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Qualcomm jacks HSPA speed with MIMO move

CDMA pioneer Qualcomm on Monday announced the expansion of its product roadmap to include HSPA.

Speaking to Telecoms.com at the 3GSM World Congress, William Davidson, vice president of global marketing and investor relations, said Qualcomm’s HSPA+ initiative includes support for MIMO technology.

Based on the 3GPP Release 7 standard, HSPA+ claims data rates of up to 28Mbps on the downlink and 11Mbps on the uplink, backed by reduced latency for data intensive applications.

Qualcomm said that it expects to have the Mobile Data Modem MDM8200T chipset supporting HSPA+ available for sample by the end of 2007. The offering will support deployments in existing frequency bands, as well as in the 2.5 GHz IMT-2000 Extension band.

Davidson said that move would allow UMTS operators to evolve their networks and deliver next generation services by 2008, two years ahead of expectations for commercial products based on the 3GPP’s next generation radio standard known as LTE, or Long Term Evolution.

Qualcomm said that it has already garnered interest in HSPA+ from a number of 3G operators. Kris Rinne, senior vice president of architecture and planning at Cingular Wireless, now part of AT&T, said “HSPA+ is a very positive leap forward for WCDMA.”

Hutchison Whampoa’s 3G division, the 3 Group said the technology represented an exciting development with regard to its high bandwidth internet applications like YouTube and Sling, which accompanied the launch of its X-series offering.

Australian operator Telstra and Telecom Italia Mobile have also voiced their support for the platform as future needs require even higher data rates to support inevitably bigger bandwidth services.

HSPA+ claims to increase voice capacity by two fold over existing Release 99 UMTS networks via VoIP and up to three fold using additional advanced receivers and vocoder enhancements, without compromising voice quality.

HSPA+ is backward compatible with all prior generations of WCDMA and evolves existing networks without the need for new spectrum. Trials are anticipated in early 2008, with the first commercial deployments expected in late 2008.

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