The FINANCIAL — Vodafone has trialled a 3G HSPA+ mobile broadband connection that delivers maximum1 download speeds of 20 Mbps in a test environment.
Vodafone achieved one of the fastest 3G data connections currently possible during field trials of the HSPA+ MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology on Vodafone Spain’s network in southern Spain and Madrid city centre. The trials were carried out using technology supplied by Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm Inc.
According to Vodafone, the initial test results have confirmed HSPA+ MIMO technology as a good candidate for delivering an enhanced mobile broadband experience in hotspots such as business districts and airports, where customers are offered higher data rates in line with demand.
Earlier this year Vodafone announced the successful trial of “HSPA+ 64QAM” technology which delivered peak speeds of 16 Mbps in a test environment and has been found to be particularly suitable for suburban and rural locations. In this latest trial, Vodafone has further boosted network performance though the introduction of MIMO technology. MIMO technology effectively uses two antennas in both the handset and the base station to split the radio signal into two separate streams enhancing network capacity as well as the user experience even in dense urban environments.
“Breaking the 20Mbps peak speed barrier in tests through HSPA+ MIMO is yet another key milestone in the evolution of 3G Mobile Broadband technology and raises the prospect of higher network performance for our customers in selected hotspots,” said Andy MacLeod, Global Networks Director of Vodafone. “These test results mean that we will be able to derive even more value from our existing 3G infrastructure while raising the quality of service for our customers.”
Both 64QAM and MIMO features require new HSPA+ mobile broadband devices. Vodafone is working with its device vendors on the trialing, testing and validation of these devices ready for commercial availability.
HSPA+ technology is the next evolutionary step in the (3G) HSPA roadmap. It significantly enhances performance through the use of a more advanced modulation technique called 64QAM as well as through the use of multiple antennas on both base stations and data devices (MIMO).
Vodafone is now looking at advancing the HSPA+ roadmap still further through investigating Dual Carrier-HSPA, which uses the aggregation of two adjacent radio channels to further enhance the customer’s experience.
At present, Vodafone mobile broadband customers can download data and surf the net at speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, experiencing an unparalleled mobile experience.