Telefonica trialling 5G RedCap in Germany


The new Reduced Capability (RedCap) technology could open the door for a greater integration of IoT devices with existing 5G networks

Telefonica Deutschland has revealed it has successfully trialled 5G RedCap devices in its commercial 5G network in Munich.

RedCap, a key part of standardisation body 3GPP’s Release 17, is aimed at supporting the IoT over mobile networks.

It has three major advantages over existing IoT connectivity technologies (such as 4G LTE or NB-IoT):

higher peak data rates, able to support data hungry IoT devices like video surveillance cameras or smart grid monitoring;
lower latency, perfect for IoT devices that need near-real-time data transmission;
and improving the battery life of devices thanks to improved efficiency and reduced complexity.

To access this benefits, IoT devices will need to be equipped with 5G RedCap-compatible radio module. The 5G network itself, on the other hand, will not need any modification – thought 5G standalone (SA) architecture will be required.

Telefonica itself launched 5G SA in Germany in October last year, saying the upgraded 5G network already covers 90% of the German population.

“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,” explained Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of Telefonica Deutschland.

“O2 Telefónica 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.”

Telefonica says that it is already working with device and module manufacturers to help accelerate the development of the 5G RedCap-capable IoT device ecosystem. These devices are expected to be commercially available in 2025.

Will 5G RedCap prove a catalyst for growth in the German IoT industry? Join the operators in discussion at this year’s Connected Germany event live in Germany

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Vodafone’s 5G standalone network now connects around half the German population
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