Singtel completes 5G redcap trial

  • December 20, 2023
  • Steve Rogerson

Singapore telco Singtel has completed the island state’s first trial of reduced capability (redcap) technology on its live 5G network in collaboration with Ericsson and MediaTek.

Redcap is designed to support mid-tier IoT devices, such as smartwatches and industrial sensors.

Redcap technology provides IoT devices with lower data flow and reliable connectivity, which reduces power consumption, resulting in a significant increase in the battery life of devices. With this technology, businesses can address the difficulties of replacing batteries in IoT devices, particularly in remote areas, as well as that of high device production costs.

According to MediaTek’s 5G redcap modem report, redcap is estimated to reduce power consumption for end users and chipset printed circuit board (PCB) area by 60% compared with existing 4G IoT devices. Further research by Ericsson also showed that redcap was expected to lower IoT device production costs for manufacturers by 50 to 70%.

“The successful completion of this trial is an important step forward for the telco sector,” said Tay Yeow Lian, managing director of networks for Singtel. “With redcap technology, the complexity, size and capabilities of device platforms are considerably reduced, enabling cost-efficient integration into IoT devices. This unlocks opportunities for a multitude of devices to be connected to the 5G network, contributing to the expansion of the 5G ecosystem and supporting new designs for more scalable IoT innovations and applications.”

Part of Singtel’s continued efforts to enhance its 5G capabilities to support the development of innovative use cases for consumers and enterprises, the month-long trial took place across five Singtel 5G standalone (SA) locations, using Ericsson’s redcap technology and MediaTek’s redcap testing device.

According to estimates from the Infocomm Media Development Authority of Singapore, the IoT market in Singapore experienced a 20% compound annual growth rate, reaching US$1.1bn in 2022. This growth was driven by smart nation initiatives and Industry 4.0 efforts, particularly in the manufacturing and logistics sector.

Redcap technology plays a crucial role in facilitating the transition of IoT devices from LTE to New Radio (NR), providing significantly better connectivity and more reliable user experiences, which aid the development of more innovative use cases. Additionally, the migration to NR opens up opportunities for 5G capabilities such as network slicing and mobile edge computing (MEC). This allows network operators to provide differentiated services tailored to specific use cases such as industrial automation.

“MediaTek is committed to driving global market advancements in 5G,” said Miles Sun, general manager of corporate sales at MediaTek ( “Our collaborative efforts with Singtel and Ericsson have enabled us to empower IoT platforms with a state-of-the-art 5G redcap modem, creating new exciting opportunities for the ecosystem of operators and device makers.”

Raymond Soh, head of networks for Ericsson ( in Singapore, added: “Ericsson redcap will open up a new world of possibilities for communication service providers, allowing for the introduction of services beyond enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB) on 5G standalone architecture, broadening the ecosystem and offering new monetisation opportunities in both the consumer and industrial spaces.”

Singtel’s ( 5G standalone coverage spans over 1600 outdoor locations and 800 buildings, including underground train lines.