updated 12:10 pm EDT, Wed July 16, 2008
Ericsson 5Mbps HSPA Evo
Ericsson and the Italian division of cell carrier 3 today said they have successfully tested the world's first 3G network based on enhanced High Speed Packet Access (HSPA). The trial of the new service gives uploads to the network at up to 5.8 megabits per second in peak conditions and is faster even than downloads on most existing services, which in ideal conditions would offer 3.6 megabits. The new technology also cuts back dramatically on the lag that hurts video calls, multiplayer games, and other time-sensitive features.
Neither company says when the technology will be widely available on 3 or elsewhere but says the development is an important step towards implementing HSPA Evolution (also known as HSPA+), a very advanced form of 3G service that tops at 44Mbps downstream and 22Mbps upstream in best conditions.
Many countries already plan to move to the advanced service as their last step before 4G service, including North American firms. Next year should see 20Mbps service on AT&T in some areas, while Telstra in Australia says it will have an HSPA+ network at 42Mbps sometime during 2009.