SOURCE: 3G Americas

September 09, 2009 12:56 ET

HSPA Stimulates Mobile Broadband Realization Worldwide

3G Americas Publishes Report on 3GPP Broadband Evolution From HSPA to LTE-Advanced

BELLEVUE, WA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2009) - "Driven by global deployments of HSPA mobile broadband, we are approaching the dawn of a new decade that will bring many mobile broadband innovations to diverse new consumer and enterprise markets," stated Peter Rysavy, President of Rysavy Research and author of the white paper published today by 3G Americas. The white paper, "HSPA to LTE-Advanced: 3GPP Broadband Evolution to IMT-Advanced (4G)," discusses the 3GPP evolution of EDGE, HSPA and LTE, their capabilities and their positions relative to other primary competing technologies and how these technologies fit into the ITU roadmap that leads to IMT-Advanced.

Rysavy added, "3G technology has shown us the power and potential of always-on, everyplace network connectivity and has ignited a massive wave of industry innovation that spans devices, applications, Internet integration and new business models. Providing the powerful foundation of networking technologies is the GSM family -- EDGE, HSPA and, in the near future, LTE -- which is leading innovations and realization of global mobile broadband."

The following are some of the important observations and conclusions of the report:

--  HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) provides a strategic performance roadmap
    advantage for GSM-HSPA operators. Features such as dual-carrier operation,
    MIMO and higher-order modulation offer operators multiple options for
    improving their networks, and some of these features are simply network
    software upgrades.
--  Persistent innovation in developing HSPA and HSPA+ is bringing UMTS to
    its full potential providing mobile broadband to the mass market; in
    current deployments, HSPA users regularly experience throughput rates well
    in excess of 1 Mbps under favorable conditions, on both downlinks and
    uplinks, with 4 Mbps downlink speed commonly being measured. Planned
    enhancements such as dual-carrier operation will double peak user-
    achievable throughput rates.
--  LTE has become the next-generation platform of choice for GSM-HSPA and
    CDMA/EV-DO operators.
--  The 3GPP OFDMA approach used in LTE matches or exceeds the
    capabilities of any other OFDMA system providing the most powerful wide
    area wireless technology ever developed. Peak theoretical downlink rates
    are 326 Mbps in a 20 MHz channel bandwidth.
--  3GPP has made significant progress investigating how to enhance LTE to
    meet the requirements of IMT-Advanced in a project called LTE-Advanced.

With a customer base of 4 billion connections today, the GSM family of technologies is available on nearly 800 networks in 219 countries worldwide. Building on this base, UMTS-HSPA -- the world's dominant mobile broadband technology today -- has proven to be the most widely deployed and adopted 3G technology of all time, with more than 352 operators in various stages of deployment, including 277 commercial HSPA networks in 116 countries.

"Mobile broadband connectivity, already used by hundreds of millions of people, is on the verge of becoming ubiquitous in many parts of the world," stated Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. According to Informa Telecoms & Media, there were an estimated 377 million UMTS-HSPA subscriptions as of August 2009, and by 2014, the number is expected to grow to 2.7 billion.

The white paper explains the tremendous opportunity afforded to GSM-HSPA operators via the 3GPP roadmap to HSPA+. While OFDMA systems such as LTE and WiMAX have attracted a great amount of attention, evolving HSPA to exploit available radio technologies can significantly enhance its performance capabilities and extend the life of sizable operator HSPA infrastructure investments. Techniques include advanced receivers, MIMO, Continuous Packet Connectivity, Higher-Order Modulation and One Tunnel Architecture, many of which are included in the standardization of 3GPP Release 7 and Release 8.

Depending on the features implemented, HSPA+ can exceed the capabilities of IEEE 802.16e-2005 (Mobile WiMAX Release-1) in the same amount of spectrum. Beyond the peak data rate of 42 Mbps for HSPA+ in Release 8 (with 2X2 MIMO, DL 64 QAM and UL 16 QAM), Release 9 may specify 2X2 MIMO in combination with dual-carrier operation, which would further boost peak theoretical downlink network rates to 84 Mbps. In addition to the increased speeds, HSPA+ also will more than double HSPA capacity and has the potential of reducing latency to below 25 milliseconds.

HSPA and HSPA+ will continue to dominate mobile broadband subscriptions worldwide for the remainder of this decade and well into the next. However, announcements have already begun in support of the next 3GPP evolutionary step, LTE. Trials and deployments of LTE will begin in 2010 by leading operators including AT&T, China Mobile, China Telecom, NTT DoCoMo, Verizon and Vodafone. In fact, today there are more than 2 billion subscriptions represented by combining the total existing customer bases of the more than 100 operators, both GSM and CDMA operators, who have announced indications of their intention to deploy LTE networks.

The deployment of LTE and its coexistence with UMTS-HSPA will be analogous to the deployment of UMTS-HSPA and its coexistence with GSM-EDGE.

"LTE is the future toolkit for success for GSM and CDMA operators because it will provide higher speeds, lower latency, greater spectral efficiency and a flatter core network architecture than any other wireless technology," Rysavy concluded.

Informa Telecoms & Media predicts that by 2014, UMTS-HSPA and LTE subscriptions will total 2.8 billion -- 84.25 percent of the global total including 147 million LTE connections. Mobile WiMAX is expected to have a total of 89 million subscriptions by 2014.

"The future for LTE mobile broadband is clear and well-defined," Pearson said. "In a forthcoming 3GPP standards release, LTE-Advanced will meet the requirements of IMT-Advanced, a project led this year by the ITU that officially defined the requirements of IMT-Advanced."

The white paper, "HSPA to LTE-Advanced: 3GPP Broadband Evolution to IMT-Advanced (4G)," as well as its accompanying slide presentation, was created collaboratively with Rysavy Research by the member organizations of 3G Americas and is available for free download at 3G Americas' website:

Glossary of Terms

3G - Third Generation
3GPP - Third Generation Partnership Project
4G - Fourth Generation
CDMA - Code Division Multiple Access (3GPP2 technology)
DL - Downlink
EDGE - Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution
EV-DO - Evolution-Data Optimized or Evolution-Data Only (CDMA technology)
GSM - Global System for Mobile Communications
HSPA - High Speed Packet Access
HSPA+ - High Speed Packet Access Plus, further evolution of HSPA
IEEE - Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
IMT - International Mobile Telecommunications
ITU - International Telecommunication Union
QAM - Quadrature Amplitude Modulation
LTE - Long Term Evolution
Mbps - Megabits per Second
MHz - Megahertz
MIMO - Multiple-Input Multiple-Output
OFDMA - Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access
UL - Uplink
UMTS - Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
WiMAX - Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

About 3G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Wireless Technology

3G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization's mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment of the GSM family of technologies including LTE throughout the Americas. 3G Americas has contributed to the successful commercial rollout of GSM across the Americas and its place as the number one technology in the region, as well as the global adoption of EDGE. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 3G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas, Texas. More information is available at

3G Americas' Board of Governors members include Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, AT&T, Andrew Solutions, Cable & Wireless, Ericsson, Gemalto, Huawei, HP, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Nortel, Openwave, Research in Motion (RIM), Rogers, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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