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3G Americas Publishes Research Report on 3GPP Mobile Broadband Evolution

by david.nunes

September 13 2010


“The power and potential of always-on, everyplace network connectivity has ignited a move to mass market mobile broadband usage as 3G technology becomes ubiquitous,” stated Peter Rysavy, President of Rysavy Research and author of the newly published white paper announced today by 3G Americas. “Through innovation and enhancements, 3GPP technologies are connecting more than half a billion subscribers worldwide today for a high-speed mobile broadband world.”

Rysavy’s report, Transition to 4G: 3GPP Broadband Evolution to IMT-Advanced, explains and analyzes the evolution of EDGE, HSPA enhancements, 3GPP LTE, the capabilities of these technologies and their position relative to other primary competing technologies. It also highlights how these technologies fit into the ITU roadmap that leads to IMT-Advanced.

The following are some of the key observations and conclusions of the white paper:

  • GSM-HSPA has an overwhelming global position in terms of subscribers, deployment, and services
  • 3GPP has spearheaded enhancements to both the Radio Access Network and Core Network to enhance customer experiences
  • HSPA and LTE have significant economic advantages over other wireless technologies because of their vast economies of scale and scope
  • The 3GPP OFDMA approach used in LTE matches or exceeds the capabilities of any other OFDMA system
  • 3GPP has made significant progress on how to enhance LTE to meet the requirements of IMT-Advanced
  • Specifications for LTE-Advanced, with peak theoretical speeds up to 1 Gbps, are expected to be completed by March 2011 making LTE-Advanced one of the first technologies defined to meet ITU IMT-Advanced requirements

With a customer base of 4.5 billion connections today, the 3GPP family of technologies is available on nearly 800 networks in 219 countries worldwide. Building on this base, UMTS-HSPA – the world’s dominant mobile broadband technology today – has proven to be the most widely deployed and adopted 3G technology of all time, with 358 commercial HSPA networks in 142 countries. 3G Americas expects that most HSPA operators will upgrade their networks to HSPA+ which is already commercially deployed by 69 operators in 37 countries with peak theoretical downlink speeds from 21 Mbps to 42 Mbps today.

“HSPA-LTE has significant economic advantages over other wireless technologies,” said Chris Pearson, President of 3G Americas. “We expect HSPA to be the dominant mobile-data technology for the next decade. Further, HSPA offers a smooth transition to LTE and the move to LTE will be an evolution as existing mobile networks will remain operational for years to come.”

LTE has become the technology platform of choice as GSM-UMTS and CDMA/EV-DO operators, as well as newly licensed and WiMAX operators, are making strategic, long-term decisions on their next-generation platforms. To date, there have been 5 commercial deployments of LTE in 4 countries with nearly 250 LTE commitments reported worldwide.

In a forthcoming release, LTE-Advanced will be one of the first technologies to meet the requirements of IMT-Advanced, a project of the ITU. Specifications are scheduled to be completed in March of 2011, with earliest availability for deployment in 2012.

“Worldwide, we are witnessing wireless technologies that are transformational to the way people live and communicate,” Rysavy said. “In the coming years, this new world of 4G connectivity will be enabled by applications, services and business models that may not even exist today.”

The white paper, Transition to 4G: 3GPP Broadband Evolution to IMT-Advancedand its accompanying slide presentation, was created in collaboration with Rysavy Research by the member organizations of 3G Americas and is available for free download on 3G Americas’ website at www.3gamericas.org.

Glossary of Terms
3G – Third Generation
3GPP – 3rd Generation Partnership Project
4G – Fourth Generation (meeting requirements set forth by the ITU IMT-Advanced project)
EV-DO – One Carrier Evolved, Data Optimized
Gbps – Gigabits per Second
GSM – Global System for Mobile Communications
HSPA – High Speed Packet Access (HSDPA with HSUPA)
HSPA+ – HSPA Evolution
IMT – International Mobile Telecommunications
ITU – International Telecommunications Union
LTE – Long Term Evolution
OFDMA – Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access
UMTS – Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
WiMAX – Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

About 3G Americas: Unifying the Americas through Wireless Technology
3G Americas is an industry trade organization composed of telecommunications service providers and manufacturers. The organization’s mission is to promote, facilitate and advocate for the deployment and adoption of the 3GPP family of technologies throughout the Americas. 3G Americas has contributed to the successful commercial rollout of 3GPP mobile broadband technologies across the Americas and their place as the No. 1 technology family in the region. The organization aims to develop the expansive wireless ecosystem of networks, devices, and applications enabled by GSM and its evolution to LTE. 3G Americas is headquartered in Bellevue, Wash., with an office for Latin America and the Caribbean in Dallas. More information is available at www.3gamericas.org.

3G Americas’ Board of Governors members include: Alcatel-Lucent, América Móvil, Andrew Solutions, AT&T, Cable & Wireless, Ericsson, Gemalto, HP, Huawei, Motorola, Nokia Siemens Networks, Openwave, Qualcomm, Research In Motion (RIM), Rogers, T-Mobile USA and Telefónica.

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