- Ericsson and Telia are developing new standalone 5G technology feature that reduces latency and battery consumption.
- This new feature will be particularly important for the growing field of machine-type communication.
- Telia and Ericsson have a long-standing ‘5G Alliance’ to surface and test new 5G features.
A new standalone 5G technology feature that reduces latency and battery consumption is said to be developed by Ericsson and Telia. This new feature is said to dub an inactive state of radio resource control or RRC Inactive. According to the companies, this reduces the amount of signalling required during state transitions.
Based on the results of initial testing processes, latency was reduced by three times. This in turn makes it possible to reduce the inactivity timer to deliver battery savings of up to 30% for the modem compared to not activate the feature.
Telia and Ericsson have a long-standing ‘5G Alliance’ to surface and test new 5G features. They have recently announced a new ‘inactive state’ 5G feature. This is set to offer mobile broadband users the functional equivalent of being ‘always connected’. This, without the usual handset power drain.
According to Stefan Jäverbring, Telia Company CTO, “our partnership has enabled this industry- and world-first feature and this technology milestone is fundamental in making more efficient use of mobile network resources and meeting critical requirements with effective solutions”.
The firms added that this new feature will be particularly important for the growing field of machine-type communication.
“In most MTC scenarios, the amount of data that wireless devices typically exchange with the network is small and usually not urgent enough to justify the high battery consumption required to handle all the signalling involved in the legacy idle-to-connected transition. For current and future 5G use cases with a large and growing number of devices, improved connection, state, and mobility handling have been identified as key elements of efficient support.”
The feature was engineered through the use of Ericsson’s software along with 5G Standalone network nodes. Qualcomm supplied the Snapdragon X60 Modem-RF System. From there, the companies were able to demonstrate the successful transition between a “connected state” and an “inactive state”. All these without the device falling back to “idle”, which is why this feature is considered as an industry first.
The amount of signalling required during state transitions is reduced significantly with this feature. As a result, it is possible to improve latency, also making a significant difference to battery power consumption improvement. After all, improved connection, state, and mobility handling have been identified as key elements of efficient support for current and future 5G use cases, especially with a continuously growing number of devices in the foreseeable future.
“Latency has now become a critical issue,” says Kester Mann, Director of Consumer and Connectivity at CCS Insights. “Speed and latency were always offered as the twin advantages of 5G, but now my perception is that latency has now become more important than speed.”