EE Times Article - Choosing RF Protocols - Part IV - DECT

May 28, 2013
EE Times - 5/28/2013 -  The RF protocols that developers use for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) applications must meet exacting requirements for robustness, reliability, and connectivity. Today, developers can choose among several good options.
This article gives designers the pros and cons of each of the five leading RF protocols − Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Bluetooth Low Energy, ZigBee, and DECT – used for ISM applications. The article also explains which protocols are most often chosen for which types of applications. In this way, designers can make informed decisions as they develop devices for ISM applications. The expertise for this article comes from Symmetry Electronics' years of advising designers as a distributor specializing in RF.


Developers most often use the Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT) communication standard for cordless phone systems in the home and small office. However, they can also use the technology as a WLAN. The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) first developed DECT for use in Europe. Today, the standard operates over unlicensed, interference-free frequency bands worldwide. These include the 1880 MHz–1900 MHz bands in all European, Asian, and South American countries. In the U.S., DECT operates on the UPCS or 1.9 GHz band.
The technology offers many benefits to developers. DECT operates within a protected spectrum, and as such, it will not cause or experience interference with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or ZigBee devices, which operate on the 2.4 GHz ISM band in medical or industrial environments. Devices based on DECT will operate on batteries for years.  Typical DECT applications include voice and audio connectivity such as intercoms, public address systems, headsets, and karaoke.  The technology also provides easy RF bridge connectivity to VoIP technology.
An extension of DECT, DECT Ultra Low Energy, enables developers to add high-capacity networks of wireless low-power sensors, similar to the Zigbee standard, for home automation networks, security, and medical devices.
DECT provides a secure, reliable connection at a range of at least 300m outdoors while easily reaching 50m indoors. When choosing DECT among other technologies, designers must choose between the need for a separate radio network and the cost of a dedicated network.


From Wi-Fi to Bluetooth to Bluetooth Smart to ZigBee to DECT, there are numerous RF protocols from which to choose, and there is some overlap in terms of attributes. Which protocol has the right features for your application? Does it match the design application criteria for transmission, power consumption, interference immunity, data rate capacity and more?
Written by: David Beck - Director of Technical Marketing - Symmetry Electronics Corp.
This article originally appeared as an online article on
Visit our Best RF Protocol for Industrial, Scientific, and Medical Applications blog to see a breakdown of specifications for each technology mentioned in this article.

Written By: Michael Venezia
WEB Marketing Specialist
(866) 506-8829

Contact Us


Sign up to get tech news, product updates and store promos from Symmetry Electronics.


Press Archive