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From GSM to LTE: An Introduction to Mobile Networks and Mobile Broadband by Martin Sauter

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3.13 HSPA Performance in Practice

After the introduction of how UMTS works from a technical point of view, this section takes a look at which features are used in practice and how. Looking back at early networks, voice calls are still handled the same way now as then. The way packet data is transferred, however, has completely changed with HSPA. This section is therefore a snapshot of how the system performs in practice at the time of publication. It is likely that features, which have been standardized but not yet been deployed, such as, for example, CPC or multicarrier HSPA over different bands, will again change use cases and performance in the future.

3.13.1 Throughput in Practice

In practice, the experienced throughput depends on a variety of different factors:

  • The maximum throughput capability of the mobile device.
  • The sophistication of the receiver and antenna of the mobile device.
  • The capability of the network.
  • The radio conditions at the place of use. This includes the signal level received from a base station and the interference of neighbor cell transmissions on the same frequency.
  • The bandwidth of the backhaul link between the base station and the rest of the network.
  • The number of other users in the cell that actively exchange data at the same time.

With a HSDPA category 8 and HSUPA category 6 device, downlink speeds of 6 Mbit/s and uplink speeds of around 1.5 Mbit/s can be reached in practice under very good signal conditions. But even under less favorable conditions, ...

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