ETSI launches new version of DECT wireless for the Internet of Things

ETSI launches new version of DECT wireless for the Internet of Things

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

European standards body ETSI has launched a new version of the DECT wireless technology with low latency mesh communication for millions of nodes in the Internet of Things (IoT).

The DECT-2020 New Radio standard has been developed to support broad and diverse wireless IoT applications at 1900MHz requiring both ultra-reliable and low-latency communication needed in voice and industrial applications.

The DECT standards were developed by ETSI in the 1990’s and has been implemented in more than a billion short-range communication devices around the world. A low energy version was proposed back in 2013 when the technology was aiming at smart home applications but struggled with a limited data rate with the original radio front end that was developed for cordless phones. 

The ETSI TS 103 636 series for DECT2020 NR defines a radio interface applying modern radio technologies for massive machine-type communication with millions of devices in a network required in use cases such as logistics and asset tracking, industry 4.0 and building automation as well as condition monitoring.

The technology enables self-organising autonomous and automatic operation with minimal maintenance effort. DECT-2020 NR supports mesh communication, with low latency communication links, enabling massive machine-type communications (mMTC) for industry automation without a need for infrastructure investments.

DECT-2020 NR also supports ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC) for professional wireless audio applications with point-to-point or multicast communications. Dynamic channel selection means DECT-2020 NR radios do not require frequency planning and the complexity of the front end is relatively low. The standard has a dedicated global frequency band at around 1900 MHz.

“ETSI’s new standard is a great response to the needs industries have in digitalization,” said Jussi Numminen, Vice Chair of the ETSI Technical Committee DECT.

“The new standard brings mMTC and URLLC performance to a whole new level, which provides 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,” he said. 

Next: DECT2020 NR specification

The automatic interference management allows deployments without extensive frequency planning and the mesh networking enables application-driven network topologies and deployments, for instance in IoT and mMTC use scenarios. This means the link budget of classical cellular base station to user equipment constellations is no longer a limiting factor.

As well as the established 1900MHz DECT band, the DECT-2020 NR physical layer is suited to address 17 frequency bands below 6 GHz. The physical layer design is flexible, enabling scaling from 1,728 MHz channels to higher channel bandwidths and bitrates. It supports advanced OFDM signal form, channel coding, hybrid ARQ and fast link adaptation, transmit and receiver diversity, as well as MIMO operations up to eight streams. The DECT-2020 NR MAC layer standard combines the functionality of direct communication between devices for mesh, star or point-to-point communication topologies.

ETSI TS 103 636 series will be accompanied by additional features and improvements. In addition, the specification series will be amended with technical material for specific applications.

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