HSDPA Indicator

When HSDPA was first specified it was unfortunately forgotten to put an indicator somewhere on the broadcast channel so a mobile could distinguish a 3G network from a 3.5G HSDPA network and show something to the user. It was added in a later release of the standard but I haven't seen a device yet that would do something with the information or networks that would actually broadcast it. Turns out that quite some networks have this turned on by now and some phones like for example the Nokia N72 display "3.5G" instead of 3G permanently and not only while an HSDPA data transfer is ongoing. How nice, but it's too late now. Some network operators use HSDPA now but have chosen not to activate the indication, hence, the E72 still shows 3G despite the network being HSDPA capable.

3 thoughts on “HSDPA Indicator”

  1. Interesting. My Nokia E90 was showing 3.5G 2+ years ago, my E71 and N97 both also. This is not something that has only just come to the E72. Every Nokia phone I am aware of has been able to for at least 2, going on 3, years.

    Whether the providers supported it or not was a different story.

  2. Martin,

    As far as I am aware, from a technical point of view, this indication have no use, it is a waste of costly system information.

    From a user display point of view, what do you want out of this? You have tested networks too much to expect any speed information from this 😉

  3. Well I think there was some value in it to begin with. It had a “wow” factor and when HSDPA coverage was not network wide it gave you a 9/10 indication that you could DL something faster than normal 3G. There is actually an E-DCH indication as well in SIB5, but I have never seen any handset manufacturer use this info for the icon display. I can understand why of course..

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