HSPA technology is surging forward in mobile broadband deployments and at super fast speeds. The number of operators worldwide today with Evolved HSPA mobile broadband (HSPA+) has reached 103 commercial networks in 54 countries, reports 4G Americas, a wireless industry trade association representing the 3GPP family of technologies. In February 2010, the association reported 42 of the 303 HSPA networks worldwide had upgraded to HSPA+ -- that number has more than doubled. It is expected that the majority of all 376 HSPA commercial networks today will upgrade to HSPA+.
"LTE is clearly the OFDM technology of choice for next-generation services, yet, HSPA is being driven to unleash tremendous wireless data throughput speeds," said Chris Pearson, President of 4G Americas. "We anticipate that the majority of all operators who have deployed HSPA will upgrade to HSPA+ and will continue to enhance their networks through further evolutions for years to come, even as some may deploy LTE networks."
At a plenary meeting in December 2010, 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project) accepted key feature enhancements for HSPA as potential new standards in Release 11 and beyond with the possibility for improved mobile broadband speeds for HSPA+. This development would be in parallel to improvements for LTE, which also is being enhanced in Release 11.
According to data from Informa Telecoms & Media, there is a substantial base of 800 commercial GSM networks worldwide that have continued their planned evolutions to 3G and 4G, a GSM-HSPA-LTE technology subscriber base of over 4.75 billion, and an estimated 632 million 3GPP mobile broadband connections already today.
"4G Americas expects the number of 3GPP mobile broadband connections to hit one billion by the end of 2011 as subscribers benefit from faster speeds, mass market smartphones, new applications and larger coverage areas," Pearson added.
* 632 million 3GPP mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide: 114 million in the Americas (Source: Informa Telecoms & Media)
* 77 HSPA mobile broadband networks in 29 countries in Americas
* 16 HSPA+ mobile broadband networks in 6 countries in the Americas
* HSPA+ deployed by national operators AT&T, Bell Canada, Rogers, Telus and T-Mobile in North America
* Substantial launches of HSPA+ smartphones, laptop sticks and tablets in U.S. in 2011
* HSPA+ 42 Mbps coming to the United States through T-Mobile USA in 2011
HSPA is the leading mobile broadband technology worldwide and offers operators the flexibility to meet the increasingly advanced wireless needs of customers. HSPA+ has been demonstrated at peak theoretical downlink speeds over 84 Mbps by several leading manufacturers, and will continue to improve in the future with standardization already indicating speeds at peak theoretical rates up to 168 Mbps. HSPA+ provides a strategic performance roadmap advantage for incumbent GSM-HSPA operators providing OFDMA-equivalent performance in 5X5 spectrum allocations with only incremental investment.
For more information on the 3GPP evolution to 4G, visit the 4G Americas website at www.4gamericas.org