ITU Adds Fourth Radio Interface Technology to 5G Standards


​​​​​​​​​​Members of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) today approved a fourth technology as part of ongoing standards development for 5G mobile services.

Known as “DECT 5G-SRIT”, the new technology supports a range of uses, from wireless telephony and audio streaming to industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications, particularly in smart cities.

It was added in the first revision to ITU’s key recommendation IMT-2020, which broadly encompasses fifth-generation, or 5G, networks, services, and devices.

This ITU Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) Recommendation – providing a set of global technical 5G standards – reflects continual consultation and discussion among governments, companies, regulators, and other stakeholders dealing with radiocommunication worldwide.

Along with fostering connectivity across borders, ITU promotes the global rollout of 5G as a key driver to achieve the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals.​

“New and emerging technologies like 5G will be essential to build an inclusive, sustainable future for all people, communities and countries,” said ITU’s Secretary-General, Houlin Zhao. “Under the ongoing International Mobile Telecommunications or IMT programme, our diverse global membership continues its long-standing contribution to advance broadband mobile communications, furthering our mission to leave no one behind in connecting the world.”

A new radio interface technology

ITU – the United Nations agency entrusted with coordinating radio-frequency spectrum worldwide – today published the specifications for the new technology as Recommendation ITU-R M.2150-1.

The technology is designed to provide a slim but strong technical foundation for wireless applications deployed in a range of use cases, from cordless telephony to audio streaming, and from professional audio applications to the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) applications, such as building automation and monitoring.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) laid the essential groundwork jointly with the DECT Forum, a worldwide association of the digital enhanced cordless telecommunications (DECT) or wireless technology industry.

ITU’s Radiocommunication Director, Mario Maniewicz, said: “The highly collaborative process involves substantial input from and coordination with the ITU Member States, equipment manufacturers, network operators, standards development organizations, and the academic community. ITU provides a unique global framework to discuss the capabilities of new radio technologies.”

Andreas Zipp, Chairman of the DECT Forum, welcomed the addition of the new technology to IMT-2020. “Inclusion as part of ITU’s global 5G standards affirms the significance of this technology moving forward,” he said.

Other candidate radio interface technologies underwent the international mobile telecommunication (IMT) evaluation process over the past year, although only one qualified to be added at this stage.

The revised IMT-2020 recommendation now includes the new standard, which European standards developers recognized could support 5G uptake everywhere.

“The ETSI DECT standard received IMT-2000 approval more than twenty years ago,” noted ETSI’s Chief Technical Officer, Adrian Scrase. “5G therefore presented an ideal opportunity to develop this new, non-cellular, radio standard, which is particularly suited for smart meters, Industry 4.0, building management systems, logistics and smart cities.”

Based on the requirements set out in ITU’s evaluation process, the radio interface technology demonstrates worldwide compatibility in terms of operation, equipment, and roaming. It also addresses the ultra-reliable low latency (URLLC) capability stipulated by IMT-2020 – the underlying global coordination framework for so-called 5G services.

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