Qualcomm demonstrates broadband wireless uplink

Mobile phone users could soon be uploading data at a rate of 2M bits per second thanks to a new chip being demonstrated this week by Qualcomm Inc.

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 2M bps, which could be used for videoconferencing 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 2M bps today, and operators expect to be able to increase that to 7M bps 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 voice over IP.

Operators such as T-Mobile International AG and Co. KG say that in lab tests they have achieved 5.8M bps using HSUPA. The first HSUPA networks are expected to be available next year.

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