Mobile phone users could soon be uploading data at a rate of 2Mbps (megabits per second) thanks to a chip recently demonstrated by Qualcomm.
The chip is based on HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access), a technology that promises to boost the upload speed of mobile data networks. Operators around the world are currently rolling out HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) networks, which increase the download speed of 3G (third-generation) networks but not the upload rate.
Qualcomm said its HSUPA chip supports upload speeds of 2Mbps, which could be used for video-conferencing or to upload large files. The company will demonstrate the capabilities at the Expo Comm Wireless trade show in Japan this week.
Ten device makers are designing phones based on the chips, Qualcomm said, although it did not name the manufacturers or say when the phones might be released.
Qualcomm has also launched interoperability testing with infrastructure providers in order to ensure that the chips can communicate with the network equipment that vendors are designing.
HSDPA networks offer download rates of about 2Mbps today, and operators expect to be able to increase that to 7Mbps or more in the future. Most GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) operators plan to also offer HSUPA, which will better support interactive applications such as video conferencing and mobile VoIP (voice over IP).
Operators such as T-Mobile say that in lab tests they have achieved 5.8Mbps using HSUPA. The first HSUPA networks are expected to be available next year.