[THE INVESTOR] South Korea’s mobile carrier KT announced on April 12 it has developed a technology to extend the battery life of the latest smartphones by up to 45 percent, to be applied nationwide for the first time in the country.
The telecom firm unveiled its connected mode discontinuous reception technology, abbreviated as C-DRX, which will be applied to its long term evolution network.
The C-DRX technology puts smartphones on low power mode on a regular basis while the devices are connected to the KT network, helping to reduce battery consumption.
For instance, when a KT subscriber is watching a video clip from a mobile streaming service on his or her smartphone, the device receives a minimum amount of data that can play the video from the network and automatically blocks unnecessary communications signals. A Galaxy S8 user subscribed to KT would be saving about 4 1/2 hours worth of battery.
The company explained that the technology can be likened to automakers’ idle stop and go technology, known as ISG, which reduces fuel consumption during stops.
The C-DRX is one of the global LTE standards set by the 3GPP. KT has been conducting various tests in order to apply the technology without undermining network service quality for the past two years, it said.
“The key is reducing data loss while the C-DRX is being applied,” said Kang Kook-hyun, head of marketing division at KT. “KT has reduced the data loss from 0.14 percent in the initial stage to 0.06 percent through optimization for the past two years.”
In a test on the newest Galaxy S8 smartphone, the KT technology was found to have extended the battery use to 14 hours and 24 minutes, increasing it by 45 percent from when the C-DRX is not applied.
“For the last three years, LTE data traffic per head surged 260 percent,” said Kang. “The latest battery technology would meet growing demand for longer smartphone use these days.”
Meanwhile, SK Telecom, the country’s largest mobile carrier, said it has been applying the same technology since May 2016 for SKT subscribers in the Seoul metropolitan areas and Chungcheong Province. In those regions, users of 121 kinds of smartphones that were launched after October 2011, including the Galaxy S8 and S7 series, and the iPhone 7 series, have been using the service. The company did not immediately provide the comparable maximum percentage of the battery life extension, or the data loss percentage.
“SKT also has established the technology with LTE networks across the country and has been applying it to limited areas as the company is in the process of optimizing the solution,” said an SKT spokesman.
The company plans to expand the C-DRX solution service across the country at a gradual pace, it said.
By Song Su-hyun/The Korea Herald (firstname.lastname@example.org)