T-Mobile Germany today announced plans, to increase the UMTS bandwidths of up to 1.8 megabits per second with a commercial availability from. CeBIT 2006. Pilot tests of high-speed UMTS to begin in fall of 2005 already.
A new era of fixed-network speeds is dawning for T-Mobile consumers and business customers. Thanks to HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology, they will enjoy greater convenience and higher speeds with all mobile applications, such as surfing and chatting, sending E-Mails or with high-volume downloads from the Internet or intranet. All this is made possible by the innovative transmission technology HSDPA. Soon it will allow data to be transported via T-Mobile's UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) network with a bandwidth of up to 1.8 megabits per second. T-Mobile will test high-speed UMTS under real conditions in the coming months. It will be launched for commercial use at CeBIT 2006. From then on, HSDPA will be available wherever T-Mobile already provides UMTS coverage.
With HSDPA from T-Mobile, Internet access and data transmission via mobile communications reach speeds comparable with the fixed-network DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) access.
"By introducing HSDPA, we are making high-speed UMTS possible, underlining once again our role as a leading innovator on the mobile communications market," said Joachim Horn, Director, Network Technology, at T-Mobile Deutschland. "Our goal is to provide our customers with the fastest possible transmission system, wherever they happen to be at the time. HSDPA is an important element and complements our existing range of technologies with GPRS, UMTS and W-LAN. T-Mobile already operates around 5,000 HotSpots in Germany, offering W-LAN and, in future, high-speed UMTS in many regions."
The decisive advantage of HSDPA technology: It increases the available bandwidth for data transmission in the UMTS network by a factor of almost 5 from 384 kilobits to up to 1.8 megabits per second. In future, these speeds will then be increased step by step to 7.2 megabits per second. This makes HSDPA faster than many DSL basic accesses, allows rapid access to very complex intranet applications or Internet sites and cuts a considerable proportion of the waiting time for page build. In addition, HSDPA involves far shorter delays, which is particularly helpful when using dialog-based applications such as Outlook or centralized corporate applications. The third advantage of high-speed UMTS is that HSDPA allows far more users to benefit from higher speeds within the same cell than before.
T-Mobile is equipping the UMTS base stations with special HSDPA software to enable them to operate high-speed UMTS. In some cases, T-Mobile will also replace hardware. A selection of T-Mobile business customers will test high-speed UMTS in a range of pilots in various cities from the fall of 2005. The experience they gain will flow into the further development of the service. Other customers and interested parties will also be able to gain a first-hand impression of the future of mobile data communication: T-Punkt outlets on the Ku'Damm in Berlin and on the T-Mobile Campus in Bonn will be holding HSDPA demonstrations from fall onwards. Everyone who is interested will then be able to test mobile applications on site using selected mobile devices - at HSDPA speed and with the convenience of broadband.
Please note, while HSDPA will increase the downlink speed of UMTS (up to 1.8/7.2 Mbit/s), it's not going to increase the uplink that heavy but at least it does from today's UMTS 64 Kbit/s to future 384 Kbit/s (which is today's UMTS downlink). To seriously increase the uplink also, the UMTS networks needs a second refresh called "HSUPA" (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) which is expected to be introduced after the first implementation of HSDPA.
Also non of today's available UMTS devices are supporting HSDPA nor I'm aware of a device which can be upgraded yet. So even if we haven't seen the first UMTS Windows Mobile device in the market today (remember, the first one will be the HTC Universal aka T-Mobile Pro/Vodafone VPA IV), it's clear that it outdated already/pretty soon after launch, depending on your network.
Cheers ~ Arne