Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Home 5G knowledge 5G NR Light in Release 17

5G NR Light in Release 17


What is 5G NR Light ?

The basic massive MTC use cases, characterized by requirements on very low device cost and very low device energy consumption in combination with wide-area coverage, are assumed to be provided by means of LTE-based LTE-MTC and NB-IoT also in the 5G era.

However, there are several use cases that require lower device complexity and reduced energy consumption compared what can be provided by NR Release 15/16 and which, at the same time, has higher requirements in terms of latency and data rates compared to what can be provided with Nb-IoT and  LTE-M.

To address such use cases, 3GPP has initiated Release-17 activities on reduced-capability NR devices referred to also as NR Light, those type of devices have UE capability/complexity trade-off in-between the conventional eMBB services and the low-complexity services enabled NB-IoT and LTE-M.

Reduced Device complexity and energy consumption

In terms of reduced device complexity, the following modifications have been considered:

  • Support for reduced number of Transmission/Reception antennas at the device side
  • Reduction of the minimum required device bandwidth
  • Support for devices only capable of half-duplex operation (no simultaneous Transmission/Reception) in paired spectrum

In terms of reduced device energy consumption, the following modifications have been considered:

  • Reduced complexity in PDCCH monitoring by reducing the number of required blind decoding
  • Extended DRX functionality
  • The aim is to achieve the reduced device complexity and energy consumption without compromising the achievable coverage.

Expected capabilities of NR-Light devices

The characteristics required for these categories of devices, compared with full 5G NR devices and low-power wide-area (LPWA) IoT devices, are illustrated schematically in this figure:

Adressing new types of use cases:

As we said this Release-17 technology capability is not intended to replace NB-IoT and LTE-M devices, but to address new type of use cases in Industrial IoT and other verticals:

  • Industrial wireless sensors with low latency (5-10ms) and medium data rate (<2 Mbps)
  • Medium to high data rate (2-25 Mbps) video transmission
  • High data-rate wearables (5-50 Mbps) with long battery life (1-2 weeks)

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