Non-cellular 5G technology gains approval

Friday, 29 October, 2021

Non-cellular 5G technology gains approval

The decentralised technology is designed for massive IoT networks.

Hailed as the world’s first non-cellular 5G technology standard, DECT-2020 has been recognised by the WP5D of the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) and included as part of the 5G standards in IMT-2020 technology recommendation.

Released last year through ETSI, the standard sets an example of future connectivity: the infrastructure-less and autonomous, decentralised technology is designed for massive IoT networks for enterprises. It has no single point of failure and is accessible to anyone, costing only a fraction of the cellular networks both in dollars and in carbon footprint. It also enables companies to operate without middlemen or subscription fees as well as to store and consume the data generated in the way they see best fitting for them: on premises, in public cloud or anything in between.

The ETSI 5G standard supports efficient shared spectrum operation enabling access to free, international spectrums such as 1.9 GHz.

Technology-wise, the non-cellular 5G is built on different principles from cellular 5G. One of the biggest differences and advantages is the decentralised network. In a non-cellular 5G network, every device is a node, every device can be a router as if every device was a base station. The devices automatically find the best route; adding a new device into the network routing works autonomously as well and if one device is down, the devices will re-route by themselves. It means reliable communication eliminating single points of failure.

A decentralised mesh with short hops and small transmission power also means a significantly lower carbon footprint of the communications system. A recent study in Tampere University in Finland saw an approximately 60% better energy efficiency at system level compared to traditional cellular topology with the same radio energy profile.

The ETSI DECT-2020 NR standard is suited for businesses such as smart meters, Industry 4.0, building management systems, logistics and smart cities. It will assist in the urbanisation, building and energy consumption in the construction of these smart cities.

It also opens opportunities for new use cases, scaling at mass the levels of communication for the future.

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