Revisiting The Merits Of Battery Backup

According to a FierceTelecom article by Sean Buckley, “Verizon says fewer customers are purchasing battery backup for fiber home voice services.” The article describes how Verizon’s FiOS FTTH customers are tending to rely upon their mobile phones to stay on touch during a power outage.

This assertion comes right as the FCC is concerned about CPE remaining powered during an outage, something that cannot be done over fiber as it was over copper. Since customers were not buying traditional battery backup units Verizon has come up with its own solution called PowerReserve.

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The Belkin Conserve Valet: Dishonorably Discharged?

valet-charge-smartIn recent years the number of devices that we need to charge daily has constantly grown. Initially it was just our two cell phones. Since they each had unique power connectors each had its own AC adapter that lived near the appropriate night stand. Simple enough. Tidy even.

My Blackberry Bold 9700 was the first cell phone I used the featured the newly common micro-USB power connector. Shortly thereafter we added a Barnes & Noble Color Nook. Both of those devices require high-current chargers, where “high-current” means more than the 500 mA that is actually part of the USB standard.

That’s when things started getting more complicated. We may have achieved standardization of connectors, but still required dedicated chargers for some devices.

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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.

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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