Will we soon be able to download music or videos on our cell phones? Yes, with the arrival of the next 3.5G technology, as reports Jennifer L. Schenker in this International Herald Tribune article.
NTT DoCoMo Inc., the Japanese company that introduced the first third-generation digital mobile phone service in the world, is preparing to pioneer wireless services that are at least 40 times as fast.
A technology called HSDPA, for high-speed downlink packet access, also known as 3.5G, is expected to deliver data at as much as 14.4 megabits a second, allowing users to browse Web pages faster on their cell phones than broadband users can do today on their personal computers. Such speeds will also make video streaming and the downloading of MP3 music files easier on mobile phones.
DoCoMo last month ordered mobile simulators for the testing and evaluation of HSDPA from UbiNetics Ltd. in Cambridge, England, that specializes in wireless test and measurement equipment.
HSDPA uses some of the advantages of W-CDMA, or wideband code division multiple access, the technology upon which many 3G services will be based. But HSDPA is much faster than 3G because it uses a more efficient coding technology.
I will be more than happy to use this kind of bandwidth. In Europe, we are now using GPRS, or general packet radio service, also known as 2.5G. And we are limited to 30 kilobits a second.
When can we expect this new technology to be released in Europe?
All European operators are eventually expected to move to 3G networks to ensure that there is enough capacity to handle voice and increased data traffic.
By 2006, though, analysts predict that mobile operators will already be starting trials of the next generation of high-speed mobile services, and that is when 3.5G comes into play.
Source: Jennifer L. Schenker, The International Herald Tribune, May 26, 2003
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