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The Wireless Blog from Unwired Insight discusses the latest developments in wireless networks and services, including the new technologies and architectures of LTE-Advanced and 5G. For expert advice on 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G mobile systems and standards, including GSM, UMTS, LTE, LTE-Advanced and 5G-NR, please contact us.

Cellular network improvements will drive 3G traffic

Photograph of Alastair Brydon3G enhancements, such as HSPA+ and LTE will be introduced on a widespread basis within the next five years, as shown in the table below. These enhancements will provide users with much greater peak speeds, which will better support usage-intensive services, thus helping to drive 3G traffic volumes.

By September 2008, more than 94% of W-CDMA operators had launched HSDPA services and, by December 2008, there were 60 commercial HSUPA networks.

In 2008, Nokia Siemens Networks reported that overall mobile data traffic increased by up to 400% within six months of HSDPA service introduction in many networks. The introduction of HSPA+, LTE and LTE Advanced will stimulate further traffic volume uplifts.

3G operators in developed markets have developed plans to deploy LTE and/or HSPA+. In April 2009, the GSA (Global mobile Suppliers Association) announced that 31 operators had committed to LTE deployment, and a number of these are expected to launch commercial services in 2010.

Table identifying peak speeds of W-CDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+ and LTE

Characteristics of W-CDMA, HSDPA, HSUPA, HSPA+ and LTE

Dr Alastair Brydon has worked in digital radio communications for over 25 years. He provides expert advice on 2G, 3G and 4G mobile systems and standards including GSM, UMTS and LTE. He has written over 40 reports on the development of wireless technologies and services and has acted as an expert witness in major patent disputes.

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