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More Operators Get Behind HSPA at 42M Bps

Deutsche Telekom has joined the growing number of operators that will upgrade mobile networks to offer 42M bps (bits per second), it said on Tuesday at the Cebit trade show in Hanover.

The technology that will make the higher speed possible is HSPA+ (High-Speed Packet Access).

In June 2011, the Business II USB modem will be added to the portfolio, enabling the higher download speed. The modem will be compatible with T-Mobile USA's network, which is also scheduled to get an upgrade to 42M bps this year. T-Mobile's own modem will be launched during the first half of 2011. Smartphones capable of the higher speed will arrive in the second half of the year, T-Mobile said in January.

Today, there are about 13 commercial HSPA+ networks that offer users download speeds at up to 42M bps. There are also at least an additional 32 operator commitments to roll out the technology, according to a recent report published by industry organization GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association).

Going forward, we will see a lot more announcements around 42M bps, that is clear, GSA president Alan Hadden said.

The next step for HSPA+ is 84M bps. A handful of operators have already announced plans to upgrade their networks to that speed, which is expected to be commercially available in 2012, according to the GSA.

However, network vendors are already looking beyond that. In January, Ericsson demonstrated HSPA+ with download speeds up to 168M bps, using commercial network equipment and a prototype consumer device.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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