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Voice over LTE could slash smartphone battery life in half

Dan Graziano
November 29th, 2012 at 4:08 PM
VoLTE Battery Life

Wireless providers in the United States see voice over LTE, more commonly known as VoLTE, as the future of mobile phone calls. The transition to the new technology may not be well received by consumers, however. According to a new report from Spirent Communications, VoLTE can reduce a smartphone’s talk-time battery life in half, Fierce Wireless reported. The research firm came to its conclusion after using a smartphone capable of supporting both CDMA and VoLTE voice calling on an unnamed U.S. carrier’s network. When making calls over VoLTE, the smartphone’s battery was reduced to 50% or about 252 minutes of talk time.

“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,” said author Ardeshir Ghanbarzadeh.

Interestingly enough, tests also showed that simultaneous voice and data usage on an LTE network resulted in 11% less battery drain, compared to using CDMA for voice and LTE for data.

“This is possibly attributed to the fact that only the LTE radio is in use when using VoLTE/LTE, where as the CDMA radio and the LTE radio are in use when conducting the session in CDMA/LTE,” Ghanbarzadeh wrote.

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