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How do I use a DECT portable?

Since a DECT portable is a replacement of a normal telephone you use it as any ordinairy telephone. Just press off-hook (as replacement of picking up the receiver of a normal telephone), dial a number, talk and press on-hook again (mostly the same key as off-hook).

Handset

But since it is a digital device there are more sophisticated uses. For instance, you can enter the number to call before you press off-hook, you can select the number from a local directory. You can place a call on hold and make a second call. Make internal calls to other handsets registered to the same base system. And these are only the basic features.

Subscriptions

An important difference between a normal wired telephone and a DECT handset is the connection to the network. A wired connection to the network normally is a secure connection, since the wires are hidden in the walls and under ground. Anyone breaking into your phoneline is unlikely (but not impossible!). A DECT handset uses an air interface to a base system connected to the network. Since everyone can obtain a DECT handset everyone has access to that same air interface. For the purpose of regulating access to the base system a subscription procedure has been defined. Before anyone can make a call with a DECT handset through a base system this procedure has to be carried out.

Architecture

The procedure requires actions on both the base system and the DECT handset. First of all the base system has to accept access from a DECT handset without a subscription to that base system. This is normally done by pressing a button or an action on the base systems' management console. Now the DECT handset may communicate with the base system about a subscription. It presents the identification of the base system to the user and, if confirmed by the user, asks for the PIN- or authentication code provided by the base system. Once this is entered on the DECT handset, this code and other key values are exchanged, defining a subscription in the base system and the DECT handset. If successful the handset registers itself to the base system, using these key values, and can subsequently be used to make calls. A DECT handset can have multiple subscriptions stored, of which one can be active at anyone time.

Every time a DECT handset comes into the range of a base system it wants to access (e.g. is switched on), it registers itself, using the values stored during the subscription procedure. Only if accepted by the base system the handset can be used to make calls. If access to the base system has been denied the subscription data is removed from the DECT handset, effectively disconnecting the DECT handset from the base system.

This is a generic description of how the subscription process works. Every base system and handset implements it in its own way but all the elements described are essentially there. The user manual of the DECT handset (together with the base system) have to provide the details of their specific implementation of the subscription procedure.


Written by my own two hands and an ASCII editor. Problems? write me Last updated June 18, 1999 DECT home

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