3GPP Rel. 8 Fast Dormancy Moves Quickly

Back in summer this year I ran a post on UMTS state switching and Fast Dormancy evolution to highlight the challenge current mobile devices have with battery consumption due to applications running in the background that access the Internet periodically. A major part of the current solution to the issue is a functionality referred to as "Fast Dormancy" which saves battery capacity by setting the radio link into Idle state quickly. This comes at the expense of a longer delay once data has to be exchanged again with the network and an increased signaling load in the network.

The fix for both downsides comes with the introduction of a new parameter in the Signaling Connection Release Indication message in 3GPP Release 8. With this parameter, the radio connection is not put into the Idle state but instead in the Cell-PCH state which is similar but doesn't have the afore mentioned downsides. Have a look at this post for a more detailed explanation. Usually, standards changes take years before they end up in real networks. This one, however, is quite simple to implement and there is real demand for it today. Now there are first indications from NSN, a vendor for 3G infrastructure, that they have implemented it and have run some first tests in a lab together with Qualcomm, one of the companies producing 3G radio chips.

Good stuff, let's see how quickly this is pushed out to real networks and real devices.

3 thoughts on “3GPP Rel. 8 Fast Dormancy Moves Quickly”

  1. You are right about the Fast Dormancy solution in 3GPP Rel.8 but it will not help out in pre-Rel.8 UE such as iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. The challenge for operator is to see how network vendor is able to provide Fast Dormancy solution for both pre-rel 8 and Rel.8 UE & above.

  2. @Simon: Even pre-rel8 mobiles can use the standardized Fast Dormancy feature if Network supports it through System Information Blocks and mobiles use the needed ASN.1 decoder. In Specification, the feature is added as nonCriticalExtension. Or am I missing something?

  3. thanks for the information, i will check it out with our vendor. currently, we are using alternative vendor specific solution to resolved Fast Dormancy for pre-Rel 8 UE. We tried out Cell PCH on iPhone and to our surprise, we have increase in cell update failure due to incompatible simultaneous reconfiguration during state transition in weak radio condition. this cause the iPhone to misbehave, ignoring all network commands sent to the phone. Hopefully, your proposed solution can address this.

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