If the acronym HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) means nothing to you, read on because the technology behind this string of letters could soon significantly change the way you work and play on your mobile device. The technology, a rival to the EV-DO standard in CDMA deployed in the US and parts of Asia, promises something surprisingly missing in early 3G mobile networks — high data speeds similar to those of fixed-line ADSL services.
The first wave of 3G technology, currently being rolled out, offers a maximum speed of 384 kbit/s. Even that’s a peak rate, or something you might reach if you’re alone in a mobile cell at 5am.
Most likely, you’re going to have speeds between 150 kbit/s and 250 kbit/s, according to John Leonard, vice president business strategy at Lucent Technologies. As a result of this and other flaws, business is still waiting for the benefits of 3G. With HSDPA, expect initial throughput rates of between 400 kbit/s and 600 kbit/s, with a peak rate of 14.4 Mbit/s. Continue >>