Today in Finland, T-Mobile USA and Nokia Siemens Networks announced a new standard called Long Term HSPA Evolution (LTHE?), which promises to deliver speeds of more than 650 Mbps. The proposed key features of Long Term HSPA Evolution were accepted during a meeting of 3GPP group last week and T-Mobile expects it to be available for commercial deployment by 2013.
T-Mobile’s current 4G HSPA+ network offers maximum speeds of 21 Mbps, but the carrier already announced they plan to double that to 42 Mbps next year. Many in the industry have been speculating which technology T-Mobile would migrate to after HSPA, but it sounds like the carrier is sticking with it for the foreseeable future.
Neville Ray, T-Mobile USA CTO said, “Long Term HSPA Evolution will allow us to enhance our 4G mobile broadband network beyond its current and planned near term capabilities, and provide room for considerable growth and speed enhancements. As customer demand for wireless data increases, we are well positioned to compete based on the speed, breadth and evolution path of our mobile broadband service.”
Nokia Siemens Networks’ Single Radio Access Network (RAN) platform is already prepared for Long Term HSPA Evolution, so carriers like T-Mobile should have an easy path to introduce the new technology. Long Term HSPA Evolution features are also backwards compatible (just like HSPA+) and can be used with existing HSPA devices.
I’m just happy my current phone can do speeds over 5 Mbps, so it’s a little crazy to think about mobile downloads over 100 Mbps. Heck even my Time Warner Cable tops out at 20 Mbps, so maybe my home internet will be wireless in a couple years.
What do you think about T-Mobile’s 4G strategy?
Long Term HSPA Evolution will offer the following features:
- HSDPA Multicarrier evolution: Combines up to eight carriers and provides peak data rates of up to 672 Mbps along with improving spectrum utilization. To overcome operators’ spectrum fragmentation constraints, HSDPA carrier aggregation enables carriers from more than one frequency band to be combined.
- HSDPA Multipoint transmission: Significantly increases the cell edge data rate by coordinating and combining signals from multiple antennas.
- Dual antenna beamforming and MIMO in uplink: Improves the uplink performance with dual-antenna transmission, doubling the uplink peak data rate and improving the user average data rate by 30% with 2×2 MIMO/ beam forming. With 2×4 MIMO, over 100% increase in average user data rates can be achieved due to beam forming gain and four receive antennas in the base station.
For further information on Long Term HSPA Evolution, please refer to the white paper titled Long Term HSPA Evolution – Mobile Broadband Evolution Beyond 3GPP Release 10.