Ericsson tests redcap on Airtel network

  • October 25, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Ericsson’s pre-commercial redcap software has been successfully tested on the Indian communications provider Bharti Airtel’s 5G network.

Carried out in collaboration with Qualcomm, using its 5G redcap test module, the testing on the 5G TDD network represents the first implementation and validation of redcap in India.

Ericsson redcap is radio access network (RAN) software that creates 5G use cases and enables more 5G connections from devices such as smartwatches, other wearables, industrial sensors, and AR and VR devices.

Redcap is the next evolution of 5G technology to cater for the use cases that are not yet best served by current new radio (NR) specifications. Compared with LTE device category 4, redcap offers similar data rates with improved latency, device energy efficiency and spectrum efficiency. There is also the potential to support 5G NR features such as enhanced positioning and network slicing.

“At Airtel we are constantly pushing the boundaries on technological innovations to find ways to enhance customer experience,” said Randeep Sekhon, CTO at Bharti Airtel. “The successful testing of redcap technology on our network will enable futuristic IoT broadband adoption for devices including wearables and industrial sensors in a way that is both cost and energy efficient. Redcap’s broader applicability will further our innovation agenda to bring out newer applications for consumers, industries and enterprises.”

Sandeep Hingorani from Ericsson added: “With our customers like Airtel continuously investing in network capabilities to seize the opportunities offered by 5G, the commercialisation of redcap capabilities will enable them to grow their consumer business and enable new industry applications, all while improving network performance and energy efficiency.”

Ericsson redcap should open possibilities for communications service providers, allowing for the introduction of services beyond enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) on 5G standalone architecture, broadening the ecosystem and offering monetisation opportunities in consumer and industrial sectors.

Redcap can effectively scale down the complexity, size and capabilities of device platforms to offer cost-efficient integration into devices such as smartwatches and industrial sensors. This approach facilitates diverse use cases that may not always require the high-performance capabilities of current 5G technology. Some consumer applications that can benefit from redcap are wearables and augmented and virtual reality. Industrial applications include video monitoring and inventory management. For Airtel, redcap can also improve operational efficiencies with optimised cost structures accelerating the Industry 4.0 transformation with 5G private networks.

Headquartered in India, Airtel ( is a global communications provider with over 480 million customers in 17 countries across south Asia and Africa. The company ranks among the top three mobile operators globally and its networks cover over two billion people. Airtel is India’s largest integrated communications provider and the second largest mobile operator in Africa.

Swedish company Ericsson ( helps communications service providers and enterprises with a portfolio spanning networks, cloud software and services, enterprise wireless, global communications platform, and technologies and new businesses.