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Global & Regional

On this page we aim to provide information on DECT as it develops around the world. 

By the beginning of  1999, more than 100 countries in the five continents had allocated frequencies for DECT applications, making DECT a truly worldwide standard.   This represented a 50% increase compared with March 1998 when this figure had been more than 70 countries.
From its origins in Europe, DECT is now a global technology accepted on all continents. 

During 1997 more than 31% of all new contracts for wireless local loop deployments relied on DECT technology; by March 1998 contracts for more than 4 million lines of DECT Fixed WLL technology had been awarded, including the largest WLL contracts in the world.  More than 32% of all wireless local loop lines installed during 1998 used DECT technology.

We would particularly request our non-European visitors to contribute local information to enable this page to accurately and comprehensively reflect the up to date situation in their own countries.   If information on your country is missing or is out of date - please e-mail us.  Thanks.

For a comprehensive reference book on global standardisation, regulation and market competition in cordless telecoms, check out "Cordless Telecommunications Worldwide"

The DECT Forum                                                Logo DECTForum.gif (7122 bytes)
The global industry association, the DECT Forum, coordinates the activities of local DECT Fora located in all the regions below and has members from all parts of the globe.  For more information on the local DECT Fora, visit the DECT Forum website, now hosted right here on DECTweb

The DECT Forum has produced an excellent set of Newsletters which includes good reviews of international developments.  You can download electronic versions (pdf format) below:

DECT Forum Newsletter 1997 Issue 1
DECT Forum Newsletter 1997 Issue 2
DECT Forum Newsletter 1997 Issue 3
DECT Forum Newsletter 1998 Issue 1
DECT Forum Newsletter 1998 Issue 2
DECT Forum Newsletter 1998 Issue 3
DECT Forum Newsletter 1998 Issue 4
DECT Forum Newsletter 1999 Issue 1
DECT Forum Newsletter 1999 Issue 2

A major order for DECT wireless local loop access for Telecom Egypt was announced late 1997. 
Egypt Telcom has a very ambitious program to double the country's telephone capacity in five years, aiming at up to 800k lines. DECT WLL systems have been selected as the wireless access solution
for this project.  Deployments will focus on the regions of Cairo and other sites in the north of the country.

South Africa
As at January 1997, the 420,000 subscriber lines of DECT WLL to be rolled out in South Africa represents the largest WLL contract awarded to any WLL technology to that date.   The 420k lines will use pure DECT technology, as well as combinations of DECT with Point-to-Multipoint.  The systems use the band 1880-1900 MHz.
Source: DECT Forum newsletter December 1997

The first DECT WLL lines to be rolled out were in January 1998 near Sun City.  By December 1998 a total capacity of some 55,000 DECT lines was available to Telkom South Africa, with some 22,000 subscribers connected.  70,000 to 90,000 subscribers are expected by March 1999 and some 444,000 subscribers are expected by March 2001. 

The DECT WLL deployment by Telkom South Africa has been widely acknowledged as a major contributor to both local job creation and  training of the workforce in the country, as well as of course providing telephone communications to communities which previously had no such facilities.

Australia & Asia
In Australia, until July 2000, DECT (and PHS) were regarded as a secondary service to existing microwave fixed links operating in the same 1.88-1.9GHz frequency band and site licences were required for each DECT site. There were less than 1,000 of these microwave links in the whole of Australia (as of October 1999), but the licences were still a barrier to freely using DECT. These licences were issued and administered by the ACA (Australian Communications Authority), with a licence costing around A$400 to issue and A$13 per year thereafter. This effectively meant that DECT cordless could not be offered as a consumer / domestic product at all in Australia - retailers did not want to administer site licences and consumers wouldn't pay an extra $400 for a licence on top of a DECT cordless (typical analogue cordless phones operating in the 30-40MHz range typically retail for A$100-A$200 and long range 900 Mhz or 2.4 Ghz cordless retail for A$250-A$350 - none require licences)

However, site licence requirements ended on 1 July, 2001, opening up the consumer market.  On July 1, 2001 a class license came into effect for cordless telephones services and the microwave links lost their interference protection.   The Australian Communication Authority (ACA) specification (RALI MS 25 details what interference parameters apply for these services to coexist.  

To assist the local industry, the ACA introduced a Cordless Telephone Service (CTS) network license option which could allow distributors to authorize customer sites to operate equipment as a third party to a CTS network license after appropriate coordination, frequency assignment and documentation.  Ericsson Australia has taken an Australia-wide CTS network license and since developed a unique Consumer Licensing Solution enabling Cordless Phone 200 series purchasers to register, coordinate and modify their equipment to obtain third party authorization in accordance with the CTS license requirements.  This process takes only minutes, calling Ericsson's +61 1300 650 470 Cordless Customer Support toll free line and is available at no additional cost.

To achieve this Ericsson has developed a unique call center process and software program, which determines the caller's latitude and longitude from their street address and converts this to Australian Map Grid coordinates. This is processed through a simulation program which coordinates interference potential against ACA database Link sites within a 100k radius at a worst case height scenario. The program then determines which the 10 DECT carrier frequencies can be used as per the MS25 specification. A carrier mask template and customer authorization number is then produced to be added to the License database.

The purchaser simply unpacks the kit and before switching on, follows the registration card instructions by calling the toll free number, providing details and PARI number (also un-block code) completing the card as they proceed.

The operator prompts them through the process and the customer switches on, subscribes handset and accesses a hidden menu to implement the carrier mask.

Once confirmed, the user re-powers the kit and is issued an Authorization Number to keep on their registration card, which acts as their Third Party Authorization.

The whole process can be completed in 3 minutes. If the equipment is relocated before 1/7/00, it is simply repeated.  License and conditions are printed on the card and the requirements are reinforced in all dealer support materials and communications.  The Ericsson Cordless Phone 200 Series is distributed throughout Australia by Cellnet Cellular Pty Ltd +61 73853 5555 and is now available many major retailers and mobile communications dealers.

For the cordless PABX / PABX adjunct segments of the market, in general site licences are not an obstacle. This market is certainly growing rapidly, with activity from Wavelink (Kirk/Hagenuk brands), Ericsson, Alcatel, Samsung, Siemens, Multitone, Goldtron and others.

It is expected that Year 2000 will be the major boom year for DECT to take off in Australia, as pricing becomes more attractive, user awareness increases, technological improvements such as integrated text messaging and cordless repeater stations are used more and standalone wireless DECT/ISDN telephone systems such as the Hagenuk DCS DECT products become more widely available.

As in India, wireless solutions are recognised as offering a cost-effective mechanism to rapidly roll out additional telephone lines in a country desperately in need of this. Wireless local loop solutions are expected to increase from virtually zero today to a significant proportion of the total number of deployed lines within the next few years.

Deployment of both private cordless telephones and wireless local loop based on DECT is anticipated, in the band 1900-1920 MHz allocated by the Office of State Radio Regulatory Commission, OSRRC. The OSRRC has decided that only TDD radio technologies may operate within this band, but beyond this the Chinese regulator is not being technology specific. Thus other TDD technologies, notably PHS, will be allowed to be used within this allocation.

To accommodate potential coexistence of DECT and PHS the local DECT Forum and the PHS MoU are expected to present a joint proposal, based on the outcome of coexistence trials in Hong Kong - link- that the upper 13-15 MHz of this spectrum be allocated for private systems. Public wireless local loop systems will be allowed to use the full 20 MHz, subject to local geographical restrictions - ie within a given geographical region it is expected that only DECT or PHS systems will be deployed, not both.

As with India, alliances between local and overseas players are proving potentially important.  One of these is NSM, a company set up by National Semiconductor and S Megga, to leverage their respective capabilities in DECT semiconductors and volume product manufacturing.

The first commercial WLL contract in China has been for DECT technology.  The contract  - 125k lines - was awarded in 1997 for deployment in the province of Sichuan and will use the band 1900-1920 MHz.

Hong Kong
Today DECT is allowed in Hong Kong, as is the Japanese PHS standard.
As of end 1998 some 20 DECT telephone handsets were reported as having received Type Approval in Hong Kong, compared with only 2 PHS handsets (reported at the DECT'99 Congress).

A number of documents from the Office of the Telecommunications Authority, OFTA, and elsewhere are available on the web which provide some of the history to this situation:

Report , "Co-existence tests of DECT and PHS Standards" may be obtained from OFTA
See also this link for an overview of the Global DECT Forum Summary.
Their report may be downloaded in full - Word 6.0 in zipped format - together with the associated measurement data - in   Excel 5.0, again zipped

Papers from OFTA's Telecommunications Standards Advisory Committee, Working Group on New Standards & Technologies papers:
"Technical Standards for Personal Handy Phone System (PHS) and Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephone Systems for Private Use in Hong Kong"
"Review of Performance Specification of Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) Equipment for Public and Private Use"

There is extensive interest in DECT in India, arising from the recognition that DECT wireless local loop solutions could assist significantly in fulfilling the government’s stated policy of deploying several million additional telephone lines within the next few years. In response to this local companies have developed indigenous technology to the ETSI DECT standard.

Prospects for DECT in India - India DECT Forum address - December 1996 - reported in Indiaworld

India’s Centre for Development of Telecommunications, C-DOT, and National Semiconductor have signed a memorandum of understanding relating to collaboration in the development of DECT for the Indian WLL market.

IIT Chennai
corDECT was a project undertaken at IIT Chennai to develop DECT technology, backed by Analog Devices Inc, USA, and an Indian licencee, Shyam Telecom Ltd. The corDECT equipment was validated in field trials and has subsequently been reported to have been licensed to manufacturers in India, China, Brazil and France. The Shyam Telecom product range is known as DECTxs and comprises a base station controller, compact base station, subscriber access unit (two options - a handset and a wallset), base station concentrator and network management system.

Source: Paper presented at the IBC DECT ‘ 98 conference, January 1998.

Indonesia is one of the leading countries for DECT WLL deployments.    Contracts for more than 700k lines have been awarded by several   different operators: PT Telkom, PT Bukaka Sintel, PT Pramindo Ikat.   By early 1998 several hundreds of thousands of lines had already been installed in the band 1880-1900 MHz.

New Zealand
Spectrum in the band 1885-1895 MHz is being made available for DECT deployment and auctioned
Up to date regulatory information can be found at the NZ radio spectrum management website

DECT WLL contract award during 1997

Sri Lanka
Article in Sunday Observer September 1997

Central & South America
Inter-American Telecommunication Commission - homepage

"The Inter-American Telecommunication Commission, CITEL, is an entity of the Organisation of American States and its purpose is to use all the means at its disposal to facilitate and further the development of telecommunications in the Americas to contribute to the development of the region. To obtain these objectives in CITEL work the Administrations in close collaboration with the private and public sector and coordinating with regional and international organisations".

DECT usage is allowed in many countries administered by CITEL, within the frequency band 1910-1930 MHz allocated in:
Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
El Salvador

CITEL had established an experts study group to evaluate coexistence of DECT within this band
The committee completed its work successfully in September 1998, evidenced by the frequency allocations above.

More detail may be found in issues of the DECT Forum Newsletters.

Brazil, Venezuela
Wireless Local Loop - Sercomtel Comunicacoes, a private telecommunication operator, tests DECT-based DRA1900 WLL product from Ericsson. Also demonstrated in Venezuela. November 1996

Colombia is leading the deployment of DECT WLL is South America.   Several operators are trialling or commercially deploying DECT wireless local loop - already by early 1998 contracts for over 200k lines had been awarded.  In Bogota two networks were already operational by early 1998, with networks now also installed in Medellin and Cali.

At the  DECT ’98 conference in January 1998 a presentation from Siemens described their company's progress - some 50k wireless telephone lines have been contracted and are either being planned or installed, for Telecom and Transtel; a further 70k lines in negotiation. Four or five other operators are either trialling or deploying equipment supplied by Alcatel and Ericsson.

North America
In North America Freepoint Telecom  pioneered DECT (in the form of PWT, the US variant of the standard). Freepoint Telecom are exploiting the deregulated environment in the USA to operate as a business local loop service provider, providing an integrated in-building managed solution to clients’ internal communications needs based around a wireless PABX solution using PWT equipment. Initially focusing on the hotel/convention market segment, Freepoint intend to expand to address other markets. Using PWT for the normal room-phone allows the hotel operator to re-use his already- installed wired lines to provide, for example, an ISDN or fax connection, potential sources of additional revenue. Freepoint’s showcase client is the Westin St Francis Hotel, San Francisco

For domestic usage in North America the WDCT - Worldwide Digital Cordless Telephone - derivative of DECT has been developed, using DECT protocols and technology, but operating using frequency hopping in the ISM 2.4 GHz frequency band.   Siemens products were the first to the WDCT to be introduced, in September 1998 - other manufacturers are expected to launch products during early 1999.  We hope to include a new page on DECTweb summarising the WDCT standard in the future.

In Denmark use of DECT is allowed for wireless local loop - see the Tele Danmark Annual Report  regulatory page, or search their website for DECT' for more detailed information on DECT in that country.

DECT products are selling very well in France, with over 40% of all cordless telephones sold now being DECT, despite the price premium charged over lower cost analogue CT0 products.

Germany has emerged as the leading market for DECT products. In Germany DECT cordless telephones compete with the CEPT CT1 specification telephones and are price comparable. As a result of this DECT products had, by early 1998, captured some 60% of the market; by the end of 1998 this figure had risen to over 80%.

Wireless PABX products are selling well and data products, providing ISDN and multimedia access (eg Internet surfing) are becoming available - products of this sort were formally launched at the German consumer electronics trade show, CeBIT ’98, in Hanover, March 1998. New products are expected at CeBIT 99.

Thyssen Telecom, Germany - operator trial of DECT for wireless local loop in Duisberg.
January 1997 till April 1998. 
The objective of this trial was to check the suitability of DECT technologies under practical conditions.   It not only concerned technical feasibility and the supply-side economics but also the acceptance of innovative services and new tariff structures to the users., Germany -  operator trial network of DECT for wireless local loop

DECT wireless local loop deployments are in place by some of the many local telecommunications companies - eg Deltav, Digitel 2002. Limited local mobility DECT installations have also been implemented, eg by Westel.

DECT was used in the FIDO system for cordless terminal mobility
Unfortunately the regulatory constraints placed on this service prevented a profitable service being offered in the long term, despite satisfactory technical performance and significant public interest in the service.


DECT WLL systems were first deployed in Poland during 1997.  By early 1998 over 150k lines had been deployed, with the major contract awards being by the operators TPSA and Netia.

Public consultation on DECT wireless access launched in January 1998

DECT WLL contract award during 1997. 
Possibilities of using DECT cordless terminal mobility service, as a low cost alternative to cellular, is being considered by some operators.

DECT as an access technology (in Spanish)

"Terminal aspects of DECT/GSM as an evolution towards UMTS" by Patric Lind, Telia Research AB Chairman, (Sweden), DECT/GSM WP, ETSI.  This paper addresses the aspects of DECT/GSM dual mode terminals that are identified as relevant for UMTS scenarios, i.e. multi mode terminals operating in multi network environments

Turk Telecom awarded a contract for 200k lines of WLL for rural deployment in early 1998, of which 70% will be supported by DECT technology.   Domestic cordless telephones are selling well and locally developed and manufactured products are   expected to be launched in 1999.

In the UK DECT consumer domestic telephones are widely available in the high street, distributed through a range of retailing chains as well as BT shops.  Despite competition from low cost analogue CT0 products DECT was reported as having over 40%   market share by early 1999. Products are also being promoted via mail order. At the start of 1998 the two most visible products were the BT Diverse (the Siemens Gigaset) and the Philips Xalio. A wider range of DECT products were launched in the UK during 1988. Wireless DECT PBX sales are low; CT2 products already have a foothold in this market, although the wireless PBX market is in fact relatively small at present in the UK. Local regulatory rules currently preclude DECT from being used for either public access (CTM) or for wireless local loop in the UK.

In Denmark use of DECT is allowed for wireless local loop - see the Tele Danmark Annual Report  regulatory page, or search their website for DECT' for more detailed information on DECT in that country.


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