Friday, September 11, 2009

HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA+ Devices

OK, I'll get some TLAs and ETLAs sorted right up front:


1G
Retrospective name for the long obsoleted analog mobile communications system
2G
2nd Generation
2.5G
2nd Generation + a packet-switched domain
3G
3rd Generation (actually IMT-2000, but who'd remember that, eh?)
3.5G
Basically HSDPA
3GPP
3rd Generation Partnership Program
CDMA
Code Division Multiple Access (also CDMA-1x)
EDGE
Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution
EVDO
Evolution-Data Optimized (or Only)
GPRS
General Packet Radio Service
GSM
Global System for Mobile communications (originally Groupe Sp├ęcial Mobile)
HSPA
High Speed Packet Access
HSDPA
High Speed Downlink Packet Access
HSUPA
High Speed Uplink Packet Access
HSPA+
High Speed Packet Access Evolved
LTE
Long Term Evolution
NextG
How Telstra spells HSPA :)
UMTS
Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
WCDMA
Wideband Code Division Multiple Access


Update: In general usage, the terms "WCDMA" and "UMTS" can be interchanged without offending anyone but the telecommunications purist. WCDMA combines CDMA with the GSM network and really came around through the 3GPP in an effort to ensure compatibility between different 3G networks. Have a read of Chris Knight's comments (the first comment) for a bit more relevant information.


Both Vodafone Hutchinson Australia (the result of the merger back in early 2009) and Optus are providing regional HSPA access on the 900 MHz band, whereas Telstra uses the 850 MHz band for their regional NextG services. This means that any handsets that operate in the UMTS/WCDMA bands of 2100/900 will work well on the VHA and Optus networks in regional Australia whereas only those Telstra-authorised devices with 850/2100 support will work in regional Australia.


Now, as far as theoretical maximum speed goes, it is basically as follows:


2G
14.4 kbps down / 14.4 kbps up
2.5G
57.6 kbps down / 14.4 kbps up
GPRS
57.6 kbps down / 28.8 kbps up
CDMA
153 kbps down /
EDGE
236.8 kbps (Type 1 MS) to 1894 kbps (Type 2 MS)
EVDO
2457 kbps (Rev 0) to 9300 kbps (Rev B) down / 153.6 kbps up
HSPA
14400 kbps down / 5760 kbps up
NextG
21600 kbps down / 5570 Kbps up
HSPA+
42000 kbps down / 11500 kbps up
LTE
173000 kbps down / 58,000 kbps up


Please note that the Telstra NextG network has been upgraded from 3.5G (HSDPA) to full HSPA+ in the recent past and this is what enables it to achieve its theoretical maximum 21 Mbps download and 5.8 Mbps upload speeds currently. They are predicting to have this upgraded to 42 Mbps downlink by the end of 2009 for a large percentage of their network. Sure, it costs as much as a horse per month, but it *is* faster than Yodafone, Optus or any other network!
Now, some of the currently available devices are listed below, along with the theoretical maximum speeds at which they will operate. Please don't assume this means that they a) are A-Ticked, b) are approved by your carrier nor c) will work with your mobile device...


Manuf.
Model
Downlink
Speed
Uplink
Speed
WCDMA Bands
GSM/Edge Bands
Ext
Ant
Huawei
E220
7.2 Mbps
384 kbps
2100
1900/1800/900
-
Huawei
E226
7.2 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900
Huawei
E230
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
(5.76 ready)
2100/900
1900/1800/900/850
Huawei
E510
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
(5.76 ready)
2100/900
1900/1800/900
Yes
Huawei
E156
3.6 Mbps
384 kbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
Huawei
E160
(Vodafone K3565)
3.6 Mbps
384 kbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
CRC9
Huawei
E166
7.2 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/800/850
Huawei
E169
(Vodafone K3520)
7.2 Mbps
384 kbps
2100/900
1900/1800/800/850
CRC9
Huawei
E176
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
(5.76 ready)
2100/1900/850
?
Huawei
E1762
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
(5.76 ready)
2100/900
?
CRC9
Huawei
E180
(Vodafone K3715)
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
(5.76 ready)
2100/900
1900/1800/900/850
-
Novatel
Ovation MC950D
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
AirCard 875U
7.2 Mbps
384 kbps
-
Sierra
AirCard 880U
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
2100/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
AirCard 881U
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
Apex 880 USB
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
Compass 597
3.1 Mbps
1.8 Mbps
CDMA
Yes
Sierra
Compass 885
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
(5.76 ready)
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
Compass 888
7.2 Mbps
5.76 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
Compass 889
7.2 Mbps
5.76 Mbps
2100/900
1900/1800/900/850
-
Sierra
USB 306
21 Mbps
5.76 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
TS9
Sierra
USB 307
21 Mbps
5.76 Mbps
2100/900
1900/1800/900/850
TS9
ZTE
MF626
3.6 Mbps
384 kbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-
ZTE
MF633
7.2 Mbps
5.76 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
ZTE
MF633BP+
7.2 Mbps
2.0 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
ZTE
MF636
7.2 Mbps
2 Mbps
2100/1900/850
1900/1800/900/850
-

A "-" in External Antenna means that there is definitely no external antenna socket, blank means that I've not yet confirmed either way.
Regards,

The Outspoken Wookie

2 comments:

Chris Knight said...

Pedantry aside, that's a pretty decent breakdown of the ridiculously over-complicated space called "wireless broadband".

BTW UMTS is an umbrella term that encompasses multiple air interfaces. The carriers in Australia are all using WCDMA as their air interface, so UMTS and WCDMA are interchangeable terms when looking for compatible devices.

Also note that Telstra's Next-G network is gradually phasing out WCDMA 2100 in favour for WCDMA 850 to simplify network management and maintenance, so WCDMA/UMTS 2100 devices without WCDMA/UMTS 850 have a shorter lifespan on the Telstra network.

Hilton Travis said...

G'day Chris,

Yes, Telstra is looking at simplifying, which makes a hell of a lot of sense for them. And yes, they will be simplifying, not surprisingly, to the only band that we as a people gave them when the Government sold them off that no-one else has access to - the 850 MHz band.

And yes, I forgot WCDMA which I probably should have included, so have now. :)

The reason for this blog entry was to provide a simple page with definitions (technical, sure, but they are there) and an overview of what's out there. If I did what I normally do, I'd have made this entry 14 pages long and given a complete rundown of everything, but that's no help to me nor anyone else, really! :)