What are all these DECT 2020/NR+ acronyms and how to understand them?

Thursday 30 March 2023

You’ve seen it before: multiple names for the same product. Been there. 

You may be thinking that the same thing is happening again with DECT-2020, DECT NR+, DECT-2020 NR, NR+, 5G NR+, or whatever it is. Actually, it just means that while a technology is emerging, it can have many names! 

If you don’t yet know what DECT NR+ is, here’s a summary: as DECT Forum members know well, DECT is a decades-old ETSI-owned standard for cordless telecommunications. Of course, it has been updated over the years and we have DECT Evolution and DECT-ULE in addition to what we call Classic DECT, but the latest metamorphosis is what we are shouting about now. This new DECT standard defines a data transmission protocol specifically for massive IoT use. It works anywhere with a free global(-ish!) dedicated spectrum at 1.9 GHz. Most of all, it meets the 5G criteria for ultra-reliable, low-latency, and massive machine-type communications. And it does all of this without tampering with the rest of the DECT family of standards.  

Getting back to the name part.  

What’s up with the name stuff? DECT-2020 was initially used as a sort of working title. The full name of the standard itself is DECT-2020 New Radio (NR). This is as stated on the cover page of ETSI technical specifications. We subsequently started using the shorter version of it – DECT-2020 NR – after the standard name became official. And what’s with the plus? Well, NR+, stands for New Radio +, and is the marketing name that is being used by DECT Forum.  This is how things happen in the standards world – Bluetooth, for example, was originally standardised as IEEE 802.15.1, then went through various options for a marketing name, including PAN and RadioWire before the powers that be settled on Bluetooth. We think that DECT NR+ works fine for our new standard!

 If you’ve seen a monster called DECT 5G-SRIT, there’s no need to be intimidated by it, even though it includes the 3GPP NR radio interface technology for mobile broadband services. That’s just the full ETSI proposal for IMT-2020 - i.e., 5G technology as part of  the ITU-R IMT-2020 process, and which was indeed approved by the ITU-R in its recommendation.  

As if these weren’t enough, there’s one more: Wirepas 5G Mesh. That’s the take of new DECT Forum member Wirepas on the standard and is the company’s non-cellular 5G for massive IoT. 

To summarize the various names or terms you might see, and where you might see them, this is what it looks like: 

  • ETSI: DECT-2020 NR 
  • DECT Forum: DECT NR+ 
  • Wirepas product: 5G Mesh 

This all comes down to one thing: same baby, different names. Here at the DECT Forum we’ll mostly talk about DECT NR+ going forward. That’s the product and the cross-industry alliance of companies working together to bring the new standard to market.

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