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Even Faster Wireless Broadband: Ericsson Demos 56 Mbps Network

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Wireless broadband keeps getting faster and faster. Ericsson (s ERIC), a Sweden-based telecom equipment maker today showed off a new technology that boosts High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) speeds to 56 Mbps. HSPA is part of the technology migration path for today’s 3G networks to what are generically termed 3.5G networks. The company had previously showed off a wireless broadband network with peak downlink speeds of 42 Mbps at the recent Mobile World Conference in Barcelona. Today’s HSPA networks can support speeds of up to 21Mbps.

The new peak downlink data rates of 56 Mbps were achieved through a combination of multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) and multicarrier HSPA technology. Ericsson is showing off the technology at CTIA in Las Vegas. HSPA multicarrier technology with MIMO, which is currently being standardized, is scheduled for commercial deployment in 2010. By the end of 2009, Ericsson will support commercial deployment of multicarrier technology with speeds up to 42 Mbps.

According to Ericsson:

Today’s commercial HSPA devices can make use of only one 5MHz channel at a time. With the introduction of multi-carrier consumer devices, data from two or more 5MHz channels can be received simultaneously by one consumer. The data stream is split over the used channels in the radio base station to get higher speeds. With MIMO, a base station can send data twice as fast via two different antenna paths on the same frequency to a single consumer.

In other words, it’s possible to see even faster broadband on wireless networks. Ericsson thinks that in the very near future, networks could run as fast as 84 Mbps. Of course, since all these are peak download rates, what you and I are actually going to get in terms of speed is a whole different ball of wax. That depends on the amount of bandwidth available on the backhaul networks.

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  • 5 Responses to “Even Faster Wireless Broadband: Ericsson Demos 56 Mbps Network”

    1. Jesse Kopelman

      Every few years Ericsson comes out with a multi-channel version of some existing data technology and the world’s carriers collectively yawn and ignore it. This one will especially fall flat, as how many carriers even have multiple 5MHz channels in use for HSPA?

    2. Glad you mentioned backhaul, which is similar to when back in the day bus speeds and RAM were the primary bottlenecks to faster processors. Backhaul radios are something not enough people are talking about, tremendous opportunity there, although several companies have blown up trying to bring the tech to market.

    3. this technology should be deployed immediately; although it should be used to increase the capacity of the networks therefore allowing many more users at lower monthly subscription costs and more realistic FUP’s instead of simply increasing the speeds and keeping broadband mobile for only a few at sky high prices.

    4. It is obvious to consider that more users will look at wireless broadband substitution as download speeds rise into the 50 to 60 Mbps range in the near future. It is the right time show by Ericsson.