Riding the crest of its recent announcement of a new Reduced Capability (RedCap) solution, Ericsson has teamed up with chipset partner MediaTek to perform RedCap data and 5G voice calls on both frequency division duplex (FDD) and time division duplex (TDD) spectrum bands that delivered promising speeds.
Pioneering both data and Voice over New Radio (VoNR) calls on the FDD and TDD spectrum bands demonstrates the capability of Ericsson RedCap as a radio access network (RAN) software to boost new and existing 5G use cases for devices such as wearables, sensors, and industrial surveillance cameras with even better battery efficiency.
The interoperability development testing (IoDT) took place at an Ericsson lab in Sweden using pre-commercial Ericsson RedCap software and MediaTek’s RedCap testing platform.
The test involved an FDD data call, which achieved a throughput speed of 220 Mbps for downlink and 74 Mbps for uplink, and the partners also carried out a TDD data call that reached a downlink speed of 153 Mbps and uplink speed of 13.5Mbps. These speeds are deemed suitable for devices such as consumer wearables and industrial sensors enabled by Ericsson RedCap.
FDD uses different frequency bands for uplink and downlink, while TDD uses one frequency band for both uplink and downlink, switching instantaneously between the two.
Sibel Tombaz, Head of Product Line 5G RAN at Ericsson, says: “The Ericsson Reduced Capability software will open up a whole new world of possibilities for new types of devices that do not require the full range of 5G performance, and these FDD and TDD calls are a crucial first milestone on that journey. By enabling both data and Voice over New Radio (VoNR) on the FDD and TDD spectrum bands, Ericsson RedCap is pioneering a whole new range of use cases for both consumers and industries in ways that are both cost- and energy-efficient.”
Dr. HC Hwang, General Manager of Wireless Communication Systems & Partnerships at MediaTek, says: “The successful IoDT in collaboration with Ericsson marks a key milestone for the RedCap market. The industry-leading speeds demonstrated in both FDD and TDD by Ericsson and MediaTek demonstrate RedCap’s effectiveness and will certainly assure our customers that they can unlock a new generation of innovative 5G products and services.”
The interoperability test with MediaTek is part of Ericsson’s effort to build the ecosystem needed for bringing multiple types of 5G devices to the market, and Ericsson RedCap is expected to be commercially ready in November 2023 as a software addition to 5G standalone (5G SA) networks powered by Ericsson.
There will be no need for any new hardware, and it will strengthen the ecosystem for new types of devices that can be connected to 5G networks.
This expanded NR device ecosystem, with its new capabilities, will in turn stimulate the growth of even more 5G use cases. Ericsson RedCap plays a key role in this by concentrating on capabilities necessary for lower complexity devices in 5G networks. This approach facilitates cost-effective and diverse use cases that may not always require the high-performance capabilities of current 5G technology.
The software solution will also support leaner procedures for optimizing device energy consumption to meet the needs of devices that demand a significantly longer battery life.