Saturday 15 March 2014

HSPA+ Carrier Aggregation

Came across Qualcomm's HSPA+ Carrier aggregation video (above) and whitepaper. Interesting to see that HSPA/HSPA+ is still growing. As per my earlier post, half of the connections in 2018 would be HSPA/HSPA+.

As can be seen in the picture above, there are quite a few features that may be of interest to the operators. Scalable UMTS is one such feature as I have put in the blog before.

You will notice that upto 4 bands can be aggregated. It would be interesting to see which operators have these bands available and if they would be willing to use HSPA+ CA with upto 4 bands. The presentation by Qualcomm is embedded below and is available to download from here.

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Pedro Beranek (via Anritsu Linkedin group) said...

Hi Zahid, evolving technology no need to say. It would be quite interesting to see some case study with quantitative 'numbers' showing costs and timeline of upgrade from HSPA+r7-->HSPA+r8 in an average size European network (<10mio subs). Don't want to be obnoxious but somehow I can;t believe those upgrades are primary targets and piece-of-cake kinda thing for everyone..

Zahid Ghadialy said...

Pedro, good question. From what I understand, Higher Order Modulation and Carrier Aggregation require software upgrades, hence they are not too difficult to implement. MIMO, on the other hand, requires the antenna sites to be upgraded with new antennas being added. This can add significant amount of costs, hence not many operators are willing to invest in MIMO upgrades.