Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough

Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. is claiming a speed breakthrough with peak upload data rates of 20 Mbit/s for its 3G uplink upgrades, but the technology may have limited applications for carriers already heading down the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) upgrade path. (See Huawei Claims 20Mbit/s HSUPA Links.)

The Chinese vendor says it has broken the High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) record for peak single-user uplink data rates using Dual Carrier (DC) and Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (16QAM) technologies. HSUPA is the uplink part of the High-Speed Packet Access 3G technology that currently has native theoretical peak speeds that top out at 5.75 Mbit/s and average out at 1 Mbit/s or so on a network.

"Uplink rates are far lower than downlink rates, which can lead to a bottleneck of data services like video or image uploading," Huawei noted in a statement.

More than 50 carriers worldwide have deployed the original HSUPA technology. In the U.S., AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) finished its upgrade in 2008 and the iPhone 4 was one of the first phones on the network to support it. Many Android users were aggravated in 2011 when they found that their HSUPA support had been disabled on Android phones, Ma Bell eventually rolled out upgrades for the devices.

Why this matters
Huawei is clearly looking at a global market with its HSUPA developments. Faster uploads could be useful for operators in Europe, Asia/Pacific and the Middle East that can't afford -- or get spectrum for -- 4G LTE upgrades.

However, for the many carriers on the LTE upgrade path, HSUPA capacity upgrades are unlikely to generate much excitement.

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— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:28:12 PM
re: Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough

Still wondering about the market for this. Seems like mostly smaller European carriers, tends to depend on how long spectrum auctions take for some I suppose.

ibarrera 12/5/2012 | 5:28:11 PM
re: Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough Not sure if it makes sense, but with the rate at which people is posting things on facebook, youtube and social networks recently, I'd assume some of them would appreciate having better upload speeds. Of course, that's not something carriers are particularly interested in satisfying.
Flook 12/5/2012 | 5:28:10 PM
re: Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough

For mobile operators that don't have the money or spectrum for 4G, this probably is a boon to them. I would give the vendor credit for improving on its 3G technology. It might also provide operators flexibility to offer customers better deals on data caps.

skg2v 12/5/2012 | 5:28:03 PM
re: Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough

With the increased upload speed, the existing invenstments in 3G by operators can be recovered faster.

Besides this, the upgrade of the existing network will be faster than the rollout of 4G/LTE.

Both the factors will be good for the users as well as the operator.

scottwhaton 12/5/2012 | 5:28:03 PM
re: Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough

We are spoiled in the West with the next new thing and LTE but for most of the developing world, this should allow them to milk 3G networks longer and more profitably.  I can't imagine when Africa or India would move to LTE given the very low ARPU for customers.

Also, having just got back from Alaska where LTE is nowhere to be found, advances like this in 3G would be very welcome for more rural US outposts that can't justify the faster upgrade cycles.


jayja 12/5/2012 | 5:27:57 PM
re: Huawei Claims Upload Speed Breakthrough Scott I think you are spot on. Low ARPU markets like India & Africa are ideal places for this product as an alternative to 4G. In addition, places where 3G might replace fixed BB.
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