Ericsson, Vodafone and Qualcomm say they have demonstrated the first Reduced Capability data sessions on a European network, pitched as a way for IoT devices to transmit data more efficiently.

Andrew Wooden

November 23, 2023

2 Min Read

The demo took place in September in the Spanish city of Ciudad Real, running on Ericsson’s RedCap RAN software, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 platform, and Vodafone Spain’s live testing 5G network ‘CREATE’ (Ciudad Real España Advanced Testing Environment).

RedCap is supposed to allow devices like smartwatches or smart water meters to connect to 5G networks and transmit data at low power and lower cost.

The release states that the Snapdragon X35 platform is world’s first NR-Light modem RF, and this technology appears to underpin the demo. New Radio Light (NR-Light), we’re told, works with less complex gadgets than traditional mobile broadband devices (phones) and can also ‘complement the network APIs developed by Vodafone for its customers to extend the battery life of their devices.’

“This successful demonstration is an exciting moment for OEMs, network operators and network users, because it highlights a clear path to new devices and commercial use cases,” said Dino Flore, Vice President, Technology, Qualcomm Europe.

“The use of commercial 5G networks for lower-bandwidth applications is an important milestone, not least because this offers a migratory path for low-power devices with a 5G architecture, which also draws on the current and future benefits offered by 5G standalone (5G SA). We will continue to work with our customers, industry experts and our collaboration partners to accelerate the creation of 5G devices which present exciting new use cases for enterprises and consumers.”

Francisco Martín, Head of Open RAN, Vodafone added: “Vodafone is able to continually evolve and improve its network for customers by being first to test the latest technologies. We are delighted that our unique multi-vendor 5G network, CREATE, was able to host and validate such an innovative trial in collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies and Ericsson. The results show that networks will be able to support many more energy efficient connected devices in the future.”

The demo is part of a ramp up for the introduction of Snapdragon-based commercial devices which are expected in 2024.

Earlier this year, Juniper research put out some research which said the number of 5G IoT roaming connections will reach 142 million by 2027, up from just 15 million this year. IoT will account for 27% of all 5G roaming connections by that same date, four years hence, the analyst firm noted.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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