Tests conducted by Nokia Siemens Networks confirmed that Apple has included support for the Network Controlled Fast Dormancy technology developed by Nokia to reduce network congestion and improve battery life in iOS 4.2.1.
The NCFD technology works by keeping smartphones in a perpetual "intermediate state" and "makes the network and the handset work together to create the best conditions for smartphones to work quickly, yet have a long battery life and minimize network congestion."
As smartphones continue to add functionality via Apps, the threat of constant signaling on networks from those Apps could cause severe congestion and decreased battery life. Each time you check your e-mail, update your Facebook status, or post your latest Angry Birds scores, you are switching your network status from an idle state to an active one.
To conserve battery life, once your data has been transmitted, your phone will return to an idle state. So each time you perform and action that requires your network, you must reconnect, which can cause latency and slowness.
"To overcome the problem Nokia Siemens Networks introduced a method that, instead of putting the handset into idle or keeping it always active, keeps the handset in an intermediate state. From here, a smartphone can wake up much more quickly and needs to send far fewer signals to and from the network to start a data connection. You get a fast network response and a longer battery life."
iOS 4.2.1 has included support for the NCFD technology on networks that have it implemented. Nokia smartphones, of course, are also equipped with support for NCFD. The technology is reported to generate up to 50 percent less signaling from smartphones.
Have you noticed an improved network performance since upgrading to iOS 4.2.1? Let us know in the comments!