updated 09:30 am EST, Fri December 5, 2008
Telstra HSPA Plus Now Live
Telstra today said it has switched on the world's first HSPA+ network. Also known as HSPA Evolution, the early 3.5G network promises to be about three times faster in downloads than the best regular HSPA networks, which top out at 7.2Mbps in peak conditions. The Australian carrier's service should theoretically allow downloads as quick as 21Mbps and should also help with uploads; the speed is enough to rival many landline Internet connections, the company and its launch partner Ericsson boast.
The provider's HSPA+ service has so far been activated in Brisbane but will begin a wider trial throughout December that should lead to full commercial use by early 2009. No details have been given regarding the cellphones or data cards that will use the extra speed.
Telstra's early implementation is considered half the full speed of HSPA+ and should double to 42Mbps later in 2009 to match the official specification, which also permits upstream speeds as high as 11Mbps. In the US, an upcoming upgrade will bring 20Mbps AT&T service and will largely need only a software upgrade on the American carrier's network to bring its infrastructure to the new technology.