Difference Between HSPA vs. LTE

Both HSPA+ and LTE are mobile broadband technologies providing high speed data access. LTE is the latest technology. It is being installed in a number of countries for providing high speed mobile broadband data access. LTE has been launched commercially in a few countries. Carriers like AT&T (ATT) and Verizon have started adopting LTE. One more technology called WiMAX is defined under 4G. However, big carriers are adopting LTE. T-Mobile a US mobile company is upgrading its HSPA+21Mbps network to HSPA+42Mbps network.

HSPA+ (Evolved High Speed Packet Access)

HSPA+ is the release 7 and 8 by 3GPP. It provides data rates at the speed of 84Mbps downlink and 22Mbps uplink. It makes use of MIMO. MIMO stands for Multiple Inputs and Multiple Outputs. In the 7th release of the capacity is doubled of HSPA. In the 8th Release of HSPA multicarrier concept is introduced. There are two 5MHz carriers are combined together which double the data speed. HSPA+ provides low latency periods, high peak rates and higher talk times with the above mentioned changes.

Theoretically the date rates are 28 Mbps in Release 7. The data rate is extended up to 42 Mbps in Release 8. Release 9 is expected to double the data speed rate that is 84Mbps. MIMO technique is used in Release 7 which supports 2×2 MIMO through which two parallel data streams can be sent orthogonally. Its advantage is that data speed can be doubled without increasing bandwidth.

HSPA+ can be used as a broadband internet access due to its high speed rates. An HSPA+ enabled mobile device includes facilities like low latency internet games, video calling, streaming, Voice IP etc.

LTE (Long Term Evolution)

LTE is a 4G technology which is accepted by ITU. It is meets the standard set by ITU for 4G networks. 4G networks maximize and speed of radio networks. LTE provides 100 Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink speed. The latency is less than 10ms which is specified by ITU. The bandwidth is between 1.4 MHz and 20 MHz. It supports frequency division multiplexing (FDD) and time division multiplexing (TDD).

The technologies used in LTE networks include the following:

  • OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access)
  • MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output)
  • SC-FDMA (Single Carrier FDMA)

The frequencies used by LTE are different in different countries. Following are the frequencies used by LTE networks area wise.

North America – 700 and 1900 MHz

Europe – 900, 1800, 2600 MHz

Asia – 1800 and 2600 MHz

Australia – 1800 MHz


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