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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zima
Member since:
2005-07-06

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!

Reply Parent Score: 2

Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

"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

Reply Parent Score: 1

zima Member since:
2005-07-06

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.

Who knows / we'll see. At least AMR-WB is already quite decent...

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?

I have only skin deep knowledge of it, didn't dig up much (If I'd have to guess: at least ~DSP ...but maybe both factors, maybe more). Generally, things aren't free in this world, ;) greater spectral efficiency of more complex radio interfaces must have its cost elsewhere, when using the same generation of integrated circuits etc.

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.

Maybe when the so-called "developing world" really gets on ~smartphone (Android, most likely...) bandwagon, there will be saner designs WRT battery aspect. They should be kinda desired, in places where mains electricity is less certain.

And/or maybe we'll came to conclusion that the power of phones got "good enough" (like it happened with PCs a few years ago), and tech advancements will go less into speed, more into lowering energy usage.

Reply Parent Score: 2