A joint statement today from Nokia Siemens and T-Mobile USA offered up some details on the new Long Term HSPA Evolution cellular data standard. The technology should be ready for commercial deployment sometime in 2013. It should be pointed out that these are theoretical maximum speeds. By the time this technology is deployed, it will be competing with LTE 4G networks from AT&T and Verizon. The current generation of LTE has a maximum downlink speed of 400Mbps, so Long Term HSPA Evolution could have a chance.
T-Mobile certainly has a stake in this. The smallest US carrier has not yet announced its plans for a new network technology. Long Term HSPA Evolution is an enhanced 3G technology that is backwards compatible with the current HSPA networks. It’s a perfect fit for T-Mobile, as they continue their rollout of 21Mbps HSPA+. If Long Term HSPA Evolution was used, it would take another generation of LTE for Verizon or AT&T to catch up in speed.
The real concern is that a technology needs to be widely adopted to encourage manufacturers to build phones around it. T-Mobile is already hurt by having an odd 1700MHz 3G frequency, using a completely different technology than other North American carriers won’t do wonders either.