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DECT Spec Evolves With CAT-iq

New York — While DECT 6.0-based cordless phones have just started penetrating the U.S. market, work is underway on the next generation of the wireless technology, promising to bring faster data speeds and new applications to the communications market.

The Cordless Advanced Technology-Internet and quality standard (CAT-iq) is a DECT-based technology for merging broadband Internet and telephony applications.

CAT-iq based phones will be connected to the Internet and will support wideband voice for improved clarity. According to the DECT Forum, wideband voice would deliver enterprise-level speakerphone quality at consumer prices.

The technology also supports streaming audio from an Internet-connected base to a handset.

Phones and base stations using the new technology would also be able to access the Internet and download yellow pages and directories.

While several new phones from VTech (the ip8300) and Thomson (the Info Link) offer similar functionality today, the bandwidth available to the next-generation CAT-iq phones will be greater, said Mark Nietubyc, North American marketing director, Siemens. “You could have tickers, better directory services where you highlight a number to call and a variety of other calling widgets” on the handset, he said.

According to the DECT Forum, the first CAT-iq products will hit the market in the middle of this year overseas and in the Untied States next summer.