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HSPA+ Is Here!

Did you notice that the number of live HSPA+ networks climbed up to 37 in Dec ’09 (source www.gsacom.com)? Isn’t it amazing that in less than a year, since Telstra’s famed first launch in early 2009, HSPA+ networks have mushroomed all around the world.

Even more amazing is the fact that apart from the usual suspects such as Vodafone, T-Mobile, Telecom Italia, and O2, operators in emerging countries like Telkomsel in Indonesia are on the roster. Can China and India be far behind? China Telecom has already publically announced EV-DO Rev. B tails and deployment plans back in 2009. Rev. B has similar performance as HSPA+.

Almost all of the commercial HSPA+ networks boast an impressive 21 Mbps downlink peak data rate. There also is a 28 Mbps option available with 2x2 MIMO, which requires hardware upgrade.

The enthusiasm with HSPA+ is understandable because of the great benefits it brings. First of all, it’s an evolutionary step for the HSPA networks requiring only incremental upgrades. In particular, HSPA+ Rel. 7 together with advanced receivers doubles the data capacity of HSPA and more than doubles the voice capacity of WCDMA.

The higher data capacity comes in handy for operators battling to address the unprecedented surge in data demand. So is the increased voice capacity that supports the flattening voice traffic with less spectrum resources, thereby freeing up more capacity for data. With all those advantages, no wonder, HSPA+ indeed is the most logical way forward for more than 300 HSPA operators out there in the world.

Rel. 7 is only the tip of the iceberg. HSPA+’s strong evolution continues with Rel. 8, which is expected to be commercial in 2010 and Rel. 9 soon thereafter. These upgrades leverage Multicarrier to take the mobile broadband experience to a whole different level.

It’s all good, you say, but, isn’t that new cool thing called “LTE” around the corner? Why don’t I wait and put money on LTE rather than “upgrading” to HSPA+ ? Well, good question! I say. Wait for my next blog to get the answer for that one!

Wait! Before you go, you might want to check our web page at www.qualcomm.com/technology for the latest updates on technology, as well as GSA report at www.gsacom.com to get the full list of HSPA+ operators.

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