EchoStar, Mavenir and Qualcomm worked together to test 5G Reduced Capability (RedCap) on the Boost Mobile Network, in a demonstration that the partners said was the first validation of 5G RedCap capabilities in an Open virtualized Radio Access Network (Open vRAN). 

EchoStar said that integrating RedCap features into its network “allows it to expand its market reach, unlocking access to untapped revenue streams and monetization opportunities through serving a wider range of simpler and lower power 5G devices and applications,” as well as giving the company the ability to tailor more services “to meet the unique and diverse needs of strategically important customer segments.” 

“EchoStar continues to innovate and drive evolution within the Open RAN network space,” said Eben Albertyn, who is EVP and CTO of EchoStar. “Mavenir’s work with RedCap on our Boost Mobile Network gives us yet another way to offer tailored connectivity solutions to better meet the needs of our customers across all industry segments.”

The test leveraged Mavenir infrastructure on the Boost Mobile network and used Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X35 5G modem-RF system.

“As the industry continues to explore the gains of Open RAN architectures, Mavenir’s pioneering work with RedCap on the Boost Mobile Network is a further example of our relentless commitment to driving innovation and moving the dial in the evolution of Open RAN networks,” said BG Kumar, president of Mavenir’s Access Networks, Platforms and MDE. He added that the demonstration is “a transformative step forward for operators looking to maximize their paths to 5G revenue through ubiquitous device connectivity, and lays the groundwork for the more flexible, scalable, and energy-efficient mobile networks of the future.”

“5G RedCap will play a critical role in maximizing the efficient use of next‑gen networks, and we applaud the Open vRAN demonstration of those capabilities by Mavenir and EchoStar today, a true milestone for the industry,” said Gautam Sheoran, VP and GM of wireless and broadband communications at Qualcomm Technologies.

RedCap is a 5G Standalone technology, bringing IoT and lower-performance devices into the 5G SA world. But lower performance doesn’t mean “low” performance as it has been understood in the NB-IoT, LPWA world. RedCap’s speeds, latency and spectrum use are largely on-par with advanced LTE capabilities. Indeed, it is seen as the 5G heir to LTE Cat-4 in terms of speed, more compact and simpler antenna designs and improved battery life, among other features.

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