The cellular broadband and industry is starting work on implementing a new standard that will provide download speeds up to 28Mbit/s to 3G mobile phones in 2008, more than the speed to most European households. While this could significantly change the balance between wired and wireless broadband, there are key question on what this means for next generation '4G' wireless.
The HSPA+ standard goes beyond the existing HSDPA and HSUPA speeds, and both Qualcomm and Icera are planning to support it. Bristol-based Icera's next chip, due later this year, will be upgradeable to HSPA+ in software, said Nigel Toon, VP Marketing.
Similarly Qualcomm is supporting and pushing the standard, which is part of the 3GPP Release 7, as wll as the next generation Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology. "We are committed to mobile broadband with HSPA+ and then to LTE," said Behrooz Abdi, general manager of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies. It is working with companies such as Cingular in the US for HSPA+ services next year.
"HSPA+ could be an upgrade deployment path for operators as it adds the MIMO diversity and higher speed, particularly in femtocells," said Rupert Baines, VP marketing for basestation chip maker picoChip. "But LTE has stopped being an evolution and it’s now a 4G network, it's totally different."
HSPA+ moves to multiple antennas for transmit and receive, and uses 64QAM coding down and 16QAM for the uplink instead of QPSK coding.