It is obvious that LTE will be the choice of 4th generation technology in India as well as globally. In India LTE is expected to see growth from this year with all BWA spectrum winners are planning to roll out services sometime in 2013.
Well as the title says, this story is not exactly about 4G/LTE, rather we are going to discuss another aspect of LTE – energy consumption by the devices over LTE networks.
As early 3G takers experienced there are early battery discharges on their mobile phones when they are on 3G. The battery backup of the phones are significantly increased while he is on 2G.
Country’s only LTE operator Airtel is offering two devices – a usb dongle and a wifi router (not the pocket ones). The usb dongle does not need external power, and the WiFi Router is not as mobile as a mobile phone. So in India LTE devices are yet to expose to energy crisis.
There are some reasons behind the heavy power requirement while you are on LTE network. First LTE accounts for several complex algorithm which pack more data in same wavelength, as a result the radio chip uses more power than 2G or 3G/HSPA. Secondly in some LTE phones (for eg from Verizon) have dual antenna for LTE and CDMA1x – to offer voice over 1x via fall back mechanism. Thirdly as LTE network is not as made like a blanket coverage in most of the geographics, while you are off the LTE network, the phone search for the LTE network – which will end up in faster discharge of battery.
Interestingly Reliance Industries controlled Jio Infocomm (earlier Infotel Broadband) is reported to deal with this problem by introducing pocket WiFi routers which will connect any WiFi enabled device to its 4G/LTE-TD network via WiFi. WiFi consumes less power than 3G or 4G. That’s a good idea as people who are already using a WiFi enabled handset do not need to buy another handset to avail 4G services. But as my friend Sougata pointed out, he is using Olive pocket router (supporting 3G/EVDO dongles) and it does not offer more than 24 hours of back up, I must say these upcoming 4G WiFi hotspot devices have to packed with more than 4000mAh battery as these are connecting to LTE network and creating WiFi networks around themselves. Or you have to buy a portable power pack if you are a heavy user.
Tips to increase your smartphone’s battery life:
1. Set screen’s brightness to auto mode. It will help to reduce power consumption.
2. Set backlight time to lowest, increase it when it needs.
3. Disable vibrating notifications (eg from SMS, Facebook or other apps)
4. Disable WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth when not in use.
5. Disable data connection when you don’t need it.
6. Do not use Live Wallpapers.
7. When you are in no network coverage, put the phone in airplane mode. Searching for networking eats up more power.
8. If your operator’s EVDO/3G/4G coverage is patchy at an area, stick to 2G/GSM/1x only mode.
9. Remember WiFi uses less power than 4G/LTE. So better use WiFi.
10. Recharge your phone when you are at home. If you forget it, don’t blame it on the phone’s battery on next day.
11. Buy a portable power pack with 4000+ mAh power back up, so that you can recharge your phone on the go.
12. If possible use single SIM handsets. Also note that single core handsets offer more battery backup.
13. Close the apps which are not needed.
Anything you like to add? Please drop comments!