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What is a DECT phone and how does it work?

DECT stands for Digital enhanced cordless telecommunications and is a standard developed by the European Standards Institute (ETSI) for use by cordless / wireless telephones that connect to a landline. It’s sometimes used by other devices such as baby monitors but it is mainly used by portable telephones that connect to a base-station within a building.

DECT makes use of the Generic Access Profile (GAP), a set of requirements that specify how a DECT base-station connected to your landline connection will work with any DECT portable handset. When purchasing a cordless phone you may see its standard written as ‘DECT/GAP'.

Handsets can be paired to a base-station by activating the locator feature on the base-station itself and placing the handset in a pairing mode. A PIN is required to pair the devices.

DECT operates in the 1880-1900MHz band and has a range of 100 meters, greater than bluetooth and without interference. It uses authentication and encryption but this is known to be weak and not fully implemented by all manufacturers. A new standard, NG-DECT, also known as CAT-iq offers improved security.

You can link up to 6 handsets to a single base station. Handset models from the same manufacturer and also those from different manufacturers can be linked if the manufacturer of the base-station supports it.

Other portable devices such as DECT headsets can also be linked to your DECT equipment.

Dave

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Last updated: 5th August 2021

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