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Does 5G RedCap Empower a More Accessible and Cost-Effective 5G World?

Upload date: 2023-07-26


Not Your Fashionable Red Hat but a Clever 5G Shortcut

Have you come across the term "5G RedCap" and wondered what it means? Well, "5G RedCap" actually stands for 5G Reduced Capability, also known as New Radio lite (NR lite). You might wonder why anyone would want to reduce the capabilities of 5G, considering it is an advanced technology that requires extensive development efforts. Here's the explanation: While 5G offers significant features, including enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB), massiveMachine Type Communications (mMTC), and ultra Reliable Low LatencyCommunications (uRLLC), certain industries are still in the process of adapting to its advancements. Industries such as healthcare, transportation, and automotive have a relatively higher demand for 5G technology due to a stricter requirement for digital connection, whereas others might have a lower demand. More importantly, budget is another crucial reason. Hence, the market urgently requires a solution, which is an affordable 5G solution that can be adopted by every industry, driving industry digitalization and enabling all sectors to enjoy the benefits of 5G.

Therefore, in order to promote future advancements while mitigating the high cost associated with implementing 5G, the adoption of RedCap technology emerges as the optimal solution, taking into account bandwidth, power consumption, price, and other requirements based on the application, whether it falls under enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB). Noticeably, RedCap complies with the 3GPP Rel.17 standard.

Features &Applications

Difference between5G and 5G RedCap

What is so special about RedCap that we insist on saying it is THE solution? Compared to the 5G module, the RedCap module distinguishes itself through four key features.

Firstly, regarding hardware complexity, the traditional 5G module boasts specifications such as 100MHz,2T4R, 4 x layer, and 256QAM, whereas the RedCap module adopts a simpler design with 20MHz, 1T1R/1T2R, 1/2 x layer, and 64QAM/256QAM. Consequently, the RedCap module requires fewer antennas, resulting in a more straightforward baseband and RF design and a smaller chip size. These simplifications lead to a more affordable cost and notably lower power consumption. The RedCap module's support for eDRX, RRM relaxation, and Envelop Tracking further reduces power consumption.

Moreover, despite the reductions in critical aspects, the RedCap module retains significant features from the 5G module. For instance, it offers support for Sub-6GHz. To be more precise, the RedCap module enables uplink and downlink speeds of 226 Mbps and 120 Mbps, respectively. Accordingly, RedCap retains the essence of 5G, including 5G slicing and 5G LAN, while ensuring reduced expense.

Additionally, when looking ahead, 3GPP Release 18 is set to encompass additional advancements in 5 G RedCap to complete it by Q1 2024. These developments will involve further simplifications, which are expected to broaden the eRedCap specifications, making it more comparable to LTE Cat 1 capability. Fibocom will keep following the latest trends of eRedCap!


Which Industries Are Expected to Pilot the 5G RedCap Deployment?

Smart Grid

Now, where can RedCap module show off its superpower? RedCap module encompasses three key application categories: industrial wireless, video surveillance, and intelligent wearables sensors. These applications prioritize stable, seamless data transmission rather than ultra-low latency. RedCap module strikes a balance between enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and technologies, delivering optimal speed, energy efficiency, and cost performance.

One notable application scenario for the RedCap module is the Smart Grid, where it plays a vital role. With the low latency and high reliability of 5G, RedCap meets the safety and control requirements of the Smart Grid and significantly reduces the cost of 5 G terminals. This makes it well-suited for applications such as patrol robots, drones, security cameras, and concentrators in power generation, transmission, and consumption scenarios.