Ericsson and Airtel achieved a significant milestone in the development of 5G technology by successfully demonstrating the capabilities of Reduced Capability (RedCap) devices.
This groundbreaking demonstration took place at the India Mobile Congress 2023 and showcased the capabilities of RedCap devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System and Ericsson’s RedCap software on Airtel’s 5G TDD network.
RedCap represents a pivotal advancement in the 5G landscape, providing a platform that bridges the gap between the extreme-end capabilities of 5G and optimized designs for mid-tier use cases. Unlike 5G enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) devices, which offer gigabit-level throughputs in both the downlink and uplink, RedCap devices are designed for more efficient support, providing 220 Mbps in the downlink and 100 Mbps in the uplink.
Savi Soin, Senior Vice President and President of Qualcomm India, emphasized the potential impact of 5G RedCap, stating, “5G RedCap is poised to drive many use cases within the country, spanning across applications such as video surveillance, medical devices, industrial sensors, automotive, and various other industrial and consumer applications.”
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 5G Modem-RF System plays a crucial role in supporting RedCap technology. It empowers Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to create cost-effective, low-complexity, and power-efficient devices with compact form factors, thereby contributing to the expansion of the 5G ecosystem.
Randeep Sekhon, Chief Technology Officer of Bharti Airtel, shared his enthusiasm about the successful testing of RedCap technology on their network, explaining that it would enable the adoption of futuristic IoT broadband for devices such as wearables and industrial sensors in a cost and energy-efficient manner.
RedCap is a significant leap in the evolution of 5G technology, catering to use cases that are currently underserved by existing ‘new radio (NR)’ specifications.
Nunzio Mirtillo, Head of Southeast Asia, Oceania, and India at Ericsson, said: “Ericsson RedCap will open up a new world of possibilities for communications service providers, allowing for the introduction of services beyond enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) on 5G standalone architecture.”