5G RedCap communication standardization work process
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5G RedCap communication standardization work process

Posted Date: 2024-02-02

RedCap (Reduced Capability), that is, "reduced ability." It is a new technology standard protocol specially launched by 3GPP in the 5G R17 stage for 5G application scenarios with low speed and delay requirements. It aims to comprehensively improve the quality and coverage of 5G networks. It can also be understood as "lightweight 5G".

In the early days of 5G, the focus of 5G was mainly on large bandwidth and low latency. However, the design of early 5G chips and terminals was extremely complex, and the investment in R&D and terminal costs was extremely high. For many application scenarios, speed, performance, power consumption, cost and other requirements must achieve a balance between performance and cost, and can it also coexist with 5G network deployment? Under this demand, RedCap came into being.

In June 2022, 3GPP Rel-17 was frozen, which means that the first version of the 5G RedCap standard was officially established.

On the premise of ensuring application requirements and performance, RedCap technology reduces equipment capabilities by reducing bandwidth, the number of transmitting and receiving antennas, reducing rates, adjusting modulation methods, introducing half-duplex mode, etc., reducing the complexity of terminal equipment, and reducing the cost of terminal equipment. A series of purposes such as cost, power consumption, and extended service life are more conducive to large-scale commercial applications in 5G commercial networks.

RedCap is a technology mainly defined to meet the specific needs of terminals in mid-range IoT application scenarios such as industrial wireless sensors, video surveillance and wearable devices. RedCap technology complements the high-speed business carrying capacity of the 5G network, making the 5G network oriented Various IoT application requirements have formed a high, medium and low-level multi-level bearer system to meet the application requirements of the IoT industry for medium-speed and large connection capabilities.

The use of RedCap is comparable to other lower-capacity technologies such as lower-tier LTE such as Cat-1, whose main purpose is to provide connectivity to devices that do not require very fast data rates and have lower cost, coverage and power efficiency Serve. Scenarios such as surveillance cameras, industrial sensors, and wearables are ideally suited for smart IoT devices. With this in mind, RedCap is a simple NR device with a limited BW and a limited number of receiver chains that reduce radio connectivity costs. Reduced by approximately 65%. RedCap has been standardized for FR1 and FR2, which will help provide better coverage.

When will RedCap be commercially available?

In June 2019, at the 3GPP RAN #84 meeting, RedCap was presented to everyone for the first time as an R17 Study Item.

In March 2021, 3GPP officially approved the NR RedCap UE standardization (i.e. Work Item) project.

Now, on June 9, 2022, 3GPP R17 is frozen, which means that RedCap R17 standardization is completed.

According to experience, after standardization, it will take at least 1-2 years to achieve initial industrialization. Therefore, it is expected that by the middle of 2023 (or early 2024), we will see RedCap’s early commercial products.

Note that the standardization of RedCap is not completely over. In December 2021, the standardization of 3GPP R18 RedCap has been launched.


3GPP RedCap standardization work process (from 5G RedCap technical white paper)

The goal of R18 RedCap is to benchmark Cat.1/1bis, further reduce terminal complexity, and achieve the ultimate simplification of RedCap terminal complexity.

The goal of the RedCap project is to provide an open, secure, scalable and interoperable 5G communication solution for IoT devices. Specifically, RedCap aims to accelerate the development and application of the Internet of Things by standardizing and certifying a set of globally accepted 5G IoT standards to promote interconnection between different devices and networks.

Under the RedCap framework, device manufacturers can follow a unified set of specifications and standards to ensure that their IoT devices can seamlessly connect and communicate across different 5G networks. At the same time, RedCap also provides a secure authentication mechanism to ensure the security of devices and data.

RedCap is not part of 5G technology itself, but an initiative to supplement and promote the application of 5G in the field of IoT. It emphasizes the capabilities and needs of 5G in supporting the Internet of Things, and promotes the combination of 5G and the Internet of Things through standardization and certification.


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