Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has successfully carried out tests on Malaysia’s 5G network deployed by Digital Nasional Berhad (DNB) for the first implementation and validation in Southeast Asia of Ericsson’s pre-commercial Reduced Capability (RedCap) software. The tests were carried out in collaboration with MediaTek, using its 5G RedCap test platform in Malaysia.

Ericsson RedCap is a new radio access network (RAN) software solution that enhances existing 5G use cases and enables new ones for devices such as smartwatches, other wearables, and industrial sensors by lowering complexity and extending battery life.

RedCap is the next evolution of 5G technology that complements the industry progress of cellular IoT technologies with benefits that include reduced device chipset cost, lower complexity and less power consumption while delivering higher data rates comparable to LTE Cat-1 to LTE Cat-4. It can also support advanced Standalone 5G NR functionalities such as enhanced positioning and network slicing.

Ericsson RedCap will open up a new world of possibilities for communication service providers, allowing for the introduction of services beyond enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) on 5G standalone architecture, broadening the ecosystem and offering new monetization opportunities in both the consumer and industrial spaces.

The small device size, long battery life, and substantial throughput of devices make it ideal with many mobile consumer applications such as wearables (e.g. smartwatches), health monitors, augmented reality (AR) devices (e.g. glasses) as well as industrial applications such as video surveillance, and sensors.

For industrial applications, RedCap can improve operational efficiencies with optimized cost structures accelerating the industry 4.0 transformation with 5G private networks.

Head of Ericsson Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, David Hägerbro says: “RedCap will broaden connectivity options for diverse use cases and enhance usage across consumer, industrial and enterprise devices that don’t require the full range of 5G’s capabilities. It will enhance 5G connectivity for everything from consumer wearables to industrial sensors in a way that is both cost- and energy-efficient, unlocking a whole range of new use cases.”

He adds: “With service providers continuously enhancing network capabilities to seize the opportunities offered by 5G, the next wave will help them grow their consumer business and enable new industry applications, all while improving system performance and energy efficiency.”

Mr Miles Sun, General Manager of Corporate Sales Asia and Africa at MediaTek, says: “This collaboration with Ericsson and DNB is an important step in bringing new 5G capabilities to Malaysia. 5G RedCap paves the way for cost-effective and power-efficient connectivity in IoT and wearable devices for businesses and consumers. This milestone in Southeast Asia will certainly assure our customers that they can act in confidence for a new generation of innovative 5G products and services in the region. “

Mr Ken Tan, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Nasional Berhad says: “We are pleased to be working with Ericsson and MediaTek to bring the benefits of 5G RedCap capability for Malaysia. With Ericsson RedCap, we are preparing DNB’s 5G network to offer enhanced 5G connectivity for everything from consumer wearables to industrial sensors in a way that is both cost and energy-efficient. This will enable new use cases for consumers and enterprises fueling digitalization in Malaysia.”

The RedCap tests on the DNB network have been carried out on the time division duplex (TDD) 3500 and frequency division duplex (FDD) 700 layers for both data calls and Voice over New Radio (VoNR), which provides high-definition audio and video for improved user experience.

By Sujata