Ireland to be proving ground for latest HSPA+ mobile broadband technology

11 Mar 2010

Ireland is to become one of the first countries in the world to see the commercial deployment of the next generation – or 3.5G – of mobile broadband that will have speeds of between 14Mbps and 16Mbps available by as early as September.

Vodafone Ireland has appointed a new director of networks, Santiago Tenorio, who has developed patents in the area of HSPA+ (evolved high-speed packet access) and specifically an area of technology called ‘software defined radio’ that will be instrumental in future mobile broadband technologies.

Tenorio says that the aim eventually is to have broadband speeds better than even existing Wi-Fi speeds ubiquitously across nations, accessible by smart phone, netbook or other devices such as the iPad.

At Vodafone’s headquarters in Leopardstown, Dublin, Tenorio demonstrated sustained speeds of between 14Mbps and 16Mbps over HSPA+ including 1080p high-resolution YouTube videos, which downloaded instantly, as well as large amounts of data being transferred on an internal FTP suite.

“We have started upgrading locations in the city centre of Dublin and will begin a nationwide rollout in September,” he explains.

Speeds of HSPA+

Tenorio says that HSPA+ has theoretical speeds of 21Mbps but to be credible and realistic peak speeds of 16Mbps are practical.

He says the deployment of HSPA+ will utilise his own patented technologies in the area of software-defined radio that will reduce the amount of equipment needed in the mobile base station.

As a veteran of Vodafone for 15 years and having worked in R&D and developed key industry patents, Tenorio has come to Ireland to put into practice much of his research and potentially put Ireland at the crest of a wave of broadband leadership.

“Moving to 16Mbps is not the last technology evolution to come out of 3G, there’s still more to come before the world really embraces new standards like Long Term Evolution (LTE).

“Mobilising the internet opens a whole new range of possibilities and applications.

The internet is going to get a lot more personal. Today 40pc of mobile users access internet data on their devices.

“A few years ago who would have thought we’d have cameras on our phones? Now we have mapping and high-speed broadband and we will only increase the pace of innovation and transform our personal and working lives,” Tenorio says.

He also describes HSPA+ as key to Vodafone’s ‘greening’ of its mobile networks worldwide, contributing to the goal of reducing energy consumption by 30pc.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone director of networks

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