5G feature cuts latency and boosts smartphone battery life

July 20, 2021 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting
5G feature cuts latency and boosts smartphone battery life
New inactive state enables three times faster access to 5G network resources and reduced battery consumption for smartphone users.

Long-term partners Ericsson and Telia have joined forces with Qualcomm Technologies to take 5G innovation to a new level by jointly testing a new industry-first feature in Telia’s commercial 5G network. This adds to Telia and Ericsson’s 5G alliance with the purpose to enable better 5G for both smartphone users and advanced and emerging 5G use cases for consumers and enterprises.

This new 5G Standalone* feature – 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, which are crucial requirements for many Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G use cases, including 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 the 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. This shortened time lag will have a big impact in user experience in applications such as cloud gaming where fast multi-player interactions require 20-30ms end-to-end latency. For an immersive VR gaming experience, the latency and reliability requirements are even more demanding.

Since 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. While the screen and its associated electronics are the most power-consuming components in a mobile device, implementing the feature will result in a longer battery life for a 5G smart phone user, too.


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