42 MBit/s Smartphones Are Great, But Not Because of Their Top Speed

The first HSPA+ dual carrier smartphones are on the market now and I can already imagine of how they will be marketed: It can do 42 MBit/s!  That's easy for the press but it completely misses the point.

It's not the theoretical top speed that will make these phones better for users than their current models but their ability two bundle two 5 MHz carriers. While this allows for the theoretical 42 MBit/s top speed, the real sweet thing about this is that it also doubles cell edge performance. Here, the signal strength is low, interference is high and as a consequence, data rates are much lower than closer to the cell tower. Having the ability to bundle two channels in effect doubles the data rate in many places with a weak signal and high interference and that will be noticeable to users.

Another benefit not to be underestimated: Dual-carrier chips usually come with sophisticated interference cancellation technologies and perhaps even two antennas for diversity. This again will do wonders in areas where the neighbor cells and even data sent to other users from the local cell creates interference. 

Networks will be happy about such devices, too as the 64-QAM modulation and interference cancellation technologies will implicitly increase overall network capacity as data can be sent to such mobiles in much less time than to non HSPA+ devices. In other words, more time is left to communicate with other devices.

Let's see if the main stream press will take note of this at some point.

3 thoughts on “42 MBit/s Smartphones Are Great, But Not Because of Their Top Speed”

  1. 42Mbps Smartphones on the market? Not in Europe they aren’t! Unless you can enlighten me! There are plenty in the US but they seem to be AWS…

  2. Good points. The thing that really interests me is when will we get chipsets and terminals that do CPC and CSoverHSPA.

    This would be a win win for all (better battery life for the phones) and less interference for the cells, which translates to better coverage and nitrate.

    Naturally dual-antenna equalizers with interference cancellation is a nice side effect.

    Does anyone know of a way to determine if a chipset or terminal supports CPC or F-DPCH without actually monitoring the RRC connection request?

  3. I dont think so. All I know is the handset should be Release 7. I have been unable to find out that level of detail in commercial specs. Incidentally, the new Nokia 900 will be DC-HSDPA. I also see Qualcomm has just released an 84Mbps chip. I wonder if operators will just skip that and go to LTE.

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