In 2021, there started to be rumour of a new non-cellular 5G standard, DECT-NR+. This technology responds to the mMTC Massive machine type communications service supported by 5G, which is not covered by LTE-M or NB-IOT.

DECT-NR+ aims to address weaknesses of competing protocols such as SigFox, MIOTY, LoRaWAN. These weaknesses include

  • They rely on operated networks
  • Often operate in congested frequency bands
  • Do not offer routing functionality
  • Consume a lot of energy
  • Do not support node to node communication

Some years after the initial announcement of this frequency, we are starting to see hardware and software implementing this protocol. Nordic Semiconductors have released their nRF9161 and nRF9131 chips, along with a nRF9161 developer kit. The nRF9161 SIP has a Multimode LTE-M/NB-IoT with GNSS and DECT NR+ modem 700-2200 MHz LTE band support and 1.9 GHz NR+ band support. Wirepas are leading the way with stack development, and are a main contributor in the development of the standard.

DECT-NR+ operates in the unlicensed DECT band and uses complex modulation techniques similar to LTE-M. The technology is capable of producing low latency, and can support one million devices per KM.

There is no wireless protocol that fits all use cases, DECT-NR+ is no exception. The implementation of complex modulation techniques will rule out true low power use cases. It is not a mature technology, there are very few vendors offering solutions today.

the DECT-NR+ technology is a promising advancement tailored to address the limitations of existing protocols for Massive machine type communications in the 5G era. While it shows potential for supporting a large number of devices with low latency, its complexity and current lack of widespread vendor support indicate that further development is needed to realize its full potential.

Want more information about 5G? Read more of our articles by visiting our 5G category. DECT-NR+ is an open standard managed via ETSI and supported by the DECT Forum

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