By 2000, cordless telephones supporting the European digital cordless telephone standard, DECT, will flood the market with 2.2 million handsets being used. They will replace traditional corded telephones by 2007.
According to a study by management consultancy Roland Berger & Partners, the current level of sales of corded phones - 5.6 million units a year - will decline by the end of the century. In 1996, 200,000 DECT phones were in use but this will increase to 2.2 million units, representing 20 per cent of the market, by the turn of the century. Cellular phones and high capacity ISDN lines will also increase significantly.
Some believe these figures are conservative. DECT technology company XSYS reckons that by 1998 6.5 million compliant phones will be sold in Europe.
The price of handsets is likely to drop from #200 to #150 by the middle of this year, according to Roland Berger. This will eventually fall to less than #100 by next year.
The DECT standard has undergone significant refinements since it was issued by the European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) four years ago. The enhancements include interoperability between various equipment and systems types, as well as applications such as data transfer and connection via a Wireless Local Loop. DECT is also no longer restricted to Europe as systems can be found in Asia and many other parts of the world.
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