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Singtel, in collaboration with Ericsson and MediaTek, has successfully performed Singapore’s first trial of RedCap (reduced capability) technology, the next evolution of 5G radio technology, on its live 5G network. RedCap is tailored for mid-tier IoT devices like smartwatches and industrial sensors. 

RedCap Technology Benefits

IoT devices utilizing RedCap technology have lower data flow and stable connectivity, which decreases power consumption and extends battery life. This technology enables businesses to tackle challenges related to IoT device battery replacement, especially in remote locations, and addresses the high manufacturing costs of devices.

MediaTek's 5G RedCap Modem report estimates that RedCap will reduce end-users’ power consumption and chipset printed circuit board (PCB) area by 60% compared to 4G IoT devices. Ericsson also found that RedCap might cut IoT device production costs by 50% to 70% for manufacturers.

Tay Yeow Lian, Managing Director (Networks), Singtel Singapore, expressed his delight on the successful completion of the trial, saying, “With RedCap technology, the complexity, size and capabilities of device platforms are considerably reduced, enabling cost-efficient integration into IoT devices. This unlocks opportunities for a multitude of devices to be connected to the 5G network, contributing to the expansion of the 5G ecosystem and supporting new designs for more scalable IoT innovations and applications.”

During the month-long trial, Ericsson's RedCap solution and MediaTek's RedCap testing device were implemented at five Singtel 5G standalone (SA) locations. This initiative aimed to facilitate the development of new and innovative use cases for both consumers and enterprises.

Raymond Soh, Head of Network Solutions for Ericsson Singapore and Philippines, said, “Ericsson’s 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.”

Revolutionizing IoT in Singapore

According to the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), a 20% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the Singapore IoT industry, reaching USD 1.1 billion was recorded in 2022. Smart nation and Industry 4.0 initiatives, especially in manufacturing and logistics, drove this expansion. IoT devices transitioning from Long-Term Evolution (LTE) to New Radio (NR) benefit from RedCap technology's enhanced connectivity and reliability, which helps build new use cases. The switch to NR allows 5G features like network slicing and mobile edge computing. This lets network providers offer industrial automation-specific services.

“MediaTek is committed to driving global market advancements in 5G. Our collaborative efforts with Singtel and Ericsson have enabled us to empower IoT platforms with a state-of-the-art 5G RedCap modem, creating new, exciting opportunities for the ecosystem of operators and device makers,” noted Miles Sun, General Manager of Corporate Sales Asia and Africa at MediaTek.

The successful trial of the RedCap technology is among Singtel’s accomplishments in the 5G era. Currently, the company’s 5G standalone coverage extends to more than 1,600 outdoor areas and 800 structures, including underground train lines. 

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