Ericsson demonstrates HSPA at 168M bps

Uses multiple channels and advanced antenna technology to give 3G networks a longer life

Ericsson has demonstrated HSPA (High-Speed Packet Access) with download speeds up to 168M bps (bits per second) and 24M bps on the uplink, the company said on Monday.

The demo used a prototype consumer device and commercial network equipment, with SingTel in attendance at Ericsson's invitation.

To reach 168M bps, Ericsson used a number of radio tricks, including antenna technology MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) and sending data over several channels at the same time. MIMO uses multiple antennas in the base station and on the device to increase speeds.

The demo will also be conducted at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to Ericsson.

Besides HSPA at 168M bps, Ericsson has also demonstrated HSPA with 42M bps using a single channel and 84M bps using two channels. Operators already offer HSPA at 42M bps, but they have to use two channels. By only using one channel aided by MIMO, operators can "be much more efficient with their valuable radio spectrum", Ericsson said.

The first commercial network implementations of single-carrier HSPA at 42M bps and dual-carrier HSPA at 84M bps are expected this year. The company didn't provide details on the arrival for HSPA at 168M bps.

Today, 79 commercial HSPA networks offer download speeds of 21M bps. Add to that 13 commercial HSPA networks that can offer up to 42M bps, and five operators that have committed to HSPA at 84M bps, according to the latest statistics from the Global mobile Suppliers Association.

Mobile broadband speeds is a very inexact science and users should be happy if they get half of the quoted top speeds. Speeds vary owing to congestion, distance from the base station, local conditions, hardware, software and other factors, Ericsson said.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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