HSPA+ vs. HSPA Network Technology

Difference between HSPA+ and HSPA Network Technology

These network technologies are both 3GPP inventions; the standard setting entity for mobile broadband networks development. 3gpp aimed to make technologies that could achieve high air interface data rates for mobile users and at the same time reduced the latency in the way of making hem able to support a variety of applications that can support wired broadband of the more than 3.8 billion GSM mobile device users.

High Speed Packet Access (HSPA); Releases 5 and 6

HSPA refers to a group of mobile technology that cover HSDPA (3GPP Release 5) and HSUPA (3GPP Release 6). Both of these technologies are packet based and enable the user higher data rates capabilities than those offered by 3G or GPRS. They are therefore better placed to support mobile video streaming online gaming or even video conferencing.

HSPA is the technology given when referring to 3.5G mobile technology networks. The technology was theorized to given data downlink rates of up to 14.4 Mbps and uplink rates of  5.8 Mbps. These rates are 3-4 higher than those of the 3G platform and about 15 times the speeds of GPRS. However, the in practice, the technology can only achieves 3.6Mbps and 500 kbps to 2Mbps download and uplink rates respectively. The most common radio bandwidth is 5MHz.

An upgrade from 3G to HSPA is only possible after the downlink is converted to High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) technology and the uplink upgraded to High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) technology. However, these are software upgrades since these two technologies use the same hardware. The digital modulation schemes such as 16QAM to 64 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) coupled with Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) technologies allow these high speeds to be achieved.

HSPA+ /HSPA Plus/Evolved HSPA; Release 7 and 8

Also known as Evolved HSPA, HSPA+ aims at increasing data rates of the HSPA networks by use of higher order digital modulation schemes coupled with the MIMO technique. These improved speeds are theorized to allow such functions as Push to Talk over Cellular (PoC), VoIP and also ability to share video media.

Peak data rates for HSPA+ should reach 84 Mbps downlink speeds and up to 22 Mbps uplink speeds. This will be achieved by adopting 64QAM modulation schemes and the MIMO technique through the 5 MHz carrier bands. If the technology comes into play, the data rates up are expected to reach 21 Mbps.

The Distinctions between HSPA and HSPA+

1. HSPA is the mobile broad band networks technology releases 5 and 6 for 3GPP while for HSPA+ is the newer release7 and 8.

2. Theoretically, HSPA should have data rates that peak at downlink rates of 14.4 Mbps and uplink rates of up to 5.8 Mbps. Those of HSPA+ are 84 Mbps 21 Mbps download and uplink rates respectively.

3. HSPA+ uses the 64QAM digital modulation schemes whiles HSPA uses either 16QAM or 64 QAM.

4. HSPA+ is an IP based technology it is entirely meant to increase the technology rate.

5. While using HSPA+, latency can be reduced to below 50ms but the HSPA networks in use today can only achieve latency of 70ms.