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Optus has announced plans to develop 5G-enabled smart gadgets in partnership with leading telcos Ericsson and MediaTek.

The company said that it has conducted Australia's first over-the-air data call on its 5G network using Ericsson's pre-commercial Reduced Capability (RedCap) software. This accomplishment is considered to be a remarkable step toward allowing the implementation of 5G technology in a range of low-power and low-cost RedCap devices.

The innovation has the potential to usher in a new era of revolutionary wearable gadgets, such as smartwatches, health monitors and augmented reality (AR) glasses, all of which will benefit from the RedCap technology's efficiency and performance. This will also improve the capabilities of industrial applications such as video surveillance and industrial sensors.

Moreover, Ericsson’s RedCap is also capable of powering smart cities of the future with applications in smart grids, environmental sensors, predictive maintenance and utility meters.

Lambo Kanagaratnam, managing director of networks at Optus, said, “Optus is always pushing the boundaries on network technology to find ways to improve the experience of our customers. This announcement is about catering for 5G for wearable devices, like watches, so customers can benefit from accessing the most up-to-date technology in their daily lives. With this Australian-first data call on RedCap, we are paving the way for future 5G wearable devices.”

RedCap may also boost operational savings with optimized cost structures for robust industrial IoT, accelerating the industry 4.0 revolution with 5G private networks for industrial applications. Ericsson's RedCap offers dependable wireless connections and seamless mobility for industrial and corporate devices. More equipment can be connected with fewer cables, process monitoring sensors for deeper operational insight, smart security cameras for worker safety and portable wearable devices for better human-machine interaction.

This milestone highlights the adaptability of Ericsson's RedCap software, which runs across low and mid-frequency bands using different 5G spectrum options, including both time division duplex (TDD) and frequency division duplex (FDD). This versatility allows Optus to explore and invent new applications across a wide range of sectors, from consumers to industries and businesses.

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