Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 3rd Nov 2012 02:14 UTC
Google "The Nexus 4 is absolutely wonderful, but it's also vexing. Frustrating. Annoying. It's easily the best Android phone on the market right now, and has some of the most powerful software that's ever been put on a mobile phone. It's an upgrade from last year's Galaxy Nexus in every way. It's terrific - save for one small thing. " Lack of LTE, obviously. Bigger issue for me as a European: glass back. Apparently it cracks. Who'da thunk?
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And shouldn't such a "pure" IP architecture imply some extra niceties for operators and/or users? I would imagine that a 2G protocol tunnelled through an data-only network would not have the same flexibility on the phone-carrier link side as an end-to-end IP network.

Possibly, however I suspect it's pretty much unattainable in foreseeable future - it seems to me we might be sort of "stuck" with 2G (maybe except Japan, IIRC one of their main operators managed the feat of pretty much retiring a 2G network, when deploying a 3G one), as a lowest common denominator, with reception pretty much anywhere (so "stuck" because it's not strictly a bad thing).
The usual good enough being the enemy of the better - like we seem to be largely "stuck" with FM radio, CD, or UNIX (which, again, are not necessarily bad things). Even the roll-out of DTV in many places has some... delays.

As an example, I don't know enough about cellular networks to find out if it would be doable, with 2G tech, to efficiently use a different voice codec if the receiving phone supports it. A use case for that would be to use Opus for voice communication on phones without violating carrier fair use clauses or modifying the underlying network.

The real question is: would that be doable on LTE, when using its standard voice transmission protocols?

Anyway, no need for UMTS with AMR-WB codec, and since this one already gives nice quality & you can always set up some data-channel streaming on a smarthpone for more niche usage...
AMR-WB might even get wide deployment sooner than LTE voice.

I can understand that for heavy data use: if significantly more bits are transferred per second, it sounds logical that even the most efficient modem could draw more power. What I don't understand now is why UMTS will draw that much more power when I don't make heavy use of the extra data link.

IMHO you overlook some crucial factors.

First, why do we develop all those new cellular standards? To increase spectral efficiency, of course...

...but then, how do we do it? Well, using more complex radio methods, heavier on the local processing (hence using more energy)

It's about compromises, here how big of a pipe (for simultaneous users!) you want, versus the complexity of the processing that needs to be done by the towers & handsets. The compromise spot of 2G GSM was chosen in very different times - and while, over the last two decades, GSM phones greatly improved in battery life ...remember that initially they were also quite poor at it!

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