3G Americas published a white paper, prepared by independent wireless consultant Peter Rysavy of Rysavy Research, confirming previously reported commercial network results on EDGE and UMTS data performance. The white paper, Data Capabilities: GPRS to HSDPA showcases new research on High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), an enhancement to UMTS for packet data that delivers average data throughput rates of 550-1100 kbps and peak theoretical rates of 14 Mbps. The paper also confirms that HSDPA with its enhanced features could increase spectral efficiency by a factor of 2.5 to 3.5 when operators complete a simple upgrade of their UMTS networks, much as they did with their GPRS networks when supporting EDGE.
"EDGE and UMTS have made significant progress in the past eighteen months, with each of these technologies in various stages of readiness to deploy by more than 100 operators. Today, commercial UMTS services are available in six major U.S. cities, while globally UMTS is commercially available on 46 networks in 24 countries," Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas stated. "The Rysavy Research paper validates what has been accomplished with EDGE, currently hitting the 'sweet spot' of data users at 100-plus kbps, and also explains the characteristics of UMTS today, and what's to be expected in the near future with UMTS - HSDPA."
"The GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSDPA family of wireless data technologies provides an extraordinary evolution in capability that will allow cellular networks to support the most demanding data applications, whether consumer or enterprise oriented," advised Peter Rysavy. "These advancing capabilities encompass not only larger increases in the average and peak data throughputs, but also an increase in capacity through a much higher spectral efficiency and a significantly reduced latency."
Some of the key observations and conclusions of the paper include:
Actual results from the field that show throughput rates nearly identical to the predictions previously outlined in the Rysavy Research-prepared 3G Americas' white paper Data Capabilities: GSM Evolution to UMTS published in 2002. EDGE more than triples GPRS data throughputs, delivering typical rates of 100-130 kbps.
UMTS is spectrally efficient for high-data throughput services, offering average data rates of 220-320 kbps and very low latency.
UMTS-HSDPA is expected to provide average speeds of 550-1100 kbps, with even lower latency than UMTS.
Globally, there is accelerating momentum in the deployment of EDGE and UMTS as complementary 3G technologies.
Operators deploying the GSM family of technologies (GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA) can efficiently use their available spectrum resources for both voice and data services simultaneously.