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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"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?

Well, I kind of hoped that after inventing so many variants of AMR, in an attempt to make that thing sound better without using too much bandwidth, the 3GPP members had finally learned that it's best to design future phone networks for codec transparency.

"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)

Is it something like the good old physics problem that for a given filter design, narrower passive filters have higher losses? Or more of a digital processing problem?

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!

Here's to hoping that phone manufacturers will bring back those monster batteries that were used in the early days of GSM then ;) The current approach of increasing power consumption while reducing phone thickness (and thus, physical room for batteries) seems absurd.

Edited 2012-11-08 08:03 UTC

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