High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is a type of mobile broadband technology that is a combination of High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) and High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA). The technology sits on the GSM network evolution path above the W-CDMA/UMTS standard. According to the GSMA, the trade group that promotes the GSM family of technologies, HSPA “is the set of technologies that defines the migration path for 3G/WCDMA operators worldwide. HSPA, which uses the FDD transmission scheme, includes HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) and HSPA Evolved. These are also known as 3GPP Releases 5 through to 8.” According to analyst firm Informa Telecoms & Media, more than 94 percent of UMTS/WCDMA operators launched HSPA by the end of 2008. According to the firm, there are more than 265 commercial networks globally with HSDPA of which 77 have been upgraded to HSPA. In general, all UMTS and HSDPA networks are expected to be upgraded to HSPA. There are a number of upgrades available to HSPA operators. HSPA networks can be upgraded to various flavors of HSPA+, including HSPA 21 Mbps and HSPA 42 Mbps. In the United States, both AT&T Mobility and T-Mobile USA are upgrading their networks to various flavors of HSPA+. Indeed, HSPA+ currently stands as a suitable substitute for LTE network technology, which is generally considered the next step up in the GSM network evolution path from HSPA.

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