Introduction and problem statement

After a number of years of research and technical development the initial 5G New Radio (NR) technology according to Release 15 is now deployed as mainstream technology serving the public and industry. Similarly to LTE there will be several evolutions of New Radio within the upcoming 3GPP releases. Many extensions are currently under investigation in 3GPP to enable addressing further markets by cellular based communication systems, like automotive, positioning and industrial production/automation.

3GPP Releae 17 represents a unique opportunity to standardize satellite as an integral part of 5G together with the cellular stakeholders given their increasing interest in the topic [1]. This opportunity has to be seized immediately to eliminate the risk of a postponement of the standard development to future Releases beyond 17 while SatCom users and service providers are calling for standardized solutions.

As part of Release 17 3GPP addresses the need for devices supporting data rates between the LTE based NB-IoT (from approx. 30 kbps at 180 kHz bandwidth), eMTC (up to few Mbps at a bandwidth of 1.3 MHz) in addition to Release 16 eMBB capable NR devices supporting ≧ 1 Gbps. The Study Item [2] as agreed at the RAN plenary in 2019 has the scope to evaluate the reduction of device complexity and device size for different deployment scenarios like FR1/FR2 and FDD/TDD. 3GPP intends to continue the activity within a Release 17 Work Item, developing the necessary standard. Technical items addressed during the study item are reduced number of UE antennas, bandwidth reduction, half-duplex-FDD, and relaxed processing time and capability. In addition, advanced power saving mechanisms are targeted.

Without a study item report or a specification basis it is not possible to establish a prototype for RedCap type devices in New Radio already, but the potential benefits of RedCap technology enhancements used for satellite is of interest. This activity shall develop a detailed implementation plan along the Study and Work Items in 3GPP how RedCap technologies can be implemented using OpenAirInterface and how to integrate them with the current developments to support satellites in OAI New Radio.

Expected Output

  • Technical note containing
    • Assessment of the RedCap technology enhancements [2] and their applicability for NR NTN;
    • A detailed implementation plan for RedCap technology enhancements in OpenAirInterface, integrated with the current 5G-METEORS developments for NR-NTN according to [1].

Duration and schedule (mid term milestone and review, if applicable)

This activity is expected to last during the 3GPP Study Item on RedCap [2], which will start in August 2020. The end date of the study item is currently under discussion and will be fixed at the RAN Plenary in September 2020 latest.

Maximum budget available for the activity

The budget of this activity shall not exceed 15.000 €.


[1] 3GPP RP-193234 “Solutions for NR to support non-terrestrial networks (NTN)”, Sitges, Spain, 2019-12

[2] 3GPP RP-193238 “New SID on Support of Reduced Capability NR Devices”, Sitges, Spain, 2019-12

Proposal Submission

Submit your proposal to this topic here.