HSPA devices available in the world up by almost 50pc

13 Jul 2010

The number of devices capable of transmitting HSPA mobile broadband has soared to 2,579, according to a new survey by the GSMA. The number of manufacturers has increased from 190 to 235 since October.

The number of devices supporting HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) has increased 110pc since October 2009 to 724 models. More than half (364) support, or are easily upgradeable for 5.76Mbps peak or higher data speed.

Smartphones are another strong growth segment. About one in three models of HSPA phones launched in the market today incorporate Wi-Fi and GPS technologies.

More than 55pc of HSPA devices support a peak data speed of at least 7.2 Mbps on the downlink (excluding notebooks and e-book readers). Fifty HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) devices have been launched.

The HSPA mobile broadband devices ecosystem extends to all the main cellular bands. A key trend confirmed by GSA in this survey is the boom in availability of HSPA devices which operate in the 900 MHz band (UMTS900), in support of mobile broadband network deployments in re-farmed (former GSM-only) spectrum.

Excluding notebooks and e-book readers, 401 HSPA devices – some 19pc – can operate in the 900 MHz band, and user penetration is continuously building. This is an important point, particularly for markets in the Asia Pacific region, Europe, Africa and the Middle East.

While the main HSPA band globally is 2100 MHz, the 850 MHz band is very well supported by 940 devices (excluding notebooks and e-book readers). The 850/2100 MHz frequency combination is supported by 806 devices, and 690 tri-band 850/1900/2100 MHz devices enable global roaming.

GSA recently confirmed that mobile broadband service is now commercially available on 357 HSPA networks in 148 countries. Almost 99pc of WCDMA networks have implemented HSPA for fast mobile broadband connectivity, and approaching one in five of these networks have launched HSPA Evolution (HSPA+) for higher capacity and an improved user experience of mobile broadband services.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years