Unlocking 5G IoT Potential: Telefonica’s RedCap Test Signals Future

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In a significant development in the 5G landscape, Telefonica Deutschland recently announced a successful test of 5G RedCap devices within its Munich-based commercial network. RedCap technology, a crucial element of 3GPP’s Release 17, is designed to facilitate Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity over mobile networks.

The introduction of RedCap technology brings three key enhancements for IoT networks. Firstly, it offers increased peak data rates. This feature is a boon for data-intensive IoT devices, such as surveillance cameras or smart grid monitoring tools. Secondly, RedCap technology ensures lower latency which equates to near-real-time data sharing. Lastly, RedCap devices promise an extended battery life due to improved efficiency and simplified operations.

To benefit from RedCap’s advantages, IoT devices must be fitted with a compatible 5G RedCap radio module. However, the existing 5G infrastructure does not need any modification, albeit a 5G standalone (SA) architecture is vital.

Telefonica had previously rolled out 5G SA in Germany in October 2021 and proudly stated that the upgraded 5G network encompasses 90% of the German populace.

Discussing this technological enhancement, Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of Telefonica Deutschland stated, “5G RedCap can bring new momentum to the Internet of Things. The technology closes a gap between the previous 4G network and high-performance 5G applications in the IoT sector.”

Rao further added, “O2 Telef√≥nica has successfully trialled the integration of 5G RedCap devices in the network. With our network, we are creating the technical prerequisites for connecting millions of devices efficiently and cost-effectively. It will be crucial to see how the market, the product world, and digital applications develop.”

Setting the ball rolling, Telefonica has already initiated collaboration with device and module manufacturers to speed up the progress of the 5G RedCap-compatible IoT device ecosystem. It anticipates these devices to be commercially accessible by 2025.

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