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1. (WO2019030079) WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEM, COMMUNICATIONS DEVICE AND WIRELESS NETWORK INFRASTRUCTURE
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CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A method of receiving signals by a communications device from a wireless communications network, the method comprising

controlling a receiver of the communications device to reduce a power consumption in accordance with a discontinuous reception, DRX, off period in which no signals representing scheduling information are received via a physical downlink control channel when in a connected mode and in which the communications device can reduce a power to the receiver,

controlling the receiver of the communications device to increase the power consumption so as to detect whether or not signals from a group control channel have been received by the receiver either during the DRX off period or during a first time slot of a DRX on period in which signals representing scheduling information may be transmitted by the wireless communications network via the physical downlink control channel and in which the communications device may increase the power to the receiver, the group control channel providing a channel of a wireless access interface provided by the wireless communications network for receiving group control information transmitted by the wireless communications network for a group of communications devices, the communications device being a member of the group, and the group control information received on the group control channel providing an indication of whether the communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information on the physical downlink control channel during a time period, and,

if the signals from the group control channel have been received by the receiver and the group control information indicates that the communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information on the physical downlink control channel during the time period and the time period is within the DRX on period, then

controlling the receiver to restore power to the receiver so as to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel during the time period within the DRX on period indicated by the group control information,

receiving the signals representing scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel of the wireless access interface, and

configuring the receiver to receive signals via a shared channel of the wireless access interface in accordance with the scheduling information.

2. A method according to Claim 1, wherein

the time period is a time slot,

the group control information received on the group control channel provides slot format information associated with each of a plurality of time slots including the time period, and

the slot format information associated with the time period provides the indication that the communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information on the physical downlink control channel during the time period.

3. A method according to Claim 1, wherein

the time period is the DRX on period,

the group control information received on the group control channel provides a DRX active indicator associated with each of one or more DRX on periods including the time period, each DRX on period comprising one or more time slots, and each DRX active indicator indicating that the

communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information on the physical downlink control channel during the associated DRX on period.

4. A method according to Claim 1, the method comprising

if no signals from the group control channel have been received by the receiver, controlling the receiver to reduce power so as not to receive signals representing scheduling information during the DRX on period.

5. A method according to Claim 1, the method comprising

detecting, during a plurality of DRX off periods, whether or not signals from the group control channel have been received by the receiver,

determining that signals from the group control channel have not been received by the receiver during each of the plurality of DRX off periods, and

if the number of the plurality of the DRX off periods in which the signals from the group control channel have not been received exceeds a predetermined threshold, controlling the receiver to restore power to the receiver so as to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel during a next DRX on period.

6. A method according to Claim 1, the method comprising

if the signals from the group control channel have been received by the receiver and the group control information does not provide an indication that the wireless communications network will transmit the scheduling information on the downlink physical control channel during the DRX on period, then controlling the receiver to reduce power so as not to receive signals representing scheduling information during the DRX on period.

7. A method according to Claim 1, the method comprising

receiving radio resource configuration, RRC, information from the wireless communications network indicating a desired behaviour of the communications device when signals from the group control channel have not been received correctly by the communications device when the

communications device is in at least one of:

an active mode during which the communications device is required to monitor a physical downlink control channel continuously unless it receives an indication via the group control channel that monitoring is not required, and

a DRX mode during which the communications device is not required to monitor the physical downlink control channel continuously,

detecting, when the communications device is in at least one of the active mode and the DRX mode, that signals from the group control channel have not been received by the receiver, and

in response to the detecting, controlling the receiver in accordance with the received RRC information to either reduce power consumption so as not to receive the signals representing scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel, to restore power to the receiver so as to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel, or to maintain power to the receiver so as to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel.

8. A method according Claim 1, the method comprising

receiving radio resource configuration, RRC, information from the wireless communications network for configuring the receiver, the configuration information including at least one of:

one or more parameters indicating a transmission schedule for the group control channel and

one or more parameters for determining the DRX on period, and

determining a starting time based on a start time of the DRX on period and the transmission schedule,

wherein the controlling the receiver of the communications device to increase the power consumption so as to detect whether or not signals from a group control channel have been received by the receiver comprises detecting whether or not the signals from the group control channel have been received by the receiver starting at the determined starting time.

9. A method according to Claim 8, wherein the transmission schedule for the group control channel is based on a type of service being used by the communications device.

10. A method according to Claim 1, wherein the group control channel is a group common physical downlink control channel.

11. A method of receiving signals by a communications device from a wireless communications network, the method comprising

controlling a receiver of the communications device to reduce a power consumption in accordance with a discontinuous reception, DRX, off period in which no signals representing scheduling information are received via a physical downlink control channel when in a connected mode and in which the communications device can reduce a power to the receiver,

detecting, during a plurality of DRX off periods whether or not signals providing a wake up signal have been received by the receiver,

determining that no signals providing a wake up signal have been received by the receiver during each of the plurality of DRX off periods, and

in response to determining that the number of the plurality of the DRX off periods in which the signals providing a wake up signal have not been received exceeds a predetermined threshold, controlling the receiver to restore power to the receiver so as to receive scheduling information via a physical downlink control channel during a next DRX on period in which signals representing scheduling information may be transmitted by the wireless communications network via the physical downlink control channel.

12. A communications device comprising

receiver circuitry configured to receive signals from a wireless communications network via a wireless access interface provided by the wireless communications network, and

controller circuitry for controlling the receiver circuitry, and the controller is configured to control the receiver circuitry to reduce a power consumption in accordance with a discontinuous reception, DRX, off period in which no signals representing scheduling information are received via a physical downlink control channel when in a connected mode and in which the communications device can reduce a power to the receiver circuitry,

to control the receiver circuitry to increase the power consumption so as to detect whether or not signals from a group control channel have been received by the receiver either during the DRX off period or during a first time slot of a DRX on period in which signals representing scheduling information may be transmitted by the wireless communications network via the physical downlink control channel and in which the communications device may increase the power to the receiver circuitry, the group control channel providing a channel of the wireless access interface for receiving group control information transmitted by the wireless communications network for a group of communications devices, the communications device being a member of the group, and the group control information received on the group control channel providing an indication of whether the communications device should configure the receiver circuitry to receive the scheduling information on the physical downlink control channel during a time period, and,

if the signals from the group control channel have been received by the receiver circuitry and the group control information indicates that the communications device should configure the receiver

circuitry to receive the scheduling information on the physical downlink control channel during the time period and the time period is within a DRX on period, then

to control the receiver circuitry to restore power to the receiver circuitry so as to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel during the time period within the DRX on period indicated by the group control information,

to receive the signals representing scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel of the wireless access interface, and

to configure the receiver circuitry to receive signals via a shared channel of the wireless access interface in accordance with the scheduling information.

13. A communications device comprising

receiver circuitry configured to receive signals from a wireless communications network via a wireless access interface provided by the wireless communications network, and

controller circuitry for controlling the receiver circuitry, and the controller is configured to control the receiver circuitry of the communications device to reduce a power consumption in accordance with a discontinuous reception, DRX, off period in which no signals representing scheduling information are received via a physical downlink control channel when in a connected mode and in which the communications device can reduce a power to the receiver,

to detect, during a plurality of DRX off periods whether or not signals providing a wake up signal have been received by the receiver circuitry,

to determine that no signals providing a wake up signal have been received by the receiver circuitry during each of the plurality of DRX off periods, and

in response to determining that the number of the plurality of the DRX off periods in which the signals providing a wake up signal have not been received exceeds a predetermined threshold, to control the receiver circuitry to restore power to the receiver circuitry so as to receive scheduling information via a physical downlink control channel during a next DRX on period in which signals representing scheduling information may be transmitted by the wireless communications network via the physical downlink control channel.

14. A method of transmitting scheduling information to a communications device in a connected mode by a wireless communications network, the method comprising

scheduling a transmission time during a DRX on period of the communications device for transmitting signals representing the scheduling information via a physical downlink control channel to the communications device which can be received by the communications device by increasing a power to a receiver of the communications device,

transmitting, during a DRX off period or during a first time slot of the DRX on period, signals representing group control information on a group control channel, the DRX off period being a period during which no signals representing scheduling information are transmitted via the physical downlink control channel when the communications device is in a connected mode and during which the communications device can reduce the power to its receiver, the group control channel providing a channel of the wireless access interface for receiving group control information transmitted by the wireless communications network for a group of communications devices, the communications device being a member of the group, the group control information including an indication that the

communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel during a time period, the time period including the transmission time, and

transmitting during the DRX on period the scheduling information for the communications device via the physical downlink control channel.

15. A method according to Claim 14, wherein

the time period is the time slot,

the group control information provides slot format information associated with each of a plurality of time slots including the time period, and

the slot format information associated with the time period provides the indication that the scheduling information for the communications device will be transmitted via the physical downlink control channel during the time period.

16. A method according to Claim 14, wherein

the time period is the DRX on period, and

the group control information provides one or more DRX active indicators each associated with one of one or more DRX on periods including the time period, each of the one or more DRX on periods comprising a plurality of time slots, the method comprising

indicating in the DRX active indicator associated with each of the DRX on periods which include the transmission time that the communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information for the communications device on the physical downlink control channel during the DRX on period associated with the DRX active indicator.

17. An infrastructure equipment for use in a wireless communications system, the wireless communications system comprising the infrastructure equipment and a communications device, the infrastructure equipment comprising

transmitter circuitry configured to transmit signals representing scheduling information via a wireless access interface provided by the mobile communications network to the communications device, receiver circuitry configured to receive signals representing data transmitted via the wireless access interface by the wireless communications device, and

controller circuitry configured to control the transmitter circuity and the receiver circuitry to transmit data to or receive data from the wireless communications device, wherein the controller circuity is configured

to schedule a transmission time during a DRX on period of the communications device for transmitting signals representing scheduling information via a physical downlink control channel to the communications device which can be received by the communications device by increasing a power to a receiver of the communications device,

to control the transmitter circuitry to transmit, during a DRX off period or during a first time slot of the DRX on period, signals representing group control information on a group control channel, the DRX off period being a period during which no signals representing scheduling information are transmitted via the physical downlink control channel when the communications device is in a connected mode and during which the communications device can reduce the power to its receiver, the group control channel providing a channel of the wireless access interface for receiving group control information transmitted by the wireless communications network for a group of communications devices, the communications device being a member of the group, the group control information including an indication that the communications device should configure the receiver to receive the scheduling information via the physical downlink control channel during a time period, the time period including the transmission time, and

to control the transmitter circuitry to transmit during the DRX on period the scheduling information for the communications device via the physical downlink control channel.