Wednesday, April 28, 2010

HSPA, HSDPA, HSUPA: confused?

How often have we been into this situation? We step into a mobile phone store and you are bombarded with features and tech jargon. The moment we decide to step into 3G enabled world these terms are thrown at us.. HSPA, HSDPA, HSUPA.. What do they really mean and how are they really related?

Evolution of Mobile Broadband
One of the most important features of a 3G mobile service is the high speed data access. As the market expands, requirement also increases, thereby bringing in the necessity for new standards. Most of the data access traffic is downlink oriented or just like in an internet access biased towards the end user. Improving this will result in a better user experience.

HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) is a 3G mobile communications protocol in which the networks can offer higher data transfer speeds and capacity. Currently HSDPA deployments support down-link speeds of 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.0 Mbit/s. Its true that most of the traffic is downlink oriented, still,there are a few applications that will benefit from an improved uplink. Typical examples are large pictures, movies etc. The 3G service which provides an enhanced uplink is the HSUPA (High-Speed Uplink Packet Access). So whats HSPA then? HSDPA and Enhanced Uplink are together known as High Speed Packet Access (HSPA)! Another term you might encounter in the near future is HSPA+ (also called Evolved HSPA). This is an upcoming wireless broadband standard which is expected to provide data rates up to 42 Mbps in the downlink and 11 Mbps in the uplink. A post on HSPA+ is already there in this blog.

So be armed with the knowledge next time you step into a phone store!!!!