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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 summary of the  Annual DECT Congress, organised by IIR and held in London September 1999. 

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Conference Format
The main two-day conference comprised some 23 papers  presented in 9 sessions:
        DECT as a World Standard (5)
        Marketing DECT (2)
        DECT for the Residential Market (1)
        Product Case Studies (5)
        DECT for Business Mobility (3)
        DECT & GSM Integration (1)
        DECT and Wireless Local Loop (3)
        DECT PBX (1)
        DECT Technology & UMTS (2)
It was prefaced by a single day focussing upon exploitation of DECT data, comprising some 10 papers

There were two working exhibits / demonstrations - the Palm DECT cradle from FUN Communications and the Anritsu DECT Tester

Key Issues
Worldwide Progress
* Included descriptions of Siemens' WDCT North American products and the Ericsson Cybergenie, also to be launched soon in the USA. 
* A DECT Forum view of the year to date indicated shipments of 20 million DECT terminals and lines anticipated by end 1999, comprising 18 m residential phones, 1m WLL lines and 750k WPABX terminals.
* A presentation by the CEC described anticipated regulatory changes in Europe.

* ETSI standardisation is moving fast with the DECT Multimedia Application Profile, DMAP, (previously referred to as the MMAP) finalised and out for consultation.
* Likewise the DECT Packet Radio Service, DPRS, consultation was imminent. 
* The new higher level/rate modulation schemes which are backward compatible will form part of the submission to the ITU for inclusion as an IMT technology (3G). 
Papers included presentations from Angel Boveda of Alcatel,  Gunter Kleindl of Siemens and Heinz Ochsner of the DECT Forum.

Market Development
* Strategy Analytics identified need for new differentiation for DECT, with data as a potential opportunity.

Data and Multimedia
* Major progress on DMAP products was described.   These included wireless PC links for printers, fax, ISDN etc from Ascom, Canon and Dosch & Amand. A wireless Webpad type product called the FreePad was described  (subsequently launched by Screenmedia).  Integration with Cable TV was described by Telegate.

Business Applications & Dual Mode
* An update on BT Onephone was given by John O'Boyle of BT, positioning OnePhone as part of the BT One offering.  Announced price drop coming in October.
* Andrew Bud of Connect Communications addressed the issue of marketing emerging developments in DECT business applications

DECT & Bluetooth
* In the first public presentation of a detailed technical comparison DECT and Bluetooth,   Seyed Mortazavi of Roke Manor (Siemens), indicated that in some circumstances DECT performance may be expected to be superior to Bluetooth.  Care is needed to compare like with like.
* Mark Lambert of CCL took an applications focus for his comparison, concluding with a view of DECT and Bluetooth as complementary, rather than competitive, technologies, with different technologies being chosen for different applications.
* Daire Macnamara of Teltec took a similar applications perspective, with a similar conclusion to the CCL paper - although Bluetooth could be cheaper and appropriate for short range, especially data,  applications, many DECT applications would be less suited to Bluetooth.
* Dominic Clancy of Philips noted that consumers don't care about the technology, just the application.  Range and performance of Bluetooth and DECT are similar - thus the important factors are cost & application not technology.   Bluetooth will deliver these applications later if DECT does not do it soon.  De facto standards will emerge linked with the most common application. If 20 dBm Bluetooth is accepted, then it is only a question of cost; and if not, then the range will dictate the outcome.

DECT & Home Networking
* Ben Manny of HomeRF WG presented the HomeRF activity.   A rule change to the FCC Pt 15 regulations has been requested by the HomeRF community which, if adopted, will make the intereference scenario for Bluetooth much worse.
* Mark Stone of Home Wireless Networks presented about their planned products which have been developed in conjunction with BT and which will be deployed in the UK early 2000

DECT Internet Access
* The potential of DECT for Internet access (esp PPP) was examined by speakers from Teltec and Lucent.

DECT Modules and Innovative Applications
* The Siemens MD32 DECT engine module and its applications were presented on the first day.
Later in the conference 5 innovative application case studies were presented:
* Multigate DECT - wideband cordless access via cable - Telegate
* Low Power DECT Modules - Inventel
* Text Messaging - Philips
* DECT Palm Applications - FUN Communications
* "The Gastromax" - a restaurant PoS application of DECT, integrating a card reader - Kobil / Philips

* The latest developments from Alcatel - 16 km coverage for both voice and Internet,   25 km coverage for voice and 64 kb/s according to DECT RAP, and the use of other frequency bands
* DECT & VSAT for rural WLL from STM

DECT Chip Developments
* Update from Philips (VLSI Technology) and National Semiconductors, each describing the benefits offered by their own technology approaches.

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