HSPA vs HSPA+ Network Technology
HSPA and HSPA+ network technology are the releases of 3GPP which is responsible for the standard making entity for mobile broadband networks. It is significant that both the releases are aiming at providing higher air interface data rates for mobile users with reduced latency to support a variety of applications that support wired broadband in the customer platform of around 3.8 billion in GSM family of technologies.
HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) (Release 5 and 6)
HSPA is the terminology used to refer to HSDPA (3GPP Release 5) and HSUPA (3GPP Release 6), which are packet based technologies Evolved having much higher data rates compared to 3G and GPRS. These high data rates are needed while supporting mobile video streaming application, online gaming, video conferencing etc.
Most of the time HSPA is referred to as the technology for 3.5G networks. Theoretically HSPA data rates can go up to 14.4 Mbps downlink and 5.8 Mbps uplink at maximum which are 3-4 times of existing 3G downlink speeds and 15 times higher than GPRS. But the current networks are capable of providing 3.6Mbps downlink and 500 kbps to 2Mbps uplink most of the time with radio channel bandwidth of 5MHz. While upgrading the networks to HSPA from 3G (WCDMA) it is required to transform existing downlink to HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) technology and uplink to HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) technology. It is significant that these upgrades are mostly software updates rather than hardware upgrades for most of the WCDMA networks. Higher data rates are possible due to higher order digital modulation schemes like 16QAM to 64 QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation) with MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) technology.
HSPA+ (HSPA Plus) (Evolved HSPA) (Release 7 and 8 )
This is also known as Evolved HSPA which is the 3GPP release 7 and release8 for mobile broadband networks. The new releases are aiming at increasing data rates from the existing HSPA networks with the aid of higher order digital modulation schemes and through the use of MIMO techniques. The proposed data rates are aiming at providing Push to Talk over Cellular (PoC), Video and voice through IP (VoIP), video sharing etc.
New peak data rates defined for HSPA+ are 84 Mbps for downlink and 22 Mbps for uplink and aimed at achieving through the use of 64QAM modulation scheme with MIMO techniques. It is significant that the above data rates are associated with the single carrier of 5 MHz in WCDMA networks and current implementations are capable of providing data rates up to 21 Mbps. It is to be deployed in near future HSPA+ with 2×2 MIMO with 64 QAM capable of providing 42Mbps downlink and 11.5 Mbps uplink theoretically.
HSPA+ also known as Internet HSPA due to its optional architecture also known as All-IP architecture in which the entire base stations are connected to all IP based back bone. It is significant that HSPA+ is backward compatible with 3GPP release 5 and 6 with easy upgrading capability from HSPA in to HSPA+.
|Difference between HSPA and HSPA+ (HSPA Plus)
1. HSPA corresponds to 3GPP releases 5 and 6 for mobile broad band networks whilst HSPA+ is the standards in 3GPP release7 and 8.
2. HSPA theoretical peak data rates can go up to 14.4 Mbps downlink and 5.8 Mbps uplink whilst HSPA+ data rates are in the order of 84 Mbps and 21 Mbps respectively.
3. Modulation scheme to be used by HSPA+ is 64QAM and HSPA uses digital modulation schemes beginning from 16QAM to 64 QAM.
4. HSPA+ has an additional proposal for all-IP based back bone so that base stations are connected to the IP network hence faster core is possible.
5. HSPA+ is capable of reducing latency below 50ms and the current HSPA networks latency is around 70ms.