Just as operators are beginning to roll out LTE, standards group 3GPP is working on extending the life of 3G.
3GPP, the chief mobile standards body, has accepted a technology pitched by Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and T-Mobile USA that promises to increase the peak HSPA speed to more than 650 Mbps.
The new technology, dubbed Long Term HSPA Evolution, would “improve mobile broadband with speeds matching those promised by LTE Advanced,” NSN said in a statement.
It said the two firms aim to make the technology ready for deployment by 2013.
A plenary meeting of 3GPP RAN last week accepted the key features of LT-HSPA Evolution as a potential new standard. These are:
- HSDPA multicarrier evolution, which delivers a peak data rate of 672 Mbps by combining up to eight carriers;
- HSDPA multipoint transmission, which combines signals from multiple antennas; and Dual-antenna beam-forming, which can improve the average data speed by at least 30%.
HSPA+ is the latest evolution of 3G, offering notional top download speeds of 56 Mbps.
Keith Sutton, head of W-CDMA for NSN, said the vendor was “equally committed” to both LTE and HSPA.
“The demand for higher data rates and mobile broadband growth continues to push the need for advances in both HSPA and LTE technologies,” he said.