South Korea's LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics have demonstrated a technology upgrade for WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) networks that will allow for much faster upload speeds.
Most current 3G (third generation) mobile networks based on WCDMA offer maximum uplink and downlink speeds of 384Kbps (bits per second). The downlink speed can be increased with the use of HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access), which allows downloads at speeds of 3.6Mbps (bits per second) or more.
Both LG and Samsung took advantage of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World 2006 show in Hong Kong to unveil prototype HSUPA (High Speed Uplink Packet Access) systems. LG expects to make HSUPA technology in handsets available during the second half of next year, said Choi Hyung Keun, a research engineer at LG's Mobile Handset R&D Center.
Engineers at LG's research and development labs have achieved uplink speeds of up to 2Mbps using HSUPA, with average throughput at around 1.5Mbps, Hyung said. However, LG believes this speed can be increased. The technology is theoretically capable of speeds up to 5.8Mbps or so, he said.
Samsung's HSUPA technology is also now capable of uplink speeds up to 2Mbps, the company said. The increase in uplink speed reduces the time a user takes to upload five MP3 files from five minutes with WCDMA to one minute with HSUPA, it said.
Samsung plans to build its first HSUPA systems in Europe during 2007 for Orange SA and other operators.