Faster mobile broadband on the horizon
Field trials of faster mobile broadband services have demonstrated speeds of up to 16Mbps peak download rate using 64QAM HSPA+ on Vodafone Spain's network. The technology can support speeds up to 42 Mbps on the download and 11.5 Mbps on the uplink using MIMO (multiple-input, multiple output) and Vodafone expects to trial data connections at 21 Mbps in early 2009.
When live services are deployed using this technology, typical video bit-rates of 13 Mbps are expected to be attainable in good conditions and 4 Mbps average across typical cell locations. Mobile networks in Asia are currently deploying HSPA+ services with StarHub in Singapore expected to roll out up to 21 Mbps services by Q2 2009.
"Successfully demonstrating a live HSPA+ high speed connection has been a key milestone in continuing to build confidence in this new technology.
"The results show that HSPA+ technology is well placed to further enhance our customers' mobile broadband experience through the evolution of our existing 3G networks."Andy MacLeod, (Global Networks Director) Vodafone
This may prove promising for users in those hard to reach areas who lack existing high-speed broadband services as the faster mobile services may be a viable solution for providing next generation type services but without the large cost of deploying fibre to a small village. Newer technology such as 3GPP LTE, which is to be ratified as a standard in March 2009 and can provide speeds up to 326.4 Mbps using mobile networks, is already in development with manufacturers and will hopefully see wide spread deployment in the coming years.