5G idle mode boosts battery life

July 16, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
5G idle mode boosts battery life
Telia and Ericsson successfully test a 5G idle state that boosts battery life and reduces latency in the Internet of Things

Ericsson and Telia in Europe have worked with Qualcomm Technologies on a new feature for 5G StandAlone (SA) networks that reduces power consumption and latency for embedded applications.

The inactive state of Radio Resource Control (RRC Inactive) reduces the amount of signaling required during state transitions, making it possible to significantly lower both latency and battery consumption for the critical control of remote devices, enhanced mobile broadband, and smart transport.

RRC Inactive was implemented using Ericsson’s software and 5G Standalone network nodes and a test device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X60 Modem-RF System. The companies were able to demonstrate the successful transition between a connected state and inactive state without the device falling back to idle.

The transition to this new inactive state reduces the amount of signaling required during state transitions, significantly lowering latency for the end user, as was seen in this test where the access latency was shortened by up to 3x. The shorter latency with this feature makes it possible to reduce the inactivity timer, the partners were also able to see battery savings of up to 30 percent for the modem compared to not activating the feature. 

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“We’re proud to jointly with Telia and Qualcomm Technologies demonstrate a world-first innovative solution that will provide a significant boost in 5G benefits for a better mobile experience. This is already a huge milestone in taking 5G technology to the next level, and Radio Resource Control will continue to play a critical role for 5G networks for years to come,” said Jenny Lindqvist, Head of Ericsson Northern and Central Europe.

The development of the inactive state has largely been driven by the growing field of Machine-type Communication (MTC). This is part of 3GPP standardization where 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 signaling 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.

www.ericsson.com

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