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Generation 4G LTE, 5G NR-Lite is coming
Generation 4G LTE, 5G NR-Lite is coming
Generation 4G LTE, 5G NR-Lite is coming

What is NR-Lite?
It is better than LTE and more streamlined than NR.

Why replace LTE?

Reason one:
In the future, 4G and 5G peers will experience the coexistence of LTE and eMTC/NB-IoT and NR multiple radio access networks, which will increase network management and maintenance complexity.

Reason two:
Compared with LTE, 5G NR has higher spectrum efficiency and network utilization, can significantly reduce the cost per bit, and can respond to mobile broadband services in a lower cost.

Reason three:
Compared with LTE, 5G NR can support more advanced functions, such as Massive MIMO, beamforming, wider subcarrier spacing, lower air interface delay, higher precision positioning, lower overhead, and so on.

Reason four:
5G NR can better integrate with 5G core network service-based architecture and overall network architecture, which is more conducive to providing network slicing, stream-based QoS services and so on.

Reason five:
For the future, the 5G NR can support a wide range of frequency bands, in addition to the re-cultivation of the 2/3/4G band, it also supports a higher frequency range. Especially in the FR2 millimeter wave band, because the millimeter wave band has the characteristics of short propagation distance, easy to be blocked and small interference, it is naturally suitable for indoor deployment in factories and enterprises, and has great appeal to the future 5G private network.

 Why introduce NR-Lite?

The main reason: to fill the "blank zone" between eMBB, mMTC and uRLLC in the five major scenes of 5G.

As we all know, 5G defines three major scenarios: eMBB, uRLLC and mMTC, but these three scenarios are not expected to meet all future 5G application requirements.

For example, mMTC, 3GPP has confirmed that future enhanced versions of NB-IoT and eMTC belong to 5G mMTC technology. That is to say, NB-IoT and eMTC, two of the cellular IoT technologies born in the 4G era, will continue to evolve to meet the 5G mMTC scenario requirements.

However, no matter how NB-IoT and eMTC evolve, they belong to LPWA (Low Power Wide Area IoT Network), which has the basic ability of low power consumption, low cost, wide coverage and large connection, so it is mainly oriented to data transmission rate. Low-end, low-latency "low-end IoT applications", such as smart parking, smart meter reading, smart street lights, and so on.

For example, uRLLC is mainly aimed at ultra-high reliability and ultra-low latency applications such as remote robot control and automatic driving. It requires a delay of 0.5-1ms and a reliability of 99.9999%. It is aimed at “high-end IoT application scenarios”. How many applications need such high performance?

For example, in the future 5G heavy-duty intelligent manufacturing, only robots need uRLLC capability for remote control, and for a large number of sensors and drivers for production process monitoring, analysis and diagnosis in the factory, 1ms delay and 6 9 Reliability may be a waste, but NB-IoT/eMTC does not meet the demand for latency and rate capabilities, such as AI-based quality checks through real-time HD video transmission.

That is to say, the current NB-IoT/eMTC and uRLLC scenarios defined by 3GPP are just the two extremes of the Internet of Things application market—the lowest-cost IoT market with the lowest cost and the longest delay. It is either the “high-end IoT market” with the highest cost and the lowest latency.

Obviously, there is a gap between eMBB, mMTC and uRLLC for the “mid-end IoT market”.

And this "blank zone" just needs NR-Lite to fill.

In response to such a situation, at the 3GPP TSG RAN #84 conference held not long ago, the 3GPP study discussed the introduction of a new NR-Lite in the 5G R17 version.

 What is NR-Lite?

simply put:

Higher data rates, higher reliability and lower latency than eMTC and NB-IoT.

Lower cost and complexity than NR eMBB, and longer battery life.

More extensive coverage than NR uRLLC.

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Specifically speaking:

Supporting data rate and network delay, similar to LTE, the rate is up to 100Mbps, and the delay is about 10-30ms.

Module cost is comparable to LTE.

However, the battery life of the terminal module is 2-4 times longer than eMBB, and the coverage capability is 10-15 dB stronger than uRLLC.

The main support cases for NR-Lite include:

Industrial wireless sensor networks, video surveillance, remote control of drones, remote control of mechanical equipment, wearable devices, etc.

These use cases require moderate data transfer rates and moderate network latency to meet timely HD video backhaul and remote control needs. At the same time, due to the IoT application scenario, lower module cost, greater coverage, and longer battery life are required.

NR-Lite research technology direction:

Reduce UE cost and complexity
Reduce UE uplink and downlink bandwidth
Reduce UE RX antennas, including 2RX and 1RX
Reduce baseband complexity
Reduce UE Tx power level
Research techniques to further improve UE energy efficiency
Study RRC IDLE/INACTIVE power saving technology, including idle mode RRM, page wakeup, etc.
Research on low power technology based on RRC CONNECTED state