HSDPA phenomenal global growth


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Nov 22, 2010
In South Africa we have become accustomed to hearing about phenomenal growth in the mobile broadband sector but it seems that this growth trend is mirrored across the globe.

According to figures released by the GSM Association 3G HSPA has increased by 850 percent worldwide in the last year.

The GSM reported that there are currently 32 million HSPA connections compared to 3 million last year. Quite a substantial increase in anyone’s books but there is a chance that the huge uptake of this technology may also trip it up.

Capacity a challenge for the future

Capacity issues are always going to be a concern of any mobile network provider.

In South Africa the current bottleneck sits with backhaul capacity which is also where international operators are expecting to see problems arise.

Nicholas Högberg, chief commercial officer at Swedish mobile operator 3 noted in a Computer World article that carriers aren’t turning a blind eye to the need to constantly upgrade their networks but the question is whether they can upgrade before users start experiencing problems.

Finding new methods

Mobile providers may also have to look at more innovative ways to carry traffic as the marketplace becomes flooded with newer and cheaper mobile devices which in turn will add to the issue of ensuring that a network has enough capacity.

One possible solution is to invest in femotocells.

“Capacity demand will also force carriers to look at other ways of building mobile networks. It will also drive the demand for so-called femtocells, small base stations for the home that offload mobile network traffic by sending data via a fixed broadband connection,” noted Computer World.

But there are also simple issues like getting permission to set up a base station.

I for one will rally behind the notorious Green Scorpions if a mobile provider wants to build a base station near my home. Sure, I want the convenience of a mobile data service that is fast and reliable but I’m not going to be the sucker that let’s them build that monstrosity in my back yard.

Heck, I need all the brain cells I’ve got.