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DECTweb aims to bring you occasional timely feature articles from well known names in the cordless telecommunications industry.   If you feel you would be a suitable contributor and would like to offer an article for consideration please e-mail us with your biographical details and an outline for the proposed feature. 

The current feature is a report on the DECT2000 Conference, organised by IBC and held in Rome January 2000. 

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Conference Overview
This year’s IBC DECT Conference in Rome in January 2000 followed in its now well established tradition of good speakers, a stimulating programme and an interesting exhibition. The programme this year however flowed better than normal, with a timely emphasis on data - standards, applications and real product demos

Exhibition & Demos
Exhibitors included – Alcatel, ALPS, Ascom, Binatone, Cambridge Consultants, Comlab, DECT Forum, DECT MMC (DECT Multimedia Consortium), Ericsson, ETS, Hoft & Wessel, Kirk Acoustics, Kirk Telecom, National Semiconductor, Philips, Plextek, RTX Telecom, Siemens and Systemes G.

Notable live demos this year included:

  • Realtime wireless video (between rooms) from RTX Telecom, using a DPRS-compliant multiple-bearer system.
  • DECT WebPADs from National Semiconductor
  • A DECT-enabled PDA from Ericsson had been promised but due to technical problems they were showing instead similar functionality but on a laptop.
  • DECT channel monitoring from Systemes G
  • Wireless Palm Pilot, programmed for a restaurant odering and billing application, from Fun Communications

Both the RTX and National Semiconductor demos were of product platforms – ie showing reference designs which they are offering to companies wishing to create such a product. In National Semiconductor’s case they are offering the design royalty-free.

Summary of Conference Sessions

Session 1: Positioning of DECT, Market Development & Customer Drivers
Some excellent papers, providing some detailed and up to date information. The theme of DECT data emerged in the very first paper and was developed during the rest of the conference.

The DECT Review – Peter Berwing – Chairman, DECT Forum

  • DECT is accepted / allowed in over 110 countries worldwide
  • 45 million lines and terminals had been deployed by the end of 1999
  • Over 200 different DECT products are available on the market
  • DECT data products are already operating and available on the market
  • DECT fulfills the ITU requirements for 3rd generation mobile and has been accepted as a mamber of the IMT2000 family of radio interfaces

DECT – Serving Today’s & Future Wireless Communications Needs – Peter Zapf, Siemens

Theme - convergence of information and communication, with DECT facilitating both gateways and information appliances. Zapf noted the global expansion of DECT, DECT modules facilitating new applications and noted the parallel of mobile phones moving from voice to data, which DECT was now just beginning to emulate. Key points for the future were interoperability (DPRS), broadband access and value to the consumer. Siemens will have DPRS products this year.

Global Overview – Asia, Latin America, USA, Africa – Arturo Custodio, DECT Forum, and Harry Mann, China DECT Forum

Custodio provided a breakdown of market size, regulation and spectrum availability for private / public use in Europe, Latin America, Asia and Africa. He analysed the trends, for pre-1998, 1999, 2000-2001, post-2001for residential, business and fixed wireless access. He concluded with key progress over 1999, summarising this as:

  • Finalisation of DPRS and DMAP standardisation
  • Emerging private applications in USA
  • Dual mode DECT/GSM launch in the UK
  • New frequency spectrum available for DECT fixed wireless access at 3.5 GHz
  • DECT selected as one of five IMT2000 radio interfaces

Mann described the market in China, noting organisational changes in the Government and the telcos affecting regulation and fixed/mobile competition. He concluded that there was enormous potential business opportunities, but that products needed to be tailored for the Chinese markets and could encounter delays in type approval.

Session 2: New Developments in DECT Data
A comprehensive session in which the papers built well on each other and included some very interesting real-world applications and products. Key themes emerging were standards progress (DPRS, DMAP), the effect of this in ensuring interoperability and several innovative actual and potential data applications.

Papers included:

  • DECT Data Applications and Interoperability - Huub Appleboom, Ericsson
  • DPRS DECT Packet Radio, Technology and Applications - Angel Bovida, Alcatel
  • DECT Data – New ETSI Standards DMAP and DPRS DECT-MMC Applications - Franz Dosch, Dosch & Amand
  • DECT: A New Efficient Link to the Internet - Guy Cayla, Lucent
  • Fuelling the Low Cost ‘Zero Installation’ Home Networking Market - Benny Madsen, National Semiconductor
  • DECT and ISDN - Tilo Messer, Siemens
  • Wireless Palm Connectivity - Dieter Wallman, Fun Communications
  • DECT Messaging - Kitty de Groot, Philips
  • DECT and WAP and DECT Messaging - Stefan Bramberg, Ascom Tateco
  • DECT Data Transmission for Industrial Applications - Jurgen Huup, Fruanhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits
  • DECT-Ethernet Integration - Andreas Muller, Hoft & Wessel

Session 3: Business Applications

This session examined the role of DECT in the office environment – how it was evolving and might evolve in the future.

Papers included:

  • Enterprise Mobility Services – the Role of DECT - Andrew Bud, Connect Communications
  • DECT/GSM: Substituting with Enhanced Mobile Services - Carlo Loi, SPAL Telecoms
  • DECT & GSM Integrated with IP Telephony - Patrik Holmlund, Telia Mobile
  • Fife Acute Hospitals NHS Trust - Paul Kingsmore, Queen Margaret Hospital, UK
  • DECT PBX: Developments in the Cordless PBX Markets - Philippe le Port, Alcatel
  • Case Study: Analysis and Optimisation of a Multicell DECT PBX System - Michael Stork, Rohde & Schwarz

Sesion 4: Residential Mobility
A short session which concluded that DECT’s future was still promising in this sector, in spite of potential future threats from Bleutooth, seen as still an unproven technology (and this from a company heavily promoting Bluetooth !)

Papers included:

  • Addressing the Future Mass Market - Oliver Weigelt, Philips Semiconductors
  • Terminals, Components and Repeaters - Benny Madsen, National Semiconductor, Guido Willi, Philips Semiconductors

Session 5: DECT Wireless Local Loop
This session described the ups and downs of the WLL market in the recent past, noting a market recovery in 1999, with DECT taking 80% of the contracts over 100k lines and reduced deployment times. DECT WLL range extension to 15 km and operation at 3.5 GHz was described. Intelsat evaluation showed DECT plus satellite better than macrocellular plus satellite for rural WLL - decsribed a trial in Senegal.

Papers included:

  • DECT WLL Latest Advances - Gregorio Lopez, Alcatel
  • From Business Case to Maintenance – Understanding the Constraints of the Radio Path - John Berry, ATDI
  • DECT WLL for Rural Telephony - Catherine de Peuter, Intelsat

Session 6: The Future of DECT: How is it Evolving and Competing ?
A session describing real innovative products, as well as future trends.

Siemens sold 300k of their WDCT phones in the USA in the first year - not bad !

The Home Wireless Networks product, to be launched by BT in April, is one to watch - DECT used to provide a wireless LAN for PCs, as well as key switch phone access, at an attractive price to the SoHo or even high-end domestic user (but you had to get a private showing to pick up the details !).

Managed DECT services over cable TV also was new for many at the conference.

Papers included:

  • Postcard from 2005 – Does DECT still Feature ? (The answer was ‘yes !’) - Mark Lambert, Cambridge Consultants
  • DECT Standardisation Update - Gunther Kleindl, Siemens Austria
  • WDCT – the DECT Version for the ISM Band - Gerhard Siemens, Siemens
  • DECT for Home Networking and Device Interconnectivity - Ken Liddell, Home Wireless Networks International
  • DECT Services with Broadband Access over CATV - Gonen Snir, ECI Telecom

Session 7: Emerging Technologies – Relative Positioning and Suitability
Papers included:

  • DECT and IEEE802.11 - Vic Hayes, Chairman IEEE802.11
  • DECT and Bluetooth - Panel Session

The conclusion from these papers was 802.11 is well placed for high bit rate 11 Mb/s applications, but DECT should take the lower rate ones, with Bluetooth and DECT seen as complementary.

The conference concluded with a final DECT Forum paper presented by Heinz Ochsner entitled "DECT Summary: Future Developments and Evolutions" which pulled together many of the earlier themes and messages.

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