Telkom silent on massive smartphone battery drain

Telkom has gone silent following multiple requests for feedback on tests which show that smartphones on its network suffer from accelerated battery drain.

MyBroadband conducted several tests which show that identical smartphones in the same environment – with a SIM from Telkom, Rain, Vodacom, MTN, and Cell C in them – do not consume battery power at the same rate.

The smartphones were all connected to their respective operators’ LTE networks, and all had almost identical signal strength levels.

They were then left in one location, connected to an active Wi-Fi connection and had their mobile connections on, charged to 100% battery, and left to sit idle.

Battery consumption was measured at regular intervals, and we found that the device connected to the Telkom LTE network suffered from substantially increased battery drain.

In the most recent tests, using five Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones, the Telkom device was at 7% battery level at the end of the test.

By comparison, the Vodacom device was on 77%.

More than one device

The drainage tests MyBroadband conducted were inspired by several complaints from MyBroadband Forum members.

The members stated that when connected to Telkom’s mobile network – particularly the LTE network – their smartphones lost battery life at an increased rate.

Devices which were reported to be affected ranged from Apple iPhone models to Samsung Galaxy flagships.

To see how severe the increased drainage was, we used four Nokia 5 smartphones in our initial test – set up in the same format as the Galaxy S8 test described above.

The Nokia 5 test found that there was a battery drainage issue for the Telkom device, and Telkom acknowledged the problem.

Telkom said it was working on a fix for the issue, and it had “identified the cause of the battery drainage on the Nokia 5”.

However, it added that “Telkom has tested other devices and the battery impact on the devices is not the same as with the Nokia 5”.

Following this statement, MyBroadband conducted a new round of tests – using Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphones.

The use of different devices was to investigate if Telkom’s statement was accurate, and if forum member reports of widespread battery drainage were valid.

The new round of testing using the Galaxy S8 devices produced the same results as the Nokia 5 tests – with the smartphone on the Telkom network losing battery at a much quicker rate.

Telkom was asked for feedback on the findings, and why the tests showed increased drainage on the Galaxy S8, but the company failed to reply to questions.

Now read: Mobile subscribers in South Africa – Vodacom vs MTN vs Cell C vs Telkom

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Telkom silent on massive smartphone battery drain