Vodafone HSPA+ trials hit 16Mb/s

January 16, 2009 // 1:27 p.m.

Tags: #3g #broadband #gprs #hsdpa #hspa #mobile #packet-data #spain #telstra #vodafone

If you'd like to see the day when mobile broadband can compete with its wired equivalents for speed, you might want to have a word with Vodafone about its HSPA+ trials.

According to The Register the company has successfully completed a trial of the next-generation packet data technology on its mobile network in Spain, achieving impressive “actual peak download rates of up to 16Mb/s.

Based around the 64 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) technology being developed by Ericsson and Qualcomm along with a similar MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) antenna system as used in 802.11n wireless networks, the HSPA+ technology offers far greater speeds than currently available with standard HSDPA as used in 3G networks in this country.

While the company readily admits that end users will be lucky to see the full 16Mb/s offered by the technology, it reckons that 4Mb/s will be easily achievable – and “good conditions” could allow up to 13Mb/s for services such as video download.

The downside of the new standard is, as always, the requirement for new equipment – both at the user level in the form of new handsets and a the network level – but the company claims to have a range of equipment currently going through its testing and certification processes.

With no official rollout date for the technology announced, it could be a while before we start seeing true broadband speeds from our mobile handsets – and if Vodafone isn't careful, its service could be outdated before it's even launched. Australian mobile service provider Telstra already has an HSPA+ service running, offering theoretical peak speeds of up to 21Mb/s – which the company is hoping to double to 41Mb/s before the year is out.

Hoping for true broadband speeds from your mobile handset in the near future, or are you happy just using it for calling people? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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