HSPA vs HSPA+

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by eternlgladiator, Feb 3, 2011.

  1. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #1
    I have a question for anybody who's familiar with the technology for these type of networks on AT&T. I know that HSPA is the technology for regular 3G and that HSPA+ is basically 3G on steroids and the beginning of what AT&T is calling "4G" even though they're also working on LTE (Which is a lame acronym by the way). I know that current iPhones support HSPA and need a new chip or radio to handle HSPA+. My question for the forum is about how AT&T upgrades to HSPA+. Is it something they just have to "turn on" for towers that are already 3G enabled or is it a hardware upgrade? I ask because my area will be just getting 3G in about month and I'm considering upgrading to an iPhone 4 now instead of waiting for the iPhone 5 (or whatever comes out this summer) just to get access to a network I won't be able to use every day (assuming the the 5 or whatever has the HSPA+ chip in it.
     
  2. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 22, 2009
    #2
    My advice: don't make your decision based on HSPA or HSPA+ because the former is plenty fast and the latter is just a stop-gap until LTE arrives. Decide based on whether you want a phone now or if you're willing to wait until summer. If you buy the iPhone 4, you'll be closer to being able to upgrade again when the iPhone 6 comes out in 2012. If you wait for summer, you'll be able to get the latest iPhone but will have to wait longer for the next upgrade... So it really just depends on whether you want the upgraded version this summer, and I would not base that decision on HSPA vs HSPA+.
     
  3. kre62 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2010
    #3
    From what I've seen and heard it is basically a software upgrade. But to really get the max benefit the backhaul has to be upgraded in the area. As far as hspa+ itself, the towers just need a software upgrade.
     
  4. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    #4
    Not to hijack this thread but I have a question also, will the iPhone 4 get faster speeds because of the HSPA+? I know the iPhone 4 doesn't support HSPA+ but will HSPA speeds increase also? The reason I'm asking is because today my iPhone 4 Speeds have been faster than ever I tested my phone on speedtest and I'm getting 3.5 Mbps download on avg. Could this be because Att upgraded HSPA+ in my area because of the new Androids phones coming out?
     
  5. eternlgladiator thread starter macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #5
    the iphone 4 doesn't support HSPA+ because it lacks the necessary technology. It's known for sure but it's looking like the next version will have that technology.
     
  6. zephxiii macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #6
    Taken from Qualcomm (and only talking about Rel. 7):

    White paper:
    http://www.qualcomm.com/documents/files/hspa-enhanced-mobile-broadband-whitepaper.pdf

    As far as I'm concerned, HSPA+ is great, and since it scales to 80mbps and beyond (650mbps for t-mobile), it is more than just a stepping stone.
     
  7. eternlgladiator thread starter macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

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    Jun 20, 2010
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    Twin Cities
    #7
  8. lsvtecjohn3 macrumors 6502a

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    May 8, 2008
    #8
    I understand that the iPhone 4 doesn't support HSPA+ but I was worndering if HSPA+ would make HSPA faster?
     
  9. eternlgladiator thread starter macrumors 68000

    eternlgladiator

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2010
    Location:
    Twin Cities
    #9
    Yes, that's the evolution. HSPA to HSPA+ to LTE (as far as I know LTE is just a crappy marketing term that applies to a variety of technology) Long Term Evolution in my opinion just gives them a word to use that says we're working on new crap. There will always be something newer and faster and large cities like NYC, Chicago, an LA will always being one or two generations ahead of other areas. Its a viscous cycle.
     
  10. zephxiii macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #10
    Technically yes in a number of ways via HOM QAM64 (7.2mbps iPhone4 to 21mbps peak HSPA+), lower latency, faster setup times etc. etc.

    The other big difference between HSPA+ device and iPhone4 is that iPhone4 is limited to only grabbing 10 vs. 15 HS-DSCH data codes of the channel. Not to mention that a HSPA+ 21mbps device has twice the efficiency and data rate peak (more than twice really) of a 7.2mbps device thanks to HOM.

    A 42mbps (Release 8) device is even better!

    Page 17 (last page) of that pdf i posted breaks it down quickly.
     
  11. zephxiii macrumors 6502

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    Jun 21, 2010
    #11
    I wouldn't say that about LTE..it is a completely new air interface and network.
     
  12. rjohnstone macrumors 68040

    rjohnstone

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Location:
    PHX, AZ.
    #12
    It's a software upgrade for the telecom providers.
    A hardware upgrade required for the phones.

    HSPA and HSPA+ are only as good as the backhaul connection.

    When AT&T completes their HSPA+ deployment and backhaul upgrades, regular HSPA users will see an improvement in speed.
     
  13. chrmjenkins macrumors 603

    chrmjenkins

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Location:
    CA
    #13
    Seems like HSPA+ support is 50/50 chance. I don't know that Apple will feel a huge drive to support it like they will LTE.

    HSPA+ absolutely has higher theoretical speeds, but this always depends on carrier support, number of users, etc.

    The advantages of LTE are that it's more than just a bigger engine (in going from HSPA to HSPA+), it's more likely adding a turbo charger. LTE allows for more users, lower power usage for similar operations, etc. It's just plain a superior technology, but its drawback is expense of implementation as opposed to speeding up existing 3G technologies.
     
  14. bripab007 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2009
    #14
    So the iPhone 4 can support a theoretical max speed of 7.2Mbps downstream (3.6Mbps up?), which should be possible once AT&T's towers/backhaul are upgraded to support faster speeds (HSPA+ and beyond)?
     
  15. Dmunjal macrumors 65816

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #15
    Apple is dependant on chipset manufacturers like QualComm. The next iPhone will probably get HSPA+, not LTE.
     

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