Nordic Semiconductor: Key role in the development of the new ETSI DECT-2020 New Radio Standard


Norwegian semiconductor manufacturer Nordic Semiconductor is making a significant contribution to the new ETSI DECT-2020-New Radio-(NR)-standard. This enables companies with IoT needs to set up their own mesh networks without incurring high costs.

Nordic Semiconductor: Helps DECT-2020 to be included in IMT-2020

The new 5-G cellular standard promises low response time with high device coverage and network stability within the building and with respect to the neighborhood. This potential has been recognized by the ITU (International Telecommunication Union). The DECT-2020-NR standard has thus been included in the IMT-2020 technology recommendation as part of the 5G standard.

Nordic Semiconductor has been and continues to be instrumental in the development of DECT-2020 NR. The standard targets the specific requirements of enterprise IoT applications. The company has also partnered with Wirepas to drive the maturation of an nRF91 series. Wirepas is a Finnish software specialist focused on solutions in the field of massive IoT.

Perfect standard for any application as vision

“I have long said that the reason there are so many radio standards is that there is no perfect standard for every application,” expressed Svein-Egil Nielsen, CTO/EVP R&D and Strategy at Nordic Semiconductor. For this reason, Nordic has decided to make the main contribution to the physical layer and a key contribution to the media access layer of the specification, he said. The company will continue to be a supplier for the physical layer, he added. The original specification was published in July 2020 and amended in April 2021, he said. A new version (1.3.1) is to be published this year, he said.

Teppo Hemiä, CEO of Wirepas, is delighted: “We see the new 5G IoT standard as the beginning of a new era of connectivity. We share the same vision with Nordic Semiconductor to enable IoT connectivity for all in an affordable way. And we are very excited about this partnership to make that a reality.”

DECT-2020 covers massive and critical IoT

The DECT-2020 standard enables companies to easily set up and manage a private wireless 5G IoT network. Depending on the need, millions of devices could be connected at a low cost of ownership. The network is fully decentralized through the use of mesh technology. So devices can be added very easily, and there is no single point of failure that could cripple everything. If a device fails, it is automatically rerouted through the mesh network. Thus, DECT-2020 NR meets the requirements of massive IoT as well as critical IoT applications.

5G network for any company

“Until now, building a private 5G network has involved large investments in infrastructure and therefore tended to be the domain of larger enterprises,” said Kjetil Holstad, EVP for Product Management at Nordic Semiconductor. “DECT-2020 NR gives any company or organization the ability to build its own private 5G network and operate and optimize it as it sees fit, independent of any network operator. To do this, the standard uses the license-free and globally available 1.9 GHz frequency spectrum dedicated to this technology.”

WNAN as a new category

Holstad adds, “While indoor radio coverage is said to be very high for DECT-2020 NR, outdoor coverage is up to 2 km. Therefore, DECT-2020 NR is internally classified in the new category of a Wireless Neighborhood Area Network (WNAN) rather than a Wide Area Network (WAN) as in cellular IoT.” Examples of applications include smart meters, logistics, smart cities, building automation, and manufacturing process automation.

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