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HSDPA accelerates across the Americas - association

12 февраля 2008

HSDPA network deployments are accelerating across the Americas region with North America leading the charge and Latin America following hot on its heels, according to 3G Americas, the association representing mobile operators on the GSM evolutionary path.

According to Chris Pearson, president of 3G Americas, speaking to Total Telecom at Mobile World Congress, AT&T now covers more than 265 cities with its HSPA network, offering download speeds of between 6 Mbps and 14 Mbps and upload speeds of between 6 Mbps and 8 Mbps.

T-Mobile USA, the other GSM operator in the US, has yet to roll out any HSDPA infrastructure as it is waiting for the necessary spectrum in the 1700 MHz and 2.1 GHz band to be cleared.

“We are working with the government to clear it now,” said James Healy, vice president, industry alliances, at T-Mobile USA.
“We hope to commercially launch it this year.”

In Canada, Rogers Wireless has also rolled out HSDPA in 25 cities, said Pearson.

In Latin America, 17 operators in 10 different countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Paraguay, have launched HSDPA, said Erasmo Rojas, director of Latin America and the Caribbean at 3G Americas. Both America Movil and Telefonica have launched high-speed services in their markets, he said, while Mexico's Telcel has launched in four cities so far with nine more planned soon and an eventual aim of reaching 200 cities.

There are just 50,000 HSDPA subscribers in the region now, said Rojas, but this number is expected to grow massively to 5 million by the end of 2008.

Pearson said he expects operators to look towards HSPA+ networks next, which should enable speeds of 28 Mbps or even 42 Mbps with MIMO technology.

He added that trials of 3G Long-Term Evolution (LTE) should start in 2008, and he also predicted that any cdma2000 operators that opt for LTE, as has been the case with Verizon Wireless, would be likely to launch it ahead of WCDMA operators as the HSPA+ path is not available to cdma2000 operators. "LTE is the next chance to jump on the GSM bandwagon," Pearson said.

On the subject of Verizon choosing LTE, Pearson said it makes sense in terms of economies of scale, particularly as Vodafone still owns a stake in the operator.

"Verizon just looked at a map of the world" when it comes to the different mobile network deployments, added Healy.

Both Healy and Pearson believe that Verizon's choice of LTE will also have a big impact on the future decisions of other cdma2000 operators regarding their future technology paths.

As for Sprint Nextel, which has picked mobile WiMAX, Pearson said it's not yet clear what is going to happen with that network plan.
But he added: "You can't under estimate mobile WiMAX. It has some very large backers," such as Intel.

Healy also commented that experimentation with new technologies helps create a better market.

Источник: Total Telecom

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