Optus completed an over-the-air data call using pre-commercial Ericsson reduced capability (RedCap) RAN software, preparing to enable simple, low-power and -cost devices to run on its 5G network.

Martin Wiktorin, head of Ericsson’s global customer unit for Optus parent Singtel stated the advancement will allow the operator to offer enhanced 5G connectivity for everything from consumer wearables to industrial sensors in a cost- and energy-efficient way.

He said it will unlock “a whole range of new use cases”.

Optus MD of networks Lambo Kanagaratnam said the nation’s first data call using RedCap paved “the way for future 5G wearable devices”.

The small size, “long battery life and substantial throughput of RedCap devices would make it ideal with many mobile consumer” and industrial applications, Optus stated.

Ericsson’s RedCap RAN software runs on TDD and FDD spectrum, and is designed for devices not requiring the full range of 5G capabilities. It is scheduled to be commercially available in November as a software addition to standalone 5G networks.

In December 2022, Optus unveiled plans to upgrade its RAN by deploying Ericsson’s latest radios and baseband equipment, targeting energy savings of up to 25 per cent.

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