KUWAIT: Zain Group, the Middle East’s leading digital ICT service provider, has completed the technical prototype validation of RedCAP based on 5.5G technology in Kuwait. RedCap is defined as part of the 3GPP Internet of Things architecture. It has network speeds of 100Mbps downlink and 10Mbps uplink and can be used in supporting use cases such as industrial Internet, electric power industry, wearables, video surveillance, smart vehicles, and other similar medium to high-speed IoT applications. From the perspective of application scenarios, Redcap has huge potential in the industrial and consumer markets. Take video surveillance and wearable devices as examples:
Video surveillance: Mobile cameras mainly provide upstream services. The upstream rate of 4 Mbps can meet the requirements of 1080p video, and the upstream rate of 20 Mbps can meet the requirements of 4K HD video. Therefore, RedCap can meet video surveillance requirements in most scenarios and facilitate the large-scale development of wireless cameras.
Wearable devices: include smart glasses, smart watches, smart bands, and the like. The RedCap technology reduces terminal complexity and optimizes power consumption to save power. RedCap supports 1T1R, facilitating small-sized UE integration. In terms of rate, the RedCap terminal can meet the requirements of wearable devices (5–50 Mbps in the downlink and 2–5 Mbps in the uplink). In the future, RedCap-enabled wearable devices will grow rapidly after the popularity of RedCap networks.
As a critical technology of 5G R17, RedCap offers numerous advantages. First, RedCap reduces terminal complexity by about 60 percent compared to traditional 5G terminals. Second, RedCap takes on some of the best features of 5G NR, such as low latency, high reliability, service assurance, and low power use. Third, RedCap can be introduced on demand for various application scenarios to meet service requirements effectively. RedCap also employs cutting-edge power-saving technologies to extend battery life.
The overall cost of the RedCap module is estimated to be significantly lower than that of ordinary 5G mobile phones, achieving a better “cost-effective” balance between the performance and cost of 5G RedCap terminals and having strong market competitiveness. This test showed that the 5G RedCap technology meet all of the procedures and expected performance requirements of the 3GPP R17 protocol, and the test marks a critical step in the evolution of 5.5G technology.
To promote social digital transformation in the GCC region, Zain will continue to explore additional use cases for 5G RedCap with the assistance of its partners. It will also continue to construct the ecosystem for the 5G Internet of Things industry. Millions of connections will be possible soon, accelerating the digitalization of industries.