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How Wi-Fi Drains Your Cell Phone

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Some simple changes to the software running on Wi-Fi access points could significantly extend or even double cell phone battery life. That's the finding of a study that investigated why using Wi-Fi on a cell phone, and on some other portable devices, sucks up power so quickly. It found that a protocol designed to reduce Wi-Fi power drain often doesn't work effectively.

Eric Rozner at the University of Texas at Austin and colleagues from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Microsoft Research India made the discovery, and they also came up with a fix for the problem.

The team began by benchmarking just how much power different models of cell phones needed to use Wi-Fi. "For example, we found that an HTC Tilt's total power consumption increases by threefold when using Wi-Fi," says Rozner, who notes that previous studies have shown Wi-Fi use can account for up to 60 percent of the phone's total energy consumption.

From Technology Review
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