DECT is an acronym standing for Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, although it is originally was used to represent Digital European Cordless Telecommunications. Simply put, DECT is a standard which is employed when manufacturing cordless telephones. It replaced earlier standards for cordless phone technology such as 900 MHz CT1 and CT2.
The DECT standard is a set of rules for which a cordless communications device (i.e., a cordless telephone) can access a telecommunications network via radio communications. While primarily developed for usage with cordless telephones, the DECT standard also finds itself employed in applications such as baby monitors, radios, remote controls and similar devices. Protocols utilising the DECT standard have even been developed for data transfer, but have never become competitive with existing standards such as WiFi and 4G technology.
DECT and GAP
GAP, or Generic Access Profile, is a protocol which is built around what is referred to as an “interoperability profile” - or more simply, two cordless phones using the DECT standard and GAP profile can be used practically interchangeably for taking and receiving calls. This functionality allows for a flexibility among devices using the DECT standard, letting handsets be used interchangeably with the same phone system. DECT employs other similar interoperability profiles for its other services, such as data and radio local loop.
Used The World Over
Though introduced in Europe, and indeed carrying a reference to its place of conception in its name, DECT is today a worldwide standard almost everywhere except North America. Besides Europe, DECT has been adopted by most countries in South America, Asia, as well as Australia and other areas. United States radio frequency regulations contradicted with parts of the DECT standard, complicating its adoption in large parts of North America. However, an alternative but virtually identical standard called DECT 6.0 was made, utilising a different frequency range in order to comply with United States regulations. By and large, DECT remains the primary standard for cordless phones.
Other Uses For DECT
DECT has found itself at home outside of the realm of the cordless phone. Besides its usage in other radio devices, it has found itself at home in government and industrial applications, such as traffic lights and cash terminals. DECT can be highly useful anywhere radio communications are at use, and its familiarity to developers and engineers often makes it a first choice when developing technology that needs to utilise wireless radio communications.