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Voice Over LTE is a Huge Battery Killer
Up to 50% Greater Drain Than CDMA Calls
by Karl Bode 08:37AM Wednesday Dec 05 2012
New data suggests that the current version of voice over LTE (VoLTE) is a huge battery hog, justifying some carriers decision to push back their deployment of the technology. "The device's estimated battery life was reduced by 50 percent or about 252 minutes of talk time when voice calls were placed over the LTE network, compared to voice calls placed over the CDMA network," insists a new study by Metrico Wireless. "The significant difference in current drain between VoLTE and CDMA technologies for voice calling applications suggests further optimization of devices supporting VoLTE calls are needed in order to give end-users talk-time battery life expectancy levels similar to that of 3G devices," says study author Ardeshir Ghanbarzadeh.

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Dodge
Premium
join:2002-11-27

Get LTE to work properly first

My Verizon service keeps hunting between 3g and LTE all the time, and this is in NYC. I don't think they'll be able to switch to VoLTE right now even if it wasn't a battery killer since there is just not enough coverage.

anon anon

@charter.com

Re: Get LTE to work properly first

said by Dodge:

My Verizon service keeps hunting between 3g and LTE all the time, and this is in NYC. I don't think they'll be able to switch to VoLTE right now even if it wasn't a battery killer since there is just not enough coverage.

Verizon didn't have plans to start rolling out VOLTE until late 2013 and that was pushed back into 2014 a couple months ago. By then they'll have all their 3G areas covered with 700 MHz LTE and they'll be starting t rollout LTE over 1700/2100 MHz by then too.

Acuity

join:2002-06-22
Londonderry, NH

Re: Get LTE to work properly first

said by anon anon
Verizon didn't have plans to start rolling out VOLTE until late 2013 and that was pushed back into 2014 a couple months ago. By then they'll have all their 3G areas covered with 700 MHz LTE and they'll be starting t rollout LTE over 1700/2100 MHz by then too.

What will this mean for open applications and open devices?

Verizon's whole argument against this was that LTE was tied into their CDMA network and there is no such thing as an open CDMA device. This should take CDMA out of the equation, and you theoretically should be able to take any LTE device supporting the 700 MHz spectrum to their network when this happens.

The FCC has already ruled against Verizon charging monthly tethering fees due to this rule. Hopefully this is the next step towards helping to empower the consumer.

DaveDude
No Fear

join:1999-09-01
New Jersey
kudos:1

isnt tech tested first

I am kinda surprised that VO LTE, is being tested now. Why wasnt it tested as a tech package ?

dnoyeB
Ferrous Phallus

join:2000-10-09
Southfield, MI
kudos:1

OVer IP over LTE?

Are we talking about voice over IP over LTE? Or direct voice on the LTE connection?

Guspaz
Guspaz
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-05
Montreal, QC
kudos:23

1 recommendation

Re: OVer IP over LTE?

There's no difference; LTE is entirely IP-based, so there is no other way to do voice than Voice over IP over LTE.

It just sounds like they've just implemented it in a braindead fashion.
--
Developer: Tomato/MLPPP, Linux/MLPPP, etc »fixppp.org
Network Guy
Premium
join:2000-08-25
New York
kudos:2

Packet switching

Voice via packet switching always drained battery faster than circuit switching. I would know, I use Viber on my phone often and the battery goes faster.

norbert26
Premium
join:2010-08-10
Warwick, RI

Not ready for prime time

I get a good 3G signal here. I tested a 4g LTE phone and it was a no go. The phone repeatedly would drop to 3g and when it caught a 4g signal it was no better then one bar. If voice is pushed over LTE as it stands it would be no service and just dump Verizon wireless for me.
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Time for new battery technology

Providers like MetroPCS provide this. I can't imagine how quickly the battery dies. If your phone gets 4 hrs you will only get 2hrs out of it.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Time for new battery technology

That's so true. I had Metros top of the line LTE phone the Samsung Indulge when it came out and man oh man that POS would only last 2 and a half hours of standby time during the summer months. If I need to go visit family in NJ i would have to carry and extra batteries and the charger. on the Howard forums we used to call that POS the hand warmer....
brianiscool

join:2000-08-16
Tampa, FL
kudos:1

Re: Time for new battery technology

Eddy I feel sorry for you. I remember when I used MetroPCs and I have the Samsung touch phone forgot the model number. The battery would drain so quickly and the phone calls would go in and out constantly.

Eddy120876

join:2009-02-16
Bronx, NY

Re: Time for new battery technology

Thank Brian but thanks to Straight talk I left the hand warmer in a drawer . the worse part about the service was the damn text message duplicates and the phone losing signal when I went to the back room of the apartment.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America

why ditch CDMA?

What am I missing on this - voice use is down anyway. Why not keep CDMA around for voice only, and use LTE for data?

tshirt
Premium,MVM
join:2004-07-11
Snohomish, WA
kudos:5
Reviews:
·Comcast

Re: why ditch CDMA?

Because they want to reuse those CDMA frequencies.
In fact the entire viablity of rolling out LTE depends on the refarming aspect or the financial end doesn't work well.
However I agree that WASTING wideband on mere voice calls is expensive in terms of electrical and phone processor power and so keeping a limited amount of CDMA for voice and other limited bandwidth makes sense, as would developing phones/software that turnoff/reduce LTE radio useage as much as possible in realtime.
Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA

Re: why ditch CDMA?

said by tshirt:

Because they want to reuse those CDMA frequencies.

Sprint and some others are already using CDMA 1X Advanced (only uses half the bandwidth for voice) so half of the CDMA spectrum can be refarmed now. Yes some people will have to replace some older CDMA phones (probably over 3 years old now) but it's probably the best alternative for now.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: why ditch CDMA?

CDMA 1X Advanced is backwards compatible with CDMA 1xRTT, end users will have to do nothing. Although for Sprint to get the full 4X capacity increase they will have to use better/newer vocoders and replace all 1xRTT only handsets.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH
Once they start to reduce the load on EVDO, and can move some of that bandwidth back to CDMA 1x, they can crank the CDMA 1x bandwidth back up, and get the quality back up again.

They will figure out VoLTE eventually.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: why ditch CDMA?

They have enough bandwidth for EVDO at least as far as spectrum is concerned in most markets. The main problem that Sprint has ran into is poor back haul capacity. Once Network Vision rolls through and is 100% complete Sprint should be at the very least on par with Verizon in terms of 3G data speed.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: why ditch CDMA?

I was thinking of VZ, who is crunched, but it's getting a lot better, since something like half the data traffic has already moved to LTE.
NiteSn0w

join:2010-12-24

Re: why ditch CDMA?

VZ Has poor cell spacing because their entire network was built on cellular 850. This causes problems for LTE and any network Verizon operates on a higher spectrum frequency. This also means that they have more users on less spectrum because their towers are covering more people.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: why ditch CDMA?

LTE is on 700, so it's not a coverage issue, it's a capacity issue, since they were already stretching 850 as far as they could. AT&T uses 850 too, but they have built their network out to be much more dense.

anon anon

@charter.com
said by amungus:

What am I missing on this - voice use is down anyway. Why not keep CDMA around for voice only, and use LTE for data?

Look at it this way. Part of the problem with mobile in the US is we have 2 standards GSM and CMDA. Once the major carriers refarm their 2G and 3G spectrum everyone will be on the same standard LTE. Once that happens phone manufacturers can make phones that will work on all carriers. Carriers might not like it but it will be cheaper for the phone manufactures.

CROM

@ca.gov

mmmmm?

Call me stupid but i don't really buy the battery life issue. I haven't been successful in finding research that VOLTE drains the battery as everyone is claiming. I think it may just be me but I think carriers are trying to figure out what successful business model they can use on it. I mean traditional sms/mms and minutes would be irrelevant on VOLTE since it will be just simple data. I think carriers ars still hard pressed to figure how they can justify over charging for minutes/sms/mms/data on VOLTE.

anon anon

@charter.com

Re: mmmmm?

said by CROM :

Call me stupid but i don't really buy the battery life issue. I haven't been successful in finding research that VOLTE drains the battery as everyone is claiming. I think it may just be me but I think carriers are trying to figure out what successful business model they can use on it. I mean traditional sms/mms and minutes would be irrelevant on VOLTE since it will be just simple data. I think carriers ars still hard pressed to figure how they can justify over charging for minutes/sms/mms/data on VOLTE.

I think you need to stop with the conspiracy theories. besides your theory doesn't make sense.

Selenia
Gentoo Convert
Premium
join:2006-09-22
Fort Smith, AR
kudos:2

Re: mmmmm?

I have used voice over IP extensively over wifi and played with it over AT&T HSPA+. I can talk for hours over wifi, but would need a spare battery to do it extensively over the cell network. I got good results but it's a battery killer. Even using my regular cell line is when my phone has HSPA+ reception. If I restrict it to edge, I can talk for hours over the switched circuit, but still not as long as over wifi. LTE Is even more battery hungry, like each new generation of Technology. That and HSPA+ noticeably hurt verses WiFi or 2g when merely browsing or streaming audio. I can definitely see the issue here. It can kill your battery just to have an app using the connection too much with any of these new faster radio technologies.
--
A fool thinks they know everything.

A wise person knows enough to know they couldn't possibly know everything.

There are zealots for every OS, like every religion. They do not represent the majority of users for either.
MTB

join:2007-06-29
Newport Beach, CA
The biggest battery killer is roaming, poor signal and/or excessive radio use. Higher through put does add to battery drainl

This is probably just translating to poor signal or inadequate deployment.

anon anon

@charter.com

Who talks for 250 minutes anyway?

Maybe several years ago no one talks that much now. I think this is a non issue. Not to mention improvements in batteries that has been going on.

verizonlteda

@myvzw.com

Re: Who talks for 250 minutes anyway?

Lots of people use a lot of min's just cause you think they don't doesn't mean nothing. I know lots of people who uses around 350 min's a month.

anon anon

@charter.com

Re: Who talks for 250 minutes anyway?

said by verizonlteda :

Lots of people use a lot of min's just cause you think they don't doesn't mean nothing. I know lots of people who uses around 350 min's a month.

350 minutes in a MONTH. This is talking about only getting 250 minutes AT ONE TIME. I'm pretty sure your friends charge their smartphones more than once a month.

Maxo
Your tax dollars at work.
Premium,VIP
join:2002-11-04
Tallahassee, FL

Talking?

Who talks on their phone any more? I might do 250 minutes in an entire month. Cell phones are just mini portable computers that happen to be able to make voice calls.