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100 HSPA+ networks expected by the end of 2010

Due to the global success of mobile broadband, mobile providers have been forced to deliver vast amounts of data to their users at lightning speeds. According to a study by the Global mobile Suppliers Association, HSPA Evolution or HSPA+ is the perfect medium to cater to these users. According to another study, 13% of HSPA networks are HSPA+ enabled and this is said to grow throughout 2010.

Driven by the global success of mobile broadband, mobile operators recognise the need to deliver huge and growing volumes of data across their networks as efficiently as possible. Widespread market acceptance of dongles for PCs, HSPA-enabled notebooks and the rapidly-growing smartphone segment has pushed data consumption to unprecedented levels. The outlook is one of continuing strong data traffic growth, flat or declining revenues in developed markets, the need to provide the best user experience of mobile broadband, and cost pressures.

The GSM/3G Network Update (February 2010) published by the Global mobile Suppliers Association, (GSA), shows that HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) systems are meeting the challenge today by enabling network operators to deliver higher data performance and capacity at lower delivery cost. 80 HSPA+ network commitments provide the evidence of this trend.

The results from an industry survey organised last year by GSA provided an expectation that HSPA+ mobile broadband technology would enter the mainstream during 2010. GSA confirms this is now becoming reality as HSPA+ is now commercially launched on 13% of HSPA networks. Several more HSPA+ networks are scheduled to launch in the coming weeks and months. The eco-system includes 32 HSPA+ devices which have been announced by 11 suppliers.

Alan Hadden, president of GSA said: ‚Our Network Update shows that 41 HSPA+ systems have now entered commercial service in 26 countries, of which 36 support a peak downlink data speed of 21 Mbps and 5 systems support 28 Mbps. By the end of 2010 we predict there will be at least 100 HSPA+ networks in service around the world, and this figure will include systems with 42 Mbps peak downlink capability.‚

LTE (Long Term Evolution) is the next step in the user experience and importantly brings the opportunity for additional spectrum, initially in the Digital Dividend bands (700 MHz, 800 MHz) and additionally 2.6 GHz in many regions. The first LTE systems entered commercial service in Stockholm and Oslo in December 2009, and up to 19 networks are expected to be in commercial service by the end of 2010. LTE will initially give comparable throughput capacity and performance, and will continue to improve and also benefit from larger bandwidth deployments, (up to 20 MHz).

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