3G Americas, a wireless industry group supporting the GSM family of technologies in the Americas, today published Mobile Broadband: The Global Evolution of UMTS/HSPA -- 3GPP Release 7 and Beyond, a white paper covering industry progress towards UMTS/HSPA and its long term evolution.
3GPP has set forth the roadmap for the evolution of UMTS/HSPA from Release '99 through Release 7 with developmental and standardization work in place. Mobile Broadband: The Global Evolution of UMTS/HSPA -- 3GPP Release 7 and Beyond explores Release 7 and the future beyond HSPA (UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA) with the HSPA Evolution (HSPA+), Long Term Evolution (LTE) and System Architecture Evolution (SAE) initiatives. Also highlighted in the paper are the growing demands for wireless data, as well as the successes of a variety of wireless data applications that are increasing average revenue per user (ARPU) for carriers.
Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas stated, "The innovative standards work at 3GPP is providing the foundation of advanced wireless broadband functionality, to the benefit of operators and their customers worldwide. UMTS and its long term evolution will lead the way in meeting the high speed wireless data application demands of customers for years to come. UMTS offers an advanced, mass market, future-proof migration strategy for the next decade and beyond."
There are nearly 75 million UMTS customers worldwide today, across 107 commercial networks. In December 2005, Cingular Wireless launched UMTS/HSDPA in sixteen US markets and became the first operator in the world to launch this enhanced UMTS technology on a wide scale commercial basis. Today, there are 41 operators in 31 countries offering HSDPA services, with additional HSDPA commitments from 67 more operators as of this date. It is expected that most UMTS operators will deploy HSDPA.
3GPP Release 7, currently in standards development, continues UMTS momentum by enabling even faster speeds and capacity improvements as well as improved support of real-time services like voice-over-IP (VoIP), interactive gaming and push-to-talk over cellular. Enhancements include features such as Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO), taking theoretical peak rates well above today's 14 Mbps, in addition to improving the average cell throughput. Other new Rel-7 features include: Radio Access Network (RAN) enhancements such as continuous connectivity, setup latency improvements, Core Network and IMS enhancements related to multi-media telephony, support of voice call continuity, and Policy and Charging Convergence (PCC).
Looking beyond Release 7 to HSPA Evolution (HSPA+), SAE (System Architecture Evolution) and 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution), the white paper uncovers 3GPP's work on a new radio interface and new system architecture, to handle the rapid growth in IP data traffic, and to ensure competitiveness for the next decade and beyond. The continued evolution of the 3GPP technologies will bring theoretical peak rates to above 100 Mbps for downlink and 50 Mbps for uplink, and reduced latency to levels comparable with fixed broadband internet, e.g. less than five milliseconds in ideal conditions.
The Mobile Broadband: The Global Evolution of UMTS/HSPA - 3GPP Release 7 and Beyond white paper was collaboratively developed by 3G Americas' board member companies and is available for free download at the 3G Americas' website: www.3gamericas.org. The paper includes appendices of UMTS, EDGE/UMTS, and HSDPA deployments worldwide.