4G Americas has issued a white paper detailing the continued improvement of HSPA+ with a release that will eventually push the technology to deliver data rates of up to 336 Mbps.
"Whereas, LTE has tremendous momentum in the marketplace and it is clearly the next-generation technology of choice for all operators, HSPA will continue to be a leader in mobile broadband subscriptions for the next five to ten years," Chris Pearson, president of 4G Americas, said in a release.
It's clear that HSPA will continue to play a supporting role to LTE deployments to create seamless coverage for subscribers. A recent survey from Infonetics Research indicated that three fourths of the world's operators plan to deploy HSPA+ before LTE. As such, HSPA+ will continue to evolve through the 3GPP standards process, 4G Americas said. The association said there are 412 commercial deployments of HSPA in 157 countries, including 165 HSPA+ networks.
"If operators are able to gain new additional harmonized spectrum from governments, they will no doubt deploy LTE, However, it is clear that HSPA+ technology is still exceptionally strong and will continue to provide operators with the capability to meet the exploding data usage demands of their customers in existing spectrum holdings," Pearson said.
With each release of HSPA+, there have been improvements such as better cell edge performance, increased system efficiencies, higher peak data rates and an overall improved end-user experience. 3GPP feature evolution from Rel-7 to Rel-10 has pushed possible HSPA peak data rates from 14 Mbps to 168 Mbps. Continued enhancements in 3GPP Rel-11 will again double this capability to a possible peak data rate of 336 Mbps:
- Rel-7: 64QAM or 2X2 MIMO => 21 or 28 Mbps
- Rel-8: DC + 64QAM or 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 42 Mbps
- Rel-9: DC + 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 84 Mbps
- Rel-10: 4C + 2X2 MIMO + 64QAM => 168 Mbps
- Rel-11: (8C or 4X4 MIMO) + 64QAM => 336 Mbps
- see this release
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