T-Mobile: Houston We’ve Made Some Progress

Today I decided to try a little experiment with my G2, and put it back on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network. For the past week it’s been using the 2G EDGE network in order to ensure a practical battery run time.

It seems that T-Mobile must be tinkering with the network, because today I’ve managed almost 11 hours of normal operation and only consumed 30% of the battery. A week ago it was draining the battery dry in under 5 hours.

I would guess that they’ve backed off on the channel bonded access for the moment. The Speedtest.Net app on my handset currently measures my connection to Comcast’s nearest server as 3100 kbps down and 328 kbps up. That’s not bad, but certainly less than their much trumpeted network upgrade should permit.

Given that they have few devices in the market that can actually take advantage of the faster network performance it makes perfect sense that they’d back off on the network changes in order to ensure that the bulk of their 4G customers have workable battery life, at least until HTC releases the firmware update that provides a more permanent solution.

T-Mobile Officially Acknowledges HSPA+ Issue With 4G HTC Handsets

Earlier today T-Mobile staff started a new thread in their support forum polling users for reports of unusually short battery life starting over the past week.

Hello everyone,
A small group of T-Mobile customers are noticing battery drain. As of around July 28, 2011, their phones haven’t been holding their charge as well as they used to.

We’re working aggressively to resolve this issue, but if a you find that the battery drains more quickly than it has in the recent past (starting around July 28th), or phone is not holding a charge like it was, please reply here with the following information:

Device Make & Model
Start date on the issue
Where are you located (Market, City, State)?
Are you in a 2G, 3G or 4G area?
When battery indicator shows ‘No Power’ does the device still work or is the power drained?
Does “3G only mode” improve the battery drain issue?

Thank you to everyone for helping us out with your examples!

As of this moment 80 people have responded, including myself.

It’s curious that they refer to “3G only mode” as the G2 at least doesn’t have such a mode. The related setting in my G2 is labeled as “Use only 2G networks.”

Sorry for the blurry photo. That’s what sometimes happens when I take a handheld shot and defeat the flash.

Like everyone else responding in the forum, we have found that enabling this setting drops the phone to the EDGE network, and restores battery life to an acceptable norm.

At least with this acknowledgement there can be the expectation of some action toward solving the issue. Maybe they can even inform their customer service staff, who have been handling the matter haphazardly for the past week.

Get That Will You Dear? A Phone For The Door Or Gate

My efforts at blogging began on November of 2007. Since then I’ve covered a variety of topics, mostly relating to issues of home office communications and network infrastructure. In all that time one item has remained on my honey-do list; the intercom or access phone at the front gate. At long last, I’ve ordered the parts to finally deploy some kind of solution, even if  it’s not exactly what I was hoping for.

The first question to answer is why do we need a gate intercom in the first place?

Working from a one-man home office one of the biggest inconveniences I face is taking deliveries from courier companies. Like many homes, we have a fenced yard, so the delivery person cannot get up to the font door to knock. Even if they did, my office is in the back of the property, in what was once a garage apartment, so I wouldn’t hear them knocking on the front door.

Further, with our two Labrador Retrievers occasionally in the yard there’s some sense in keeping the delivery people at the gate. It’s safer, both for them and the dogs.

There’s a button for doorbell at the front gate, but it hasn’t worked in years. The doorbell mechanism in the house was long since removed, given my equally longstanding intention to install something better. I’ve been searching for “something better” for quite some time. That something better has proven difficult to find.

Continue reading “Get That Will You Dear? A Phone For The Door Or Gate”

Panasonic Launches New Range Of SIP Desk Phones

panasonic ucm_stg_cnt_051137-300 After a couple of years testing the SMB/SOHO marketplace with the KX-TGP5x0 SIP/DECT series Panasonic has today launched a new range of desktop SIP phones. There are initially three models in this new range, from the entry level KX-UT113 to the top-of-the-range KX-UT136 (pictured). List prices run from $120 to $270.

Compatible with Asterisk & Broadsoft’s Broadworks they seem to have all the features that you might expect, including POE and support for G.722 based wideband audio.

The support for wideband audio is nice. If anything like the earlier SIP/DECT models it’s a little limited because the devices are fundamentally designed around dialing by PSTN numbers, with no facility for handling SIP URIs.

I’ve always like the feel of Panasonic hardware. They got off to a rough start with the KX-TGP5x0 SIP/DECT series, but with the experience of Asterisk & Broadsoft certification behind them I would expect that by now they are now better positioned to address the SOHO market.

T-Mobile Network HSPA+ Issue Plagues Users of HTC Handsets

T-Mobile-G2-Landscape-300 In the last week of July a number of T-Mobile subscribers began observing that the battery life of their HTC handsets had fallen away dramatically. Both my wife and I have the G2 (aka HTC Desire Z) and have found that typical battery life has dropped from 8-10 hours to less than 4 hours on a charge.

In fact, I noticed that the back cover of my G2 was warm to the touch even as the phone was sitting idle all morning. Even in a completely idle state the phone was drawing enough current to make the battery warm.

There’s a long thread about this issue in the T-Mobile support forums. Over the past few days others have noted the issue in various places, including; Phone Arena, T-MoNews & Phandroid.

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