Almost exactly two years ago, I wrote a post in which I reported my first sighting of new HSPA+ device categories. The top at the time were category 14 and 16 with 64-QAM modulation and MIMO respectively and speeds up to 28 Mbit/s. This was Release 8 of the 3GPP standards. Now in Release 9, 28 device categories are listed in 3GPP TS 25.306 (see table 5.1a) with top speeds under ideal radio coverage of up to 84 Mbit/s if everything is combined, i.e. 64-QAM, MIMO and Dual Carrier. For almost every combination of options there's a category now. Breathtaking…
As I found no good overview of which device category goes up to which speed, I took the liberty of updating the HSDPA article on Wikipedia and add device classes 16-28 in the table. A screenshot of it can be seen on the left.
Now where can I get a Category 28 device and a suitable network please? 🙂
P.S. 1 – Important: Note that all indicated speeds are top speeds under ideal signal conditions. See here for further details and a reality check!
P.S. 2 – I left out cat 17 and 18 as they are a bit special and I am not sure that they will be relevant. If you have an opinion on this one, please let me know. Also, feel free to add them to the table on the Wiki yourself and while you are at it, have a go at the coding rates for the higher categories as well.