Technical Committee (TC) Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Activity Report 2023

Chair: Dr 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 in the early 1990s, it 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. 

Interacting 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. Following its approval (2021) by ITU-R Working Party 5D of DECT-2020 NR as fulfilling the requirements for new 5G IMT‑2020 radio interface technology (RIT), in 2022 ITU-R published a 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, with ITU-R confirming that DECT-2020 fulfils ‘Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications’ (URLLC) and ‘massive Machine Type Communications’ (mMTC) requirements. 

During 2023 the work of TC DECT continued on maintenance updates to the first Release of DECT-2020 NR specifications. The publication of Release 2 specifications – to be used for the next revision of IMT-2020 Recommendation ITU‑R M.2150. – is expected in 2024.

New TC DECT publications during 2023 notably include:

  • EN 301 406-2 V3.1.1, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT); Harmonised Standard for access to radio spectrum; Part 2: DECT-2020 NR – published in August 2023 and delivered to the EC, in anticipation of citation in the Official Journal.
  • Technical Specification 103 776 V1.1.1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Test Specification - radio.
  • Technical Report 103 670 V1.1.1, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT); Study on Interworking of DECT with 3GPP networks.

The committee also published revisions to various Technical Specifications (TS):

  • TS 103 634 V1.4.1, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT); Low Complexity Communication Codec plus (LC3plus)
  • TS 103 636-1 V1.4.1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Part 1: Overview; Release 1
  • TS 103 636-2 V1.4.1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Part 2: Radio reception and transmission requirements; Release 1
  • TS 103 636-3 V1.4.1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Part 3: Physical layer; Release 1
  • TS 103 636-4 V1.4.1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Part 4: MAC layer; Release 1
  • TS 103 636-5 V1.4.1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Part 5: DLC and Convergence layers; Release 1

Work was meanwhile launched during the year on new deliverables including:

  • TS 103 874-1, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Application Specific Profile: Part 1: Overview
  • TS 103 874-2, DECT-2020 New Radio (NR); Application Specific Profile: Part 2: Smart Metering Applications
  • TR 103 906, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT); Study on Low Data Rate Audio Support

A new System Reference document (SRdoc), addressing DECT-2020 NR technology operating in frequency bands below 6 GHz, has been completed and sent to TC ERM for approval for publication.

A revision of the committee’s existing DECT Technology Roadmap is currently in development, reflecting updates in terms of DECT-2020. 

A demonstration of DECT NR+ Network and Mesh Implementation was presented at the ETSI IoT Conference in July 2023.

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