Lately we’ve been hearing about how Verizon will be rolling out its’ VoLTE network next year (others will be following soon including MetroPCS). Most people are getting pretty excited about it because it means Verizon is continuing to invest in their network. That’s a good thing. But findings from a new study shows that it may not be all fine and good out there.
This study comparing battery life for calls placed over a LTE network vs. over a CDMA network were done on an unnamed US operators network in two major markets using a smartphone capable of supporting both CDMA and VoLTE voice calling. The study’s author, Ardeshir Ghanbarzadeh, who is the Director of Services Development for Metrico Wireless said the following about this study:
“The device’s estimated battery life was reduced by 50 percent or about 252 minutes of talk time when voice calls were placed over the LTE network, compared to voice calls placed over the CDMA network,”
“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,”
Now we can’t say that we are surprised by this at all. Considering we know how much of a toll LTE takes on battery life. It was even the reason Google gave as to why there’s no LTE in the Nexus 4 (by LG). It was also found out in this study that tests of multi-service simultaneous voice and data calss using just LTE were only 11% less current drain than multi-service sessions on CDMA for voice and LTE for data. Now we believe that is probably due to the fact that on VoLTE, you’re only using the LTE radio. But on CDMA/LTE you are using both radios which makes it much more battery intensive.
Now that this study is out in the open, hopefully we’ll see smartphone manufacturers start to either follow Motorola’s trend with the Razr Maxx and Razr Maxx HD or find a way to make the current battery size last longer. Especially with VoLTE roll outs happening very soon. We already know Verizon will be starting in 2013, MetroPCS was supposed to be starting soon as well but that might change with their merger with T-Mobile. Then there’s AT&T and Sprint who are still building out their LTE networks, they will probably start on VoLTE in the next few years as well.
So what do you think? Was anyone surprised by the findings? Let us know in the comments.