Yahoo! News reported on Friday that according to tests conducted by ST-Ericsson next-generation LTE Radios with VoLTE capabilities can actually cut the battery usage in our phones by 50%. Many of us are still struggling with battery life today, with most phones not lasting through the day on heavy usage. The same thing occurred when 3G was new as well – it was just power hungry, and until it was further developed the battery life really wasn’t that good. It seems that LTE is finally reaching that breaking point as well.
Fortunately, increased battery life isn’t the only thing to look forward to when it comes to the LTE technology of our future; it will also offer other benefits as well. Coverage is supposed to be improved in places that are considered “weak coverage points”; future LTE is also expected to improve call quality due to reduced signal overhead, putting voice calls over the cellular network at second-best, which brings me to my next point.
All of these things sound fantastic compared to what phones and voice calls are to us today. Although they’re far from bad, they’re not perfect either. If voice calls are clearer and the signal is stronger using this data network as oppose to a traditional cellular network, does that mean that we expect minute plans to become a thing of the past?
It’s possible, but not without cost.
If it does turn out that voice plans are no longer required with some data plans (I don’t expect it to become fully extinct) I would be willing to bet the data plans “without” minute plans are going to receive very little discount from what it would be with a voice plan. At least you would get the added benefit of clearer listening and increased coverage, which in itself might justify the cost of whatever plan you end up using.
Carriers like MetroPCS have already released this next-gen 4G LTE market in some areas, and expecting to keep rolling them out with time. Verizon Wireless has also already announced their plans to utilize this technology starting this year, and hoping for widespread availability continuing into 2014. With two carriers already ahead of the game by working on development with this technology, it would be a wise plan for the other carriers to follow suit, and follow soon. While data plans may be important to many, voice quality, battery life, and good coverage are other very important elements of our phones and I expect many wouldn’t hesitate to jump ship if a carrier took too long releasing something this good.
If we take this bit of technology and are somehow able to create a more powerful battery than the ones we see today, we could have super cell phones that last for days on end again – except this time do much more for us.
Readers, what do you think about this news? Do you think that battery consumption reduction by 50% would actually benefit us, or do you think that battery consumption still relies heavily on how active we are on our phones? Would you jump carriers if yours took too long to implement this technology? Let me know your thoughts!