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.