DECT takes on NB-IoT benchmarks

January 27, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
DECT takes on NB-IoT benchmarks
A report from the University of Tampere has benchmarked the latest DECT 2020 standard against cellular LTE-M and NB-IoT technology

The latest DECT-2020 New Radio technology outperforms existing cellular LTE-M and NB-IoT in massive machine-to-machine networks for the Internet of Things (IoT), says a study published by Tampere University in Finland. 

The benchmarking shows the updated DECT 2020 standard, designed for massive and dense deployments, has ten times lower latency and requires significantly less power than the cellular alternatives. 

DECT-2020 New Radio (NR) was standardized by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in October last year, updating the orignal 2.4GHz standard that has been widely used in digital cordless phones. Tampere University study used DECT NR nodes in a mesh configuration that saw DECT reaching much higher node densities for the same packet delay and lost packets performance bounds. The high node densities for the same end-to-end delay is enabled by a mesh protocol that applies dynamic channel selection requiring no precise frequency planning. 

The DECT mesh configuration was compared to star topology of LTE-M and NB-IoT. The key metrics were Packet Loss Ratio (PLR), 99th percentile for end-to-end packet delivery delays and energy efficiency. The system model was implemented using a Tampere University in-house radio system simulation tool extended to capture the specifics of the DECT-2020 technology.  

“The study shows that DECT-2020 NR is an attractive connectivity option for anyone who needs to reliably connect a large amount of low latency devices in a local, dense area,” said Jussi Numminen, Head RF at Finnish technology developer Wirepas and Vice Chair of the ETSI Technical Committee DECT. 

“It complements cellular IoT solutions that cannot cost-efficiently address all aspects of IoT and digitalization. There is a high demand for these type of affordable networks in large-scale, high-density applications in logistics and building automation as well as low-latency applications in industry automation,” he said.

DECT-2020 NR can be used for both massive machine-type communications (mMTC) and ultra-reliable low latency communications (URLLC) requirements of 5G. Reliably connecting thousands and even millions of devices is one of the cornerstones for demanding industrial 5G systems. DECT-2020 NR supports local deployments without separate network infrastructure, network planning or spectrum licensing agreements making it affordable and easy to access by anyone and anywhere. 

Wirepas, also based in Tampere, was the main contributor to the standard.    

“Wirepas has contributed to the new DECT-2020 NR standard its long research and commercial experience in de-centralized and autonomous networks. We are excited to see


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