14Mbps broadband possible, says MTN

By Dave Glazier, ITWeb journalist
Johannesburg, 13 Apr 2006

Mobile broadband at 14Mbps downlink speed, more than 13 times faster than current ADSL speeds, could be available within the next two years.

This is according to Brian Seligmann, senior manager for data and messaging, revealing MTN`s HSDPA enhancement strategies earlier this week.

Seligmann says that although HSDPA was only rolled out last month, MTN has many plans to upgrade the network in various stages over the next two years.

"The upgrade process for HSDPA is to take downlink speeds to 3.6Mbps, then 7.2Mbps, and then to 14.4Mbps," he says.

He cautions that a host of factors - including backbone transmission costs and handset availability - could affect the progress of MTN`s intended HSDPA enhancements.

At the recent CTIA Wireless conference in Las Vegas, Ericsson (MTN`s network partner) demonstrated mobile broadband at 28Mbps, he adds.

In addition to the enhanced downlink speeds, MTN aims to move uplink speeds "into the megabits per second category". Uplink speeds could exceed 1Mbps before the end of the year and be near 6Mbps within one to two years, adds Seligmann. "Where will the technology end?"

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