Mobile data transmission speed record smashed

Telecoms companies Nortel and Qualcomm say that they have achieved the industry’s first 7.2Mbps mobile data calls based on the Universal Mobile Telephone System – High Speed Downlink Packet Access (UMTS-HSDPA) standard. The speed is more than three times the rate at which a standard landline broadband connection achieves.

Although the companies say they are still firmly in the experimental stage, they will be demonstrating the concept of transmitting high-resolution video streaming via HSDPA data calls at 7.2Mbps during CTIA Wireless 2006 in Las Vegas later this week.

HSDPA is designed to boost network capacity for data transmissions up to four times and enables twice as many wireless users per cell site compared with today’s UMTS networks.

According to Nortel, the calls covered frequencies in all commercially available UMTS spectrum currently used by mobile operators throughout the world. Most European 3G networks operate on the 2100MHz spectrum while the 850MHz spectrum is now operational for new UMTS networks in North America, the Caribbean and Latin America. As spectrum at 900MHz is expanded for UMTS services, Nortel says this may become an important part of pan-European HSDPA roll out.

HSDPA development is built on the foundation of GSM/EDGE (Global System for Mobile Communication/Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution). GSM itself is the world’s most popular wireless technology used by more than a billion mobile phone owners.

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