DECT NR+ audio applications FAQ

Thursday 17 August 2023

DECT NR+ offers solutions for professional audio applications such as wireless microphones, in-ear monitoring, audio for video and business communications, intercom and headsets. The benefits of the standard for audio are based on the modern PHY layer of DECT NR+, which allows use even in complex environments and large halls. DECT NR+ is an  IMT-2020 technology, which is no longer restricted to the DECT band and offers built-in support for reliable spectrum sharing, scalability  and ease of use, including automatic interference handling. It also  supports various network topologies, including star, and mesh that might be interesting for Tour Guide-like applications or for “Anywhere, at Any time, by Anyone“ for demand-driven user deployment.  
All of this was discussed in more detail in the DECT NR+ Applications webinar. You can watch the recording here. During the webinar we also received interesting questions from the audience. Below you can find a recap of the questions and some relevant answers on the audio side of the standard.

Can we expect that audio devices from different companies will be able to cooperate?

With audio use cases, wireless technology is only one part of the story. A lot of vendor-specific knowhow is in the capsule and audio codec. Device cooperation is enabled by sharing the same wireless connection for audio transport.

Are there already modules for audio applications?

Not yet. The pre-development phase is ongoing.

Does the standard support IP-based communication?

DECT NR+ provides a technology foundation which supports both IP and non-IP based communication.

Is the scheme for < 4ms latency documented anywhere?

The latency budget for audio is stated as a part of multiple CEPT ECC reports, e.g. ECC Report 323, and ETSI SRDoc TR 102 546.

In the Professional Audio application, "Cable Replacement" topology was mentioned. Could you elaborate a bit more on this topology? Is it just a star topology with a single node?

The cable replacement topology connects two points. This includes two DECT NR+ devices, one with the role as FT and the other as PT.

How does DECT NR+ compare with Bluetooth LE Audio for low latency applications?

Compared to Bluetooth LE, DECT NR+ supports OFDM with Turbo channel coding and adaptive modulation and coding schemes. This improves the reception performance in difficult channel conditions significantly. Additionally, the DECT band at 1880-1900 MHz in CEPT countries, for example, allows using up to 23 dBm – therefore link distances for audio are increased significantly. With sophisticated operation of open loop power control (TX power can go low as -40 dBm) and selection of adaptive modulation and coding, one can develop methods to optimize used transmission formats to the variable and changing link conditions. The use of variable bitrate audio codecs can provide a further dimension to this.

Can this technology be used for moving devices or is this mainly aimed for stationary devices?

It is designed to allow mobile devices as well as a mobile infrastructure.

Is the 1.9GHz spectrum free and usable in all CE countries?

ERC Decision (94)03 and EU Council Directive 91/287/EEC designate the 1880-1900 MHz frequency band for DECT in the EU. ERC Decision (98)22 exempts DECT from individual licensing in the EU.
If you have more questions on the effects of the standard on audio solutions, feel free to contact us.
Also check out the blog on DECT NR+ applications within IoT.

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