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.
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 If information on your country is missing or is out of date - please e-mail us.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 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:
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.
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 http://www.aca.gov.au/publications/info/1_9CTS_overview.htm) 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.
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
Papers from OFTA's Telecommunications Standards Advisory Committee, Working
Group on New Standards & Technologies papers:
Prospects for DECT in India - India DECT Forum address - December 1996 - reported in Indiaworld
Source: Paper presented at the IBC DECT 98 conference, January 1998.
DECT WLL contract award during 1997
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:
CITEL had established an experts study group to evaluate
coexistence of DECT within this band.
More detail may be found in issues of the
DECT Forum Newsletters.
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.
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. Freepoints 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.
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.
o.tel.o, Germany - operator trial network of DECT for wireless local loopFIDO 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.
Possibilities of using DECT cordless terminal mobility service, as a low cost alternative to cellular, is being considered by some operators. 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