5G Americas paper plots 5G trajectory

  • November 1, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

A briefing paper from 5G Americas details the dynamic trajectory of 5G devices, from ubiquitous smartphones to pioneering reduced capability (redcap) and battery-less ambient IoT devices, highlighting the versatile future of 5G technology.

The landscape of 5G devices is evolving rapidly to meet the diverse needs of various use cases, ranging from smartphones to specialised IoT devices and emerging battery-less ambient IoT devices.

The trade organisation has introduced a briefing paper titled “Evolving Devices for 5G Adoption” (www.5gamericas.org/evolving-devices-for-5g-adoption-briefing-paper), which examines the evolution of 5G devices, shedding light on optimisation and adaptation of 5G technologies that cater to a wide array of use cases.

“The evolution of 5G devices signifies a dynamic shift in connectivity, transforming industries and empowering individuals,” said Chris Pearson, president of 5G Americas. “From the power of smartphones to the promise of ambient IoT, this 5G Americas’ briefing paper unveils the future diversity of 5G devices.”

As 5G reshapes global communications, device features remain crucial. Characteristics such as mobility, bandwidth, size, accessibility, cost, security, coverage, battery life and radio access technology influence the design and functionality of 5G devices for various applications.

Beyond smartphones, the device ecosystem is rapidly growing to include AR glasses, voice-enabled devices and specialised IoT technologies. These developments are transforming industries, improving communication and enabling remote healthcare monitoring.

Initially, 5G New Radio technology focused on enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) applications. 3GPP later introduced the redcap specifications in Release 17 to cater to low-throughput, cost-effective and energy-efficient use cases. These devices offer a balanced option for data rate, latency and battery life.

Ambient IoT devices operate solely on energy harvested from their environment, eliminating the need for batteries. Characterised by their small form, low cost and low power consumption, they find uses in various sectors, such as inventory management and environmental sensing.

“This paper encompassed a wide variety of current and future 5G devices, ranging from smartphones to the innovative redcap and battery-less ambient IoT devices,” said Brian Daly, assistant VP at AT&T and co-leader of the briefing paper. “We categorised these devices based on various factors, emphasising optimisation for IoT applications in terms of complexity, performance and efficiency. Overall, the evolving landscape of 5G devices presents exciting opportunities across IoT, XR and beyond.”

Yuchul Kim, principal engineer at Qualcomm and working group co-leader of this 5G Americas project, added, “This 5G Americas paper provides a holistic view of how 5G devices are evolving to address the diverse needs of today’s interconnected world and serves as a testament to the continuing innovation driving towards new services offered by the 5G industry.”

5G Americas (www.5gamericas.org) is a trade organisation composed of telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organisation’s mission is to facilitate and advocate for the advancement of 5G and beyond throughout the Americas.