Automation Network (phase 2).
  • Launch of two new Work Items on the development of Application Specific Profiles for DECT-2020 NR, covering a general overview and an application profile for smart metering.
  • Development of a Technical Report introducing DECT-2020 NR to designers of equipment and installers of systems for different vertical markets, as a companion to specifications detailed in TS 103 636.
  • Further progress on a descriptive Technical Report regarding the interworking of DECT with 3GPP networks. The objective of the report is to derive possible approaches, system architectures and functions to enable trusted and non-trusted interworking.

A live demonstration of DECT-2020 NR was given during the DECT#94 meeting in Tampere in June 2022, confirming that the specification is implementable with existing hardware available on the market.


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