NR+ is here and ready for you

Monday 08 July 2024

There has been a lot of talk around the NR+ standard but now we walk the talk. We have the availability. That of course also raises questions. We have answered some of them. The most important question is of course, how do I get my hands on some NR+ products to test and develop. It’s easy. Check these Wirepas and Nordic Semiconductor websites to get going. Below you can find other answers to questions you might have.

GPS and Location
Nordic protocols: LTE and NR+ roadmap
Wirepas 5G MESH
Market Situation


What are Wirepas' plans to allow a competitor to build a competitive Wirepas stack that is interoperable?
-Wirepas implements DECT-2020 NR standard and welcomes other companies to do the same.

Is Nordic semiconductor the only vendor offering NR+ silicon solutions at the moment?
-Currently Nordic Semiconductor is the only semiconductor company currently offering silicon with DECT NR+ support. last mile semiconductor is also working on an NR+ wireless chipset.


The current version/generation of the Wirepas 5G Mesh requires to be mains powered. Do you have the details on the actual power consumption per transmission/operation cycle (or generally the rough life span)?
-Wirepas has measured about 50 mA power consumption on the available Nordic Semiconductor chipsets.

When will battery powered devices be available?
-Battery operated devices are on the future roadmaps for Wirepas 5G Mesh. However, Wirepas cannot yet provide future-looking commitments in this matter. It is part of the DECT-2020 NR standard release 1 and release 2 standard will include further optimizations. Current Wirepas 5G Mesh product can be used for the battery-operated devices, if long battery lifetime is not required. Development of the low power and long battery life product remains in the future roadmap.

I didn't get the power consumption aspect. Is it still not possible to measure the power consumed by a device if we use it as a SINK or as a RELAY? Or is it possible to use the available Nordic tools in order to do it (for example the Power Profiler in the nRF Connect for Desktop)?
-It is possible, but the consumption is very much application specific, how much time does the application use in TX mode, RX mode. How far is it from relay, meaning what TX power level it needs to use. These factors define power consumption.

What can you say about battery consumption?
-The cellular power consumption is very similar to LTE-M on Nordic Semiconductor SiPs, can be found in Nordic Semiconductor data sheets. 
-The power consumption for the HW can be found in the HW data sheets or specifications. Application communication needs affect it a lot, how much data is transmitted and what is the latency requirements impact if buffering can be done allowing power saving on the modem operation. The first implementation of the SW stack and modem firmware is aimed for mains powered devices with power saving features are on a roadmap for later versions of the implementations.

GPS and Location

Is GPS supported?
-In the current implementation of Nordic Semiconductor and Wirepas SW, GPS is not part of the stack. It is of course possible to integrate separate GPS chips on the device.

Is Wirepas stack compatible with GPS of nRF91 family, i.e. working concurrently?
-nRF91 in NR+ use does not support GPS. GPS is a feature of cellular firmware. A separate GPS receiver is needed.

Can NR+ be used for geolocating moving devices?
-Currently in the DECT NR+ there is no standard specific location technology support. However, RSSI based geolocation could be built on top of current specification. In future standard releases, more advanced location methods could be considered.

How about running GPS at the same time as Wirepas ?
-Wirepas does not support GPS operations with Wirepas 5G Mesh. GPS operation should be implemented as separate applications.

Nordic SW and NR+ roadmap

Can one run LTE and NR+ sequentially on Nordic's current HW by switching the FW during f.ex. a day?
-No, it is not recommended to switch the SW frequently. Installation option of selecting which radio to run is possible to support, but of course requires to have both stacks on device persistent storage at installation time.

Are there any plans to support dual (NR+ and Cellular) working in parallel?
-No comment on plans.

When will the nRF9161 DECT NR+ firmware image be available to access the basic Layer 2 features for simple testing?   Will access be available through AT commands similar to the cellular modem firmware?
-Nordic currently provides NR+ physical layer FW that can be accessed through the DECT NR+ API in nRF Connect SDK ( Future plans cannot be commented on.

Are there some Nordic Semiconductor applications that use DECT NR+ already online and available to everyone?
-Nordic SDK includes a sample application showing the PHY API usage. In a larger context there is no application layer specified in the NR+ DECT-2020 NR standard. The CVG layer converges NR+ radio protocols to IPv6 or application specific communications.

Where can information on the custom API implementation using NR+ PHY be found?
-The API for interacting with the Nordic PHY will be added to the Nordic SDK (nRF Connect SDK) v2.7.0.

Apart from a Nordic nRF9161, what other elements might I need to make this technology work, types of antennas or particular elements?
-Nordic provides reference designs for the nRF91 Series.

Is NR+ concurrent operation with LTE planned?
-It is possible, but no commitments are given. The HW would be quite complex for the concurrent operation. Nordic specializes in low power cellular operation that is aiming for minimal HW, so more probable that a separate SiP is used for NR+ and another for cellular.

Does Nordic Semiconductor’s thingy91 module support the NR+ protocol?
-The upcoming Thingy:91X will support DECT NR+, Thingy:91 has the older SiP nRF9160 which is not supported with the NR+.

Wirepas 5G MESH 

Is there interoperability between the Wirepas 5G Mesh and Wirepas Sub-GHz Mesh at the gateway level?
-Wirepas 5G Mesh and Wirepas 2.4 GHz / Sub-GHz are separate networks. No interoperability at the gateway level. The customer shall consider this in their application.

Can the mesh be extended in a line (i.e. along a road)? If so, approx. how far can the devices be to retain multiple devices participating in a mesh and retaining some redundancy?
-The NR+ mesh topology allows multiple hops and does not limit the number of hops. The maximum distance between the nodes depends on the radio environment, ranging from a few hundred meters to even up to 6 km in an ideal line of sight.

Will the Wirepas 5G Mesh be integrated into Zephyr?  Zephyr is a key part when using nRF916x.
-No, Wirepas offers their own Wirepas SDK when using their 5G Mesh solution, which supports the nRF91 Series.

Regarding the nRF9161, is the Wirepas Stack running on the modem core or on the application core of the chip?
-It is running on the application core, the DECT NR+ PHY provided by Nordic is running on the modem core.

What are the keys pros and cons of NR standard compliant Wirepas 5G Mesh compared to Wirepas on 2.4GHz?
-Wirepas 5G Mesh offers a significantly longer radio range than Wirepas Mesh 2.4 GHz and therefore is suited for low latency and long-range applications.
-While the first Wirepas 5G Mesh is designed for the mains-powered applications, the current Wirepas 2.4 GHz mesh is broadly deployed in various solutions with years of battery life.
-Wirepas 5G Mesh for battery operated devices is subject for future development.

Can I transfer data between two nodes in the mesh network and can I have groups of nodes?
-DECT-2020 NR standard includes broadcast and multicast, but not yet node-to-node functionality. Standard enables transmission via one sink to all the radio devices in the same sink. Wirepas 5G Mesh implements broadcast, but not yet node-to-node functionality.

Does the Wirepas solution support radio to radio messaging by having one node sending messages via the mesh to another node in the same mesh?
-This is not currently available in the Wirepas 5G Mesh product.

Is it possible to have the Wirepas and Lynq Networks stack on the nrf9161 and a custom app? Or will the nrf91have place only for the NR+ stack?
-It is possible to run the Wirepas stack as well as an application on the application core. Wirepas has its own SDK that the custom application needs to be built on.

Will there be BLE support?
-The nRF91 Series from Nordic Semiconductor does not have Bluetooth LE support
- Wirepas 2.4GHz Mesh operates on multiple BLE chips available on the market

About the Wirepas SDK, is it possible to use it for free? Or is there a subscription option?
-The Wirepas SDK is fully open-source and available from GitHub. However, a license is needed in order to get access to Wirepas 5G Mesh software.


What about the range? How distant can two devices be at the moment if configured to use DECR NR+ while communicating with each other?
-The typical range 600m line of sight, 250m no line-of-sight. Varies a lot on the environment and device antenna

What is the expected range for audio wideband?
-DECT NR+ defines communication layers for the radio and is not dependent on the content being communicated, narrow-band or wide-band audio or sensor data. Transport. Range depends on the environment and design of the products, but hundreds of meters can be achieved.

What is the maximum distance between nodes?
-Typical range is 600m line of sight, 250m with no-line-of-sight. This varies a lot depending on the environment, the device antenna and the antenna height from the ground. 6.2 km of range has been measured in an ideal Line of Sight environment, as presented in the webinar 4 of 2023.

What is the maximum data rate Wirepas can achieve at a 300m distance, while maintaining ETSI compliance?
-1 Mbit/s radio data rate with modulation and coding scheme 1 been implemented for a radio link between two nodes.

Market Situation

Have any Wirepas and/or Nordic Semiconductor customers implemented systems in the USA? How many implementations are there in Europe?
-Wirepas cannot disclose commercial contracts. Some of these can be seen in press releases and partner cases on the Wirepas website. As was described in the webinar, Wirepas has demonstrated the 5G Mesh product in Europe, the USA and Asia.

What are the plans for getting NR+ approved in India?
-NR+ spectrum allocation process is ongoing in India. The commitment to the schedule and the outcome of the process has not been confirmed.

NR+ can work in licensed and un-licensed bands. Could you please clarify if the spectrum itself needs to be licensed?
-When using the NR+ products in license-exempt bands that are dedicated for DECT applications, there is no need for licensing the spectrum. However, NR+ standard can also be applied in various frequency bands (e.g. unlicensed 2.4 GHz ISM band, as well as in some spectrum licensed bands).

Do you have a timeline for the FCC approval?  Will you also get Canadian approval at the same time?
-Every device must be certified. FCC approval can be done, the test standard does not refer to classic DECT or NR+ directly although the test cases do assume the behavior to be more synchronous streams as in classic DECT. FCC is setting regulation in the USA and Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada (ISED) in Canada.

What stage is the approval of NR+ in USA at?
-DECT Forum is preparing to petition for improved rules for supporting DECT NR+. The schedule is not yet confirmed. NR+ devices can be certified according to FCC’s current UPCS band rules but restrict the transmission power.

Does NR+ define an app layer?
-No. The CVG layer converges NR+ radio protocols to IPv6 or application specific communications. There is no application layer specified in the NR+ DECT-2020 NR standard.


If listen before talk is refraining an IoT data transmit due to DECT phone up and running, what would then be the warrantied QoS for the IoT use cases and latency?
-Any radio channel is shared. Assumption is that the calls will take only minimal amount of the total bandwidth, IoT app will select channels with least amount of 'interference' (==call) and can also change channel if interference appears

How would DECT phone co-exist with IoT use cases in the 1.9GHz band?
-NR+ has been designed to co-exist with DECT phones. So, there is listen-before-talk, and scan of channel to detect classic DECT connections and avoid talking over them

When do you expect the US approvals to be completed? Will the same silicon support the US?
-Same silicon supports US and EU. FCC has tests for DECT-band, called UPCS band in US. Type approval can be done, but there is work to improve the FCC rules, as they limit the power due to different way of calculating TX power compared to EU.

How would the use of the 3.8-4.2 GHz band affect the long range perf of NR+?
-There is a bit of range loss when going to higher frequencies. The current HW supports 1.9GHz band, 3.8 GHz is a future item.

How does the Standards Essential Patents landscape look like for DECT NR+? Is there any visibility on licensing costs for the DECT NR+ standard?
-Only a few Standard Essential Patents (SEP) have been declared in the DECT-2020 NR standard. According to ETSI rules, the patents shall be licensed in the Fair, Reasonable and Non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and the SEP holders must license these patents. These license agreements are not public information.

More details on the NR+ you can check in this webinar recording

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