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DECT Technical Standards

The technical standards which define the DECT technology have been developed over the past decade by technical experts from industry working together in committees under the auspices of ETSI - the European Telecommunications Standards Institute - based in Sophia Antipolis in France, the same organisation that managed the development of the GSM standards.
On this page we provide some introductory information on the following topics:

Baseline DECT Standards

The DECT Profiles

DECT Data Standards

ETSI Activities Today

Getting Information from ETSI


On the other pages in this section of DECTweb, shown in the table below, we  provide more specific details on the the DECT standards, namely:

Guide to ETSI DECT Standards Resources

Guide to the Published  DECT Standards

DECT Standards - in - Progress

DECT Standards in early Draft


The Baseline Standards
The early DECT standards were developed by the original RES 03 committee (RES = Radio Equipment and Systems Committee) which was at that time responsible for DECT and other cordless technology standards.  The first and most well known of the DECT standards, which formed the baseline of the technology, were the ETS 300 175 documents, published in 1992, which specified the basic DECT radio access technology. The various chapters of this standard document are listed elsewhere on this site and described in more detail in 'Cordless Telecommunications Worldwide', along with many of the other DECT standards documents.   The baseline standards were upgraded in 1995 to a second edition, to reflect both progress in the technology (a tightening of some technical parameters) and in the global market (the impact of DECT on the North American PCS scene, where changes had been made to the DECT standard to yield the PWT standard and the concept of wireless relay stations pioneered).

Many other standards relating to DECT have also been produced by ETSI.  Some of these relate to testing compliance with the technical standards, some are technical reports (ETRs) explaining how the technology may optimally be used, some are extensions to the original standards to reflect new applications. 

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The DECT Profiles
A key class of ETSI standards documents is that known as the DECT Profiles.  These include, amongst others:

    The Generic Access Profile GAP
    The Data Services Profiles DSP
    The Radio Local Loop Access Profile RAP
    The Cordless Terminal Mobility Profile CAP
    The DECT/GSM Interworking Profile GIP
    The DECT/ISDN Interworking Profile IIP

The profiles essentially draw upon other prior ETSI standards documents, defining which aspects of which ones should be implemented in order to fulfill a specific application.   This approach allows low cost DECT products to be manufactured for commodity type applications, such as a domestic cordless telephone, whilst also allowing highly featured applications to also be produced for less cost-sensitive markets, in a way that ensures, where appropriate, full vendor interoperability of products - ie open standards.   Such standards encourage market growth (as has been seen most obviously with the global acceptance of the GSM standard for mobile phones)

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DECT Data Standards
Today, although the standardisation of DECT is mature, new work is still being initiated within ETSI, at the request of members, to develop new specifications and reports.   Some of these are reflecting the increasing interest in DECT worldwide, such as recommendations for the use of DECT in new frequency bands, whilst others reflect the demand for data services and increased transmission bandwidth. 

During 1998/99 the ETSI DECT Project has developed two key new standards relating to data transmission:

  The DECT Packet Radio Service - DPRS

The DECT Multimedia  Access Profile - DMAP

DPRS is in reality simply an update and pulling together of the several data transmission profiles - A/B, C, D, E and F, Classes 1 and 2 - that were specified in the early/mid 1990's into a more useable form.  It is anticipated that DPRS will allow interoperability between DECT data products in the same way that the GAP specification has done for DECT speech products.

Similarly, DMAP builds on DPRS, bringing it together with GAP, to support multimedia services over DECT products, to allow plug-n-play wireless interoperability between DMAP enabled PC's, printers, cameras, etc in the home and SoHo environment.   For information on DMAP, please check out the DECT Multi Media Consortium information on the Multimedia & Home Networking Page of DECTweb.

ETSI Activities Today
The structure of ETSI and its committees has changed over the years.  The original work was undertaken by the Radio Equipment & Systems 3, RES-3, committee - today the responsibility for the ETSI DECT Project, ETSI DP, falls to a team of  DECT officials and a series of Working Groups. 

As of 2001, the ETSI DECT Project is led by Guenther Kleindl of Siemens Austria, supported by Dag Akerberg of Ericsson Sweden and Stoyan Baev, of Ascom Switzerland, each of whom lead a Working Group.

Click here to see the terms of reference for the ETSI DECT activity (dated 1996 !).

ETSI has a formal collaboration agreement with the industry body, the DECT Forum, details of which may be downloaded from the latter's website.

During 1999 the ETSI committees have focussed on the introduction of new high level modulation schemes which will double or triple the data rates which DECT can support, allowing it to provide 2Mb/s data rates.   This has allowed it to be submitted to the ITU for incorporation as one of the IMT family of radio standards for third generation, 3G, radio systems.

ETSI has also introduced the concept of Application Specific Access Profiles - ASAP's - of which DMAP is the first.

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Getting Information from ETSI
On the attached pages may be found a comprehensive list of the relevant DECT specifications produced by ETSI.   Copies of these may be downloaded directly from the ETSI website.  The ETSI website also contains a wealth of other useful information - details of how to obtain this are contained on our page - Guide to ETSI DECT Resources.

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DECT is littered with acronyms - that's why the site contains a comprehensive glossary.

ETR = ETSI Technical Report

ETS = ETSI Telecommunication Standard.   ETSI has adopted the term EN = Europäische Norm (English: European Standard) in 1996, in line with CEN and CENELEC, to refer to new documents of this type produced by ETSI.

PWT = Personal Wireless Telecommunications, one of several US digital cordless standards closely based upon DECT, other notable ones being WDCT (Siemens) and MARS (RTX Telecom)


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Last modified: Tuesday January 09, 2007.
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