Singtel Pioneers 5G RedCap Technology Trial for IoT Devices in Singapore – The Fast Mode

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Singtel announced that it has successfully completed Singapore’s first trial of reduced capability technology – the next evolution of 5G radio technology, also known as RedCap, on its live 5G network in collaboration with Ericsson and MediaTek. 

RedCap is specifically designed to support mid-tier Internet of Things (IoT) devices, like smartwatches and industrial sensors.

RedCap technology provides IoT devices with lower data flow and reliable connectivity which reduces power consumption, resulting in a significant increase in the battery life of devices. With this technology, businesses can address the challenges of replacing batteries in IoT devices, particularly in remote areas, as well as that of high device production costs. According to MediaTek’s 5G RedCap Modem report[1], RedCap is estimated to reduce power consumption for end users and chipset printed circuit board (PCB) area by 60% compared to existing 4G IoT devices. Further research by Ericsson[2] also showed that RedCap is expected to lower IoT device production costs for manufacturers by 50% to 70%.

Part of Singtel’s continued efforts to enhance its 5G capabilities to support the development of new innovative use cases for consumers and enterprises, the month-long trial took place across five different Singtel 5G standalone (SA) locations, utilising Ericsson’s RedCap solution and MediaTek’s RedCap testing device.

Transforming Singapore’s IoT landscape

According to estimates from the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, the IoT market in Singapore experienced a 20% compound annual growth rate, reaching US$1.1 billion in 2022. This growth was driven by smart nation initiatives and Industry 4.0 efforts, particularly in the manufacturing and logistics sector. RedCap technology plays a crucial role in facilitating the transition of IoT devices from Long-Term Evolution (LTE) to New Radio (NR), providing significantly better connectivity and more reliable user experiences which aid the development of more innovative use cases. Additionally, the migration to NR opens up opportunities for 5G capabilities like network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC). This allows network operators to provide differentiated services tailored to specific use cases such as industrial automation.

Award-winning 5G network performance

The successful trial of RedCap technology is one of many 5G achievements for Singtel. To date, Singtel’s 5G standalone coverage spans over 1,600 outdoor locations and 800 buildings, including underground train lines.

Singtel’s 5G network has received multiple accolades for its high-quality performance and user experience. Most recently, in October this year, Singtel was named the Global Winner from OpenSignal for 5G Game Experience and 5G Video Experience. It was also recognised for having the network with the world’s Best 5G Coverage Experience in May this year. Opensignal awards are highly regarded in the telecom industry, celebrating innovation and excellence in 5G mobile network performance and user experience among operators worldwide. Singtel recently launched Singapore’s best value 5G plans, providing its customers generous phone discounts, loyalty vouchers, large data bundles, worldwide roaming and enhanced security.

Tay Yeow Lian, Managing Director (Networks), Singtel Singapore,

The successful completion of this trial is an important step forward for the telco sector. 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.

Raymond Soh, Head of Network Solutions for Ericsson Singapore and Philippines,

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 monetisation opportunities in both the consumer and industrial spaces.

Miles Sun, General Manager of Corporate Sales Asia and Africa at MediaTek,

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.

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