About DECT

DECT, Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications, is a standard for wireless phones. It’s a standard that was brought forward in Europe after it first introducing technical standards for wireless landline phones from Asia. It’s a system for landline phones that are connected to the landline phone network. DECT has a reach of 50 meters inside and 300 meters outside as well as maximum data transfer speed of 384 kbit/s per frequency channel.

In 1992 the first wireless landline phones were introduced. These had relatively bad battery time and were heavy due to a large battery. But the demand grew and since technique matured, the phones spread across the world except for Japan that had an individual system.

According to numbers from 2011 there are 800 million DECT phones in the world. 73 % of these are only for home use. One of the fastest expanding markets for DECT phones is USA that introduced the technique as late as 2005.

  • DECT phones were introduced on the market in 1992.
  • Before there were several technical standards simultaneously.
  • Exist in over 110 countries today.
  • Over 800 million DECT phones are used today.
  • Japan is the only country that doesn’t use DECT.
  • A system that transforms analogue communication into digital.
  • Continues to spread throughout the world, despite mobile networks expanding.

How does it work?

A DECT system always has two components that constantly communicate with each other. First of all there’s the base station that is fixed and the second is the handset, that is mobile. The base station forms the bridge between the phone, internet connection and the handset. This works by the base station sending a signal that is received in the handset since the signal provides the handset with necessary information to connect and send data through the base station. If these two are synchronized, you can call with the wireless unit. When data is sent from the phone to the base station a delay of 10 ms occurs, which in practice is much better than WiFi or Bluetooth.


IP DECT is a technology that allows the functions you get with a wireless phone to be used with IP technology and modern IP networks through the DECT standard. This allows for a full and complete integration between units that communicate through the standard in IP infrastructure. The solution is especially fit for big companies with IP infrastructure of high capacity in order to cover larger areas and departments with a solution for wireless telephony.


Many people wonder if they can use the technology with VoIP and the answer is that it is possible because VoIP works perfectly with traditional telephones connected to the fixed network. Your phone connects to a wired network, but the difference is that it spans more than one handset. This of course depends on the type of VoIP service you use as, for example, Skype does not work in the same way.

The benefits

The technology is incredibly useful because it gives you flexibility in your work. It also gives you the ability to create contact points in your home or office to receive and make calls. A call is connected through a handset or base to another. Additional benefits include;

  • Great reach, approximately 50 meters inside and 300 meters outside.
  • High security against interception
  • Energy effective
  • Separate reach for frequencies that aren’t dependent of WiFi
  • Better sound quality than the predecessor standard
  • Multifaceted application
  • Possible to use several headsets at the same time
  • Free internal calls



One of the primary disadvantages of DECT 6.0 is that it often does not include one and the same profile for all manufacturers. This means that a phone from one manufacturer, often does not work with accessories from another. Therefore, it is important to ensure that all equipment is from the same manufacturer for them to be compatible.

There is also a recurring issue of security. This is due to the fact that the encryption used by DECT technology has been broken, which has entailed a risk of surveillance. It is also possible to intercept the signal from the handset to the base. This allows another phone to act as a base, and send the call to another destination.

Second most spread telephone network

In the 1980s the first wireless analogue phones spread from Asia. The problem however was that they had poor call quality. It was also fairly easy to eavesdrop on these calls. This lead to development of a digital strategy in Europe.

It was Sweden and Great Britain that lead this development. It was Sweden and Great Britain that lead the development with their own versions of digital wireless communication. They both however agreed that in Europe they’d invest in a technique to facilitate industries and customers and from that DECT 1988 came along.

However, it wasn’t 1992 that the technique was actually available for consumers. Since 2011, 100 million new DECT phones are made each year. This has made DECT phones the second most spread telephone network after GSM. The technique is still developing and upgrading with for example better sound quality.

DECT historia

The history behind DECT is pretty similar to that of GSM in the fact that they’re both wireless digital solutions for telephony, and have been standardized by ETSI. DECT as a standard was set in 1992 but was brought to the light in 1988. The first analogue wireless phones were developed in the 1980s in east Asia and delivered to European shops. However, the analogue systems brought issues due to the fact that they were sensitive to interception and interruptions, which resulted in further development of the wireless technology. This ultimately resulted in two upgrades, first of all the British CT2 standard and the Swedish CT3-diton. In 1988 the European standardisation unit decided to develop a mutual standard based on these two, which is what we today call DECT.

73% of the world’s households used the DECT standard in 2011 and until then roughly 800 million phones have been developed with an increase of roughly 100 million a year. DECT was introduced in at least 110 countries and the U.S introduced it in 2005. The only market that has yet to adopt and introduce the DECT standard is Japan due to the fact that they have their own standard called PHS.

History of DECT phones infographic

Framtiden med DECT The future for DECT

DECT continues to develop alongside the mobile network expansion. The next big update of DECT phones is coming in 2020 and will make it possible to send and receive data of a gigabyte per second. This is also an update that is primarily targeted for companies and industries.

The benefit with DECT compared to mobiles is reliability and sound quality. It’s also very safe from hacker attacks because it doesn’t use internet. No studies show that DECT phones should be a health risk, there are however no long-term studies that were performed on people that daily use a DECT phone.

There are also smartphones that have DECT and 3G built in with Android as platform. It essentially means that when you’re home, your mobile will connect to the base station and work as a DECT phone. When you leave home it will connect to the 3G network automatically. The though behind it is that you should buy more for a big home.

The DECT we know today also have lower radiation and are more energy efficient than ever with several useful functions such as smart homes. This is also why the T in DECT has been switched from Telephony to Telecommunications. After becoming a global phenomenon the E has also been replaced by Enhanced instead of the previous Europe.

Latest update Nov 2020