If you're stuck in an area in which 3G isn't available – or you just haven't shelled out for a handset which supports the technology yet – then Nokia Siemens Networks may have something to make you feel a bit better.
The company has announced that it's figured out a neat way to increase the data transfer speed of their 2.5G EDGE network without the need to replace any hardware via a software upgrade the company is referring to as a Downlink Dual-Carrier EDGE Software Solution.
The upshot is that downstream speeds should increase from the currently available 384Kb/s theoretical maximum to a much healthier 592Kb/s. Okay, so anyone used to a 3G connection will probably be sneering about now, but remember that this doesn't require any changes to the existing hardware.
The company isn't finished there, either: Nokia Siemens has described this as the first step in their EDGE Evolution project, which aims at increasing the speeds available from the network to 1.2Mb/s downstream and 473Kb/s upstream via EGPRS 2. The company has stated that all these technologies will be implemented entirely in software, requiring absolutely no replacement of hardware at all – which certainly makes it a great deal more likely to be implemented by penny-pinching mobile providers.
Providers will be able to purchase the software some time in the latter half of this year, although it will be while after that until we start to see the benefits at the client side. Happy about the boost in speeds, or annoyed at upgrades to antiquated technologies? Let us know in the forums