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Vodafone Ramps Up HSPA+ To Deliver Peak Speeds of 20Mbps In Trials

16 Mar 2009Technology news
3 minute read

Vodafone has trialled a 3G HSPA+ mobile broadband connection that delivers maximum1 download speeds of 20 Mbps in a test environment.

Vodafone achieved one of the fastest 3G data connections currently possible during field trials of the HSPA+ MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology on Vodafone Spain’s network in southern Spain and Madrid city centre. The trials were carried out using technology supplied by Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm Inc.

The initial test results have confirmed HSPA+ MIMO technology as a good candidate for delivering an enhanced mobile broadband experience in hotspots such as business districts and airports, where customers are offered higher data rates in line with demand.

Earlier this year Vodafone announced the successful trial of “HSPA+ 64QAM” technology which delivered peak speeds of 16 Mbps in a test environment and has been found to be particularly suitable for suburban and rural locations. In this latest trial, Vodafone has further boosted network performance though the introduction of MIMO technology. MIMO technology effectively uses two antennas in both the handset and the base station to split the radio signal into two separate streams enhancing network capacity as well as the user experience even in dense urban environments.

“Breaking the 20Mbps peak speed barrier in tests through HSPA+ MIMO is yet another key milestone in the evolution of 3G Mobile Broadband technology and raises the prospect of higher network performance for our customers in selected hotspots,” said Andy MacLeod, Global Networks Director of Vodafone. “These test results mean that we will be able to derive even more value from our existing 3G infrastructure while raising the quality of service for our customers.”

Both 64QAM and MIMO features require new HSPA+ mobile broadband devices. Vodafone is working with its device vendors on the trialing, testing and validation of these devices ready for commercial availability.

HSPA+ technology is the next evolutionary step in the (3G) HSPA roadmap. It significantly enhances performance through the use of a more advanced modulation technique called 64QAM as well as through the use of multiple antennas on both base stations and data devices (MIMO).

Vodafone is now looking at advancing the HSPA+ roadmap still further through investigating Dual Carrier-HSPA, which uses the aggregation of two adjacent radio channels to further enhance the customer’s experience.

At present, Vodafone mobile broadband customers can download data and surf the net at speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps, experiencing an unparalleled mobile experience.

For further information:

Vodafone Group
Media Relations
Tel: +44 (0) 1635 664444

Editors’ Notes
1The maximum download speed reflects the highest instantaneous data rate as seen by the customer during a download in optimum conditions in a test environment. In a real network, customer experience will depend on additional factors such as the distance the customer is from a base station, the actual cell load during peak hours as well as network design and performance enhancement techniques.

The maximum practical peak data rate is at least 25% lower than the maximum theoretical rate due to a minimum overhead margin. This is the minimum overhead necessary for operation in a live network. Peak rates are also determined by the corresponding device capability.

HSPA+ technology (HSPA Evolution) refers to a set of technology enhancements predominantly driven by the 3GPP Release 7 standard that support the evolution of HSPA towards higher user throughput and improved packet service experience.

Dual Carrier HSPA refers to a new standardized feature by the 3GPP Release 8 standard that combines two HSDPA or HSPA+ 64QAM adjacent carriers into a single user transmission.

About Vodafone
Vodafone is the world's leading mobile telecommunications company, with equity interests in 27 countries and Partner Markets in more than 40 countries. As of 31 December 2008, Vodafone had approximately 289 million proportionate customers worldwide. For further information, please visit

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