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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Neolander
Member since:
2010-03-08

Here in the UK, only *one* network (Everything Everywhere) has released 4G (or LTE as the US likes to call it) and that was literally only a few weeks ago. It's fast, but very limited in coverage and expensive (I believe it can drain batteries faster too).

It does beg the question why the existing non-4G networks haven't had their coverage/speeds improved? That would benefit 99% of the UK that currently isn't on 4G for whatever reason (the phone, the area they're in, the contract price or they're not on EE).

4G in the UK looks to me to be about a year away from where we are with 3G - coverage has to improve, the prices have to drop, all the network providers have to actually launch 4G and, yes, phones have to launch with 4G. Until then, in the UK, a 4G phone is an utter waste of money.

To be fair, from what I could gather about LTE, it's pretty much what 3G should have been from a design standpoint, which might explain why carriers and phone manufacturers are so interested in it.

LTE and LTE Advance are designed to support an all-IP architecture, on which voice is just one stream of data packets like all others (save for higher QoS priority). That is conceptually much simpler (and should thus be more reliable and future-proof) than a weird hybrid between legacy 2G protocols (GSM, cdmaOne...) for phone services and more modern data protocols, requiring two simultaneous radio connexions and sucking power at a crazy pace.

Of course, that's theory, in practice it seems that you get early LTE modems that are even less energy-efficient than current 3G modems and carriers across the world that enjoy each using a different frequency band, resulting in a practical impossibility to build a true LTE world phone. Gotta love bleeding edge tech...

Edited 2012-11-03 17:25 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

More recent 3G networks can also use IP, at least on the carrier side (probably most of what they care about, their side of the infrastructure; and what can be done in foreseeable future, since a lot of people will continue using old phones & it seems 2G is here to stay for a while) - some Huawei-supplied networks do that.

LTE deployment is generally also about more efficient utilisation of scarce spectrum resources - just like 3G was vs 2G. Not necessarily brining much higher speeds for the individual, but able to service more people in a given area with acceptable speeds.

And I doubt 2G/3G hybrid "sucks power at a crazy pace" you mostly just do one or the other - and since standby times are good, it strongly suggests the connections don't use much power when not-very-active.

Edited 2012-11-03 21:03 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

More recent 3G networks can also use IP, at least on the carrier side (probably most of what they care about, their side of the infrastructure; and what can be done in foreseeable future, since a lot of people will continue using old phones & it seems 2G is here to stay for a while) - some Huawei-supplied networks do that.

LTE deployment is generally also about more efficient utilisation of scarce spectrum resources - just like 3G was vs 2G. Not necessarily brining much higher speeds for the individual, but able to service more people in a given area with acceptable speeds.

Honestly, I'll trust you on that one, though I still don't understand why the ITU would make such a big deal of 4G being an all-IP network in such a case.

And I doubt 2G/3G hybrid "sucks power at a crazy pace" you mostly just do one or the other - and since standby times are good, it strongly suggests the connections don't use much power when not-very-active.

This discussion reminds me of something... Haven't we already been talking about that in the past, before being stopped by OSnews' 5-day comment limit as usual ?

Anyway, I agree with you that 3G standby consumption alone should be too low to explain it, but it is my experience that in two different French cities (Paris and Grenoble), with two different phones (Nokia E63 and Sony Xperia Mini Pro), two different operators (Orange France and Bouygues Telecom) and my same old phone usage patterns (lots of texts, occasional web browsing and e-mails), I have always approximately halved my battery life by switching from EDGE-only connections to UMTS-only connections in my phone settings.

Which, combined with 3G's significantly more sloppy coverage in "difficult" areas like trains and big buildings, is why I tend to keep these little gadgets on EDGE unless I really need the extra speed ;)

Edited 2012-11-03 21:37 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

JAlexoid Member since:
2009-05-19

There is also one major drawback - VoLTE has not been widely deployed(in Europe there is no VoLTE deployment at all, as EU regulations require seamless downgrade). Even Verizon falls back to 3G network for voice, so without a proper VoLTE solution in place talking on an LTE device and using data will result in using both radios.

Reply Parent Score: 2