|Mobile broadband moves into the fast lane as HSPA+ launches gather pace|
|Friday, 24 July 2009|
Mobile broadband moves into the fast lane as HSPA+ launches gather pace
Already eight HSPA+ commercial deployments worldwide: mobilkom austria leads the way in Europe and Telstra in Asia/Pacific.
24 July 2009: The mobile broadband user experience moves into the fast lane with the first wave of successful HSPA+ network deployments.
The UMTS Forum confirms that eight HSPA+ networks have been launched commercially, according to data provided by Wireless Intelligence, the global database of mobile market information.
Current HSPA+ deployments (as of 22 July 2009) are as follows:
Standardised in 3GPP Release 7, HSPA+ uses sophisticated higher-order modulation schemes – and, later, MIMO antenna technology – boosting already-impressive peak downlink data rates already achieved with HSPA.
While today’s HSPA networks support peak downlink rates of 3.6 Mbps or 7.2 Mbps, most HSPA+ networks launched to date support theoretical downlink speeds of 21 Mbps (peak). Italian operator TIM raises the bar even higher, stating peak downlink speeds of 28 Mbps at launch.
mobilkom austria was the first operator in Europe to launch HSPA+ in March 2009, offering network coverage in urban and rural areas to provide additional capacity where demand levels for data traffic are high. The launch was supported initially with the Huawei E270+ USB ‘dongle’. Since 01 July 2009, mobilkom austria’s customers have been offered the Huawei E182e USB device that supports 21.6 Mbps downlink speeds and 5.76 Mbps on the uplink. mobilkom austria has stated that it will also achieve increased downlink speeds of up to 28Mbps by the end of this year, via its ‘Datenturbo’ service.
Further enhancements specified in 3GPP Release 8 – and later in Releases 9 and 10 – will drive theoretical peak downlink bit-rates available to HSPA+ operators still higher to 168Mbps.
Alongside enhanced data transmission speeds, HSPA+ offers other attractions for operators and mobile broadband subscribers. In particular, a key advantage of HSPA+ is the ability to cope with increased data traffic loads and capacity needs in specific coverage areas.
Supporting an optional all-IP architecture and IP-based backhaul, HSPA+ offers a high quality ‘always-on’ user experience. This enhances operators’ capability to support non-real-time traffic as well as real-time services while reducing carriage costs per bit compared with WCDMA/HSPA.
Implementing HSPA+ reduces latency to around 10 ms (compared with 60 ms for HSPA), with a far quicker ‘wake-up’ time from idle. This significantly enhances the quality of interactive services and applications, from audio/video sharing and streaming to instant messaging and social networking. Other key benefits with HSPA+ include greater capacity and improved battery life for mobile devices.
HSPA+ represents an attractive upgrade path for many operators that have already deployed HSPA The next logical development of the 3G/UMTS roadmap, HSPA+ leverages operator investments in HSPA while also offering a stepping stone to 3GPP Long Term Evolution (LTE). For more information on HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE see the UMTS Forum White Paper “Mobile Broadband Evolution: the roadmap from HSPA to LTE” (February 2009).
“The first half of this year has been an exciting one for mobile broadband”, notes UMTS Forum Chairman Jean-Pierre Bienaimé. “We’ve seen HSPA+ customer numbers climb quickly, approaching 140 million users out of a global total of 400 million WCDMA/HSPA family subscriptions.
“With mobilkom austria leading the way in Europe and Telstra in Asia/Pacific, HSPA+ is now redefining the mobile broadband user experience, with real-world data speeds that rival many people’s fixed Internet connection. For many WCDMA operators that have already deployed HSPA, HSPA+ may be a compelling step before they migrate to LTE and an all-new radio interface.”
The UMTS Forum participates actively in the work of the ITU, EC, ETSI, 3GPP and CEPT as well as other technical and commercial organisations globally. It also contributes to the timely licensing and deployment of mobile broadband globally through regular dialogue with regulators and responses to public consultations.
The UMTS Forum supports the interests of its membership with a range of studies, reports and other outputs. Principal focus areas include markets trends, mobile broadband services and applications, key growth markets, spectrum & regulation, technology & implementation. A strong promotional voice is maintained via a high-profile presence at conferences, seminars and workshops as well as regular briefings to the media, analysts and other stakeholders.
Membership of the UMTS Forum draws together everyone with an interest in mobile broadband, including network operators, regulators and the manufacturers of network infrastructure and terminal equipment.
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ABOUT MOBILKOM AUSTRIA
In the fiscal year 2008 mobilkom austria achieved a turnover of EUR 1,668.0 million, an adjusted EBITDA of EUR 600.7 million and an operating profit of EUR 352.3 million.