Next-gen HSPA will offer 650M bps, says T-Mobile USA

The technology should be ready for commercial deployments by 2013

Mobile broadband based on HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) will in the future be able to offer download speeds of more than 650M bps, T-Mobile USA and Nokia Siemens Networks said on Wednesday.

The technology is called Long Term HSPA Evolution and should be ready for commercial deployments by 2013, T-Mobile and Nokia Siemens said in a statement.

To boost the download capacity to several hundred megabits per second the companies suggest combining up to eight channels into one data link, and in the process provide peak data rates of up to 672M bps. To overcome spectrum constraints, operators will be able to combine spectrum from more than one frequency band. Another way to increase download speeds is to download data from multiple base stations at the same time.

The improvements will allow HSPA to continue to keep up with LTE, T-Mobile and Nokia Siemens said.

T-Mobile is convinced that HSPA will continue to evolve in parallel to LTE and LTE Advanced. The operator has said it will start offering mobile broadband at up to 42M bps using HSPA+ sometime next year. At the same time it is keeping mum on its plans for LTE, according to a recent report from the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA).

Nine operators -- including Bell Mobility in Canada and Telstra in Australia -- have already launched services at 42M bps. The average real-world download speed is 7M bps to 14M bps, according to Bell.

To get to that speed, operators use a version of HSPA+ called DC-HSPA+ (Dual-Channel High-Speed Packet Access), which sends data using two channels at the same time.

Also, five operators have already committed to 84M bps, which is the next step for their HSPA+ networks, according to the GSA. The first networks offering these speeds are expected to arrive next year.

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