For Positioning, 5G Reduced Capability Devices Are Less Powerful, but Much More Scalable

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By Mark Qi | 2Q 2022 | IN-6571


RedCap to Expand 5G Positioning Flexibility


While 5G is an incredibly powerful standard, many of its most attractive features, such as high signal bandwidth and low latency, are of little value when it comes to location for Massive Internet of Things (IoT), which instead values coverage and the low complexity, low cost, and power efficiency of devices. Among the many advancements to 5G that can benefit positioning is RedCap, supporting 5G connectivity with much lower bandwidth and complexity requirements. This was originally referred to as NR-Light and first introduced in Release 17, with many enhancements to the technology expected from Release 18 coming in 2024.

The Established Market Can Benefit from Technology Consolidation and 5G Features


Compared to baseline 5G device, RedCap devices support reduced downlink capacity requirements, a much lower signal bandwidth (20 MHz compared to 100 MHz on FR1), and a reduction in the number of required antennae for receiving signals. While this will bear a negative impact on the quality of not only positioning, b…

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