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HSDPA in Germany next year

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T-Mobile will bring HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) wireless technology to the German market as early as March 2006. It may already be available nationwide during CeBIT 2006.

HSDPA speeds up downloads from 384 kilobits per second up to 1.8Mbps, using the existing UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) network. T-Mobile says it will test high-speed UMTS under real conditions in the coming months, with demonstrations taking place at its T-Mobile Campus in Bonn.

In the future, speeds will gradually be increased to 7.2 megabits per second, that's a lot faster than most fixed-network DSL (Digital Subscriber Line) lines. In February, Ericsson was able to achieve speeds of 9 Mbts/s downstream in tests.

Of course, the technology will have to complement T-Mobile's existing range of technologies such as W-LAN. T-Mobile already operates around 5,000 hot spots in Germany. To get access to HSDPA, you'll need an updatable laptop UMTS data card, T-Mobile says.

Although some experts believe HSDPA won’t be in demand for two years, Canadian company Sierra Wireless is reporting high orders for its HSDPA cards. Among the countries in Europe planning to introduce HSPDA are Austria and France.

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