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HSPA rules mobile broadband

Recent updates to the HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) series of reports published by the Global mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) show its phenomenal and continuing success as the catalyst and key foundation for mobile broadband services, which has been achieved in just 5 years since the first commercial network introduction.

According to the HSPA Devices report from GSA, more than 1,000 new HSPA user devices were launched onto the market in the past 12 months, an annual growth of 60% which raises the total number of HSPA products to 2,776 from 251 suppliers. 1,300 products are capable of a peak downlink data throughput speed of 7.2 Mbps or higher. 68 HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) devices have been launched, with peak downlink speeds ranging from 21 to 42 Mbps. The number of HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) user devices has increased by 140% to 825 models, with the majority (51%) supporting or upgradeable for 5.8 Mbps peak. This figure includes 6 devices which support a peak uplink capability of 11.5 Mbps.

GSA’s latest HSPA Operator Commitments report confirms that the number of commercial HSPA networks has reached 370 in 151 countries. HSPA is the first evolution of WCDMA. The report confirms that more than 99% of WCDMA operators worldwide have deployed HSPA on their networks.

HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) deployments are continuing as the main trend in 2010. Over 1 in 3 HSPA operators have committed to HSPA+ with 81 commercial HSPA+ networks now in commercial service in 48 countries. 9 HSPA+ networks supporting 42 Mbps peak downlink data throughput are commercially launched, using dual carrier (2×5 MHz) DC-HSPA+ technology. A further 30 DC-HSPA+ (42 Mbps) network deployments are on-going or committed, and at least 5 operators have committed to 84 Mbps as the next evolution step for their HSPA+ networks.

Alan Hadden, President of the GSA added: ‚HSPA networks today deliver mobile broadband service to hundreds of millions of customers. From the first HSPA network launch in 2005, commercial network availability has expanded to more than 150 countries. Access to mobile broadband benefits many more people as operators upgrade network capacity and performance. New communities and segments will capitalize on system deployments in lower frequency bands, in particular re-farmed GSM 900 MHz spectrum where available. More than 20% of HSPA phones and dongles (USB modems) on the market already support 900 MHz operation.‚

Many network operators consider HSPA/HSPA+ and LTE as fully complementary and are rolling out both technologies. GSA recently confirmed that 156 operators in 64 countries are currently investing in LTE. This figure comprizes 113 firm operator commitments to deploy commercial LTE systems in 46 countries, which is an increase of 49 operators in the past 6 months. 85% of operators committed to LTE also invest in HSPA. A further 43 ‚pre-commitment‚ LTE trials or pilot networks are deployed or planned in 18 more countries.

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