You thought your 21 megabits per second “4G” was fast? Nokia Siemens has submitted new specifications to the 3GPP for a standard called “Long Term HSPA Evolution”: LTHSPAE, affectionately. (But you better believe we won’t be calling it that.) Names aside, the standard defines a network that can reach theoretical speeds in excess of 650Mbps: still a long way from ITU’s “true 4G” specification of a network that can deliver 1Gbps of throughput through two stationary objects.
Still, 650Mbps is a hell of a lot more than 21. I keep mentioning 21 because it’s what T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network can theoretically deliver, but that may change in a few years as they’re supporting Siemens in development. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind being able to serve their current crop of “4G” customers with these speeds, either, because the standard is fully backward compatible with today’s HSPA and HSPA+ networks.
I wouldn’t expect to see the fruits of their labor to come to fruition until about the halfway point of the new decade, but it’s something to look forward to. Read on for full press details.
T-Mobile USA, Nokia Siemens Networks drive evolution of HSPA
Espoo, Finland – 15 December 2010
Mobile leaders promote standardization of Long Term HSPA Evolution to unleash speeds of more than 650 Mbps
Operators would be able to achieve peak data rates of more than 650 megabits per second (Mbps), thanks to an HSPA standard being driven by T-Mobile USA and Nokia Siemens Networks. Long Term HSPA Evolution would improve mobile broadband with speeds matching those promised by LTE Advanced. T-Mobile USA and Nokia Siemens Networks are driving the technology’s standardization aiming to make it available for commercial deployment by 2013.
The proposed key features of Long Term HSPA Evolution were accepted during the plenary meeting of 3GPP RAN held on 7-10 December, 2010*.
“We strongly believe in continued HSPA evolution in parallel to the further development of LTE and LTE Advanced,” said Neville Ray, chief technology officer, T-Mobile USA. ”Long Term HSPA Evolution will allow us to enhance our 4G mobile broadband network beyond its current and planned near term capabilities, and provide room for considerable growth and speed enhancements. As customer demand for wireless data increases, we are well positioned to compete based on the speed, breadth and evolution path of our mobile broadband service.”
“The demand for higher data rates and mobile broadband growth continues to push the need for advances in both HSPA and LTE technologies,” added Keith Sutton, head of the WCDMA business line for Nokia Siemens Networks. “We are thus equally committed to both technologies. As a leader in HSPA evolution, we have already demonstrated data rates exceeding 100 Mbps at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Today, we also have the largest number of HSPA customers with nearly 200 operators worldwide. Driving the standardization of the new technology is a natural extension of our efforts to realize the full potential of HSPA.”
Nokia Siemens Networks’ Single Radio Access Network (RAN) platform is already prepared for Long Term HSPA Evolution. Operators would have a smooth evolution path to handle increased network traffic along with controlling costs with the introduction of the new technology.
In addition, all Long Term HSPA Evolution features are backwards compatible and can be used together with existing WCDMA and HSPA mobiles on the same carriers.