Sometimes referred to as ‘Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephony, DECT is a European wireless standard based on time division multiple access used for limited-range wireless services. Based on advanced TDMA technology, and used primarily for wireless PBX systems and residential cordless telephony, DECT frequency is 1800-1900 MHz, and includes wireless LAN technology.
Everybody has experienced the following situation at one time or another during a working day: Your telephone is ringing and because you are away from your desk, or in another part of the building, you cannot answer it. This is both frustrating and time-consuming for the customers and colleagues that are unable to reach you, especially if there is no voice messaging system or an alternate person to speak to. The most viable and cost-effective solution to this problem is DECT.
Until recently, cordless telecommunications systems have been implemented mainly in larger companies, while small to medium size companies have had a limited choice of cordless telephone systems and instruments. The only products available were those more suited to the needs of private individuals in residential homes where there was a limited requirement for facilities and coverage.
DECT Technology has been highly successful in providing small to medium size businesses with wireless telecommunications at an advanced facility level, including coverage of the entire premises, at a very reasonable cost. DECT is most suitable in companies where mobility is essential, but where only certain employees require a cordless phone.
DECT provides coverage by means of base stations. A single base station, depending on the surroundings, covers a distance (radius) of up to 300 meters. The base station can be supplemented with cordless repeaters thereby extending the coverage over a large area. Depending on coverage requirements, repeaters can be placed either in a “chain” or in a configuration that provides the largest coverage area possible. Companies can save considerable cabling costs to remote areas of the premises – e.g. in other buildings – by using only cordless phones in that area.
Base stations are connected to the company’s PABX, most of which can support up to 8 simultaneous conversations – either internal or external. There are substantial financial benefits of DECT: In cases where mobile phones are used for internal calls, a considerable saving can be made as the internal calls are free and the external calls are charged at the normal telephone rate.
DECT handsets are easily carried around in a shirt or jacket pocket, or by using the handy belt clip. If you are in a meeting, certain handsets have an in-built vibrator that notifies you when there is an incoming call without disturbing the meeting. If you need to have both hands free, you can choose one of the handset designs with the facility to connect a headset.
DECT handsets often have more features than most desk telephones. A light indicating when there is an incoming call, a telephone book with room for numbers and names, a key for transferring calls, different ringer tones, key lock, etc. On a fully charged battery, you can have up to 10 hours’ speech time or 90 hours’ standby time.
With the present demand for availability and customer service, there are numerous opportunities to recommend DECT Technology:
Synchronised ‘cells’ allow automatic call handover when changing from one cell to another. The DECT terminals use the roaming procedure – comparable with the multi-cell GSM network. DECT is essentially a micro-cellular network.
The heart of a cell is the base station or ‘channel element’. Connection with the telecommunications switching system is via a two-wire cable. An additional power source from a power supply is not required.
Up to four telephone calls can be made in parallel. Depending on the conditions surrounding the channel element, (building material, open spaces etc.) ranges of to 300m can be achieved. For the interior of buildings, ranges of up to 50m are typical.
A wireless term defining signalling standards between a base station and a DECT cordless telephone. DECT handsets from one manufacturer will not, as a rule, work on another DECT system. GAP compliant handsets will work with GAP compliant base stations. Each manufacturer adds features to their DECT equipment that fall outside the GAP specification, so a ‘foreign’ handset may not perform as well as the base station manufacturer’s own.