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Wireless Networking Communications The Internet Hardware

Mobile Broadband to Hit 42Mb/sec In 2009 129

Barence writes "Mobile broadband speeds could hit a blistering 42Mb/sec as early as next year, according to Ericsson's chief technology officer. The idea seems far-fetched given that even the fastest dongles currently hover at around 7.2Mb/sec, but the technology to smash that barrier is thought to be just around the corner. One of the methods is very similar to the MIMO technology already used in draft-N wireless routers, but Ericsson believes a combination of factors may even squeeze that figure to 80Mb/sec in the longer term."
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Mobile Broadband to Hit 42Mb/sec In 2009

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  • To soon.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by slakdrgn ( 531347 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @05:57PM (#25981239) Homepage guesstimate early next year. Aside from FCC approval do you really think most mobile broadband companies (well, AT&T and such) will hurry to implement this while citing issues with bandwidth and creating caps. Add that to RIAA influence and technology upgrades for carriers, it'll probably be at least 5-6 years before we see any consumer use of this technology.

    • Then again, this is in the UK which advances their technology a bit different than carriers in the US. For some reason, my brain omitted that part when I RTFA.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by aliquis ( 678370 )

        Though, Ericsson is swedish (and current services offer 7.2 mbps here in Sweden to, but it will only be that in very selected areas in big cities, which Sweden has few of :D. For most people it will be slow as shit, as always with crap like this* and DSL.)

        Build fiber networks ffs.

        * Oh well, some day I assume wireless technology will be decent, but until then. And wireless access points connected to households fiber connections would work just fine for most uses.

        • And with usage limits, with this technology, you can reach your monthly limit in as little as 3 or 4 hours, if not sooner.

          You will be sent an email notifying you of this once your overage charges reach $100.

          • by aliquis ( 678370 )

            While I haven't read the contract / user agreement I haven't read a shit about that, so I went to and checked:

            "Ãr det verkligen obegrÃnsad datafÃrbrukning med 3Bredband 7,2 Mbit/s?

            Svar: Ja. Vi kommer aldrig att ta mer betalt oavsett hur mycket man fÃrbrukar. Vi fÃrbehÃ¥ller oss rÃtten att skydda oss mot extrem anvÃndning som pÃ¥ ett mkt kraftigt sÃtt skiljer sig frÃ¥n genomsnittet eller annat missbruk som orsakar 3 eller dess kunder s

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          Build fiber networks ffs.

          that's what i'm saying. most people here in the U.S. are still stuck with 1~8 Mbps asymmetric residential connections, meanwhile people in Japan and South Korea are upgrading from 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps symmetric bandwidth FttH [] for about $56 USD. meanwhile, what Comcast arrogantly refers to as their "wideband" service offers only 50 Mbps and costs $150/month.

          i think the first thing we need to do is catch up on wired broadband infrastructure. internet usage is only going to increase, and

          • by aliquis ( 678370 )

            There was some kind of plans for doing it here back in 2002, but then ADSL came and people starting talking about using the electricity network and well, I guess the government though "oh, so the market will solve it themself", but ADSL suck, and the infrastructure could be used for so much more, and would be so "cheap" compared to all the years one can use it.

            Fucking morons.

            Over here you would had got the fiber to your door though.

    • "Aside from FCC approval do you really think most mobile broadband companies (well, AT&T and such) will hurry to implement this while citing issues with bandwidth and creating caps."

      Why would I expect them to confuse two different technologies?

      "Add that to RIAA influence and technology upgrades for carriers, it'll probably be at least 5-6 years before we see any consumer use of this technology."

      Nothing like the "I WANT IT NOW!" mentality to drive innovation.

    • by isj ( 453011 )

      Technology evolves, but I cannot help think that it is a bit curious that this announcement comes when mobile wimax is starting to be implemented. The mobile phone companies have heavy investment in equipment, and wimax equipment was designed to be cheap. Mobile phone companies don't like mobile wimax as it is a threat to some of their revenue.

  • Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

    by binarylarry ( 1338699 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:02PM (#25981329)

    42 Mb/sec.... standing next to the tower.

    Everywhere else, a tenth of that or less.

    • Yeah, but imagine how much faster you could hit your 5GB bandwidth cap on your "unlimited" data plan. Hello iTunes Video rental!

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by buswolley ( 591500 )

      42 Mb/sec.... standing next to the tower.

      Everywhere else, a tenth of that or less.

      ha ha

      I guess Your DONGLE isn't long enough.

    • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

      by p0tat03 ( 985078 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:39PM (#25981857)
      Still beats 2 Mb/sec standing next to the tower and a tenth of that everywhere else.
    • Hey, that's still the same speed I'm payin $60 a month for through cable.

    • So, 4.2Mb/s? That was the speed of my home Internet connection a couple of months ago. If I could get that wherever I was, then I'd be very happy to give up the wired connection entirely.
    • Between this and bittorrent we can cause the meltdown everyone has been predicting, or life will go on as always.
    • 42 Mb/sec.... standing next to the tower.

      But who would be crazy enough to get that close to Salron's tower?

  • Latency (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tubal-Cain ( 1289912 ) * on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:02PM (#25981333) Journal
    I hear a station wagon full of tapes gets pretty good bandwidth, too.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tomz16 ( 992375 )

      Latency on 3G mobile broadband networks isn't bad. I usually see 100-500msec, with the average hovering somewhere around 200-300. Far from optimal for gaming, but enough to make the web feel snappy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by brucmack ( 572780 )

        I've been using a 7.2 Mbit HSDPA 3G dongle for about half a year, and I hate the latency. Even for web browsing.

        If all of the data was transferred in one go, sure, it'd be fine. But when a typical web page results in tens of requests (for images, AJAX requests, etc.) you can really feel the latency. And it is noticable that there's an extra pause between clicking a link and having the page start to load.

        This is why it annoys me that the mobile broadband providers here (Denmark) are arguing against the ongoi

    • by kindbud ( 90044 )

      What's a "station wagon?"

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        It's what we called the internet before we started using trucks.

        Station-Wagon" []


        In 2006 the largest backup tape available is the DLT-S4, with a capacity of 800GB. If a tape of this capacity were sent by overnight mail and were to arrive around 20 hours after it was sent, the effective data rate would be 89 Mb/s.

      • It's what people used to call 5-door hatchbacks before marketing departments got to it.
    • Yeah but the latency is a real drag ;)
  • 1. handheld wifi dish antenna (pringles can?)

    2. Base station towers similar to home ham radio towers that go up 50FT but with 50 flat receivers that is joined in a circle.

    Ground Microwave is used by all local news. Pretty cool. Distance might be a problem.

    Can it be done?

  • by Creepy Crawler ( 680178 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:15PM (#25981503)

    Wow. 40+MBps speeds on cell networks, and text messages will still be .20$ per.


    • by sega01 ( 937364 )
      MBps != Mbps MBps = 8*Mbps Go back over a decade and get 100Mbit all at the cost of plugging in some CAT-5. Most WiFi setups won't even give you 100M range :-). PS: Don't click on Creepy Crawler's signature.
      • MBps != Mbps MBps = 8*Mbps Go back over a decade and get 100Mbit all at the cost of plugging in some CAT-5. Most WiFi setups won't even give you 100M range :-).

        Actually you got that backwards. Mb/s = 8*MB/s.

        Either way though, the rest of your comment is apples to oranges. The cell networks here are an internet/WAN connection. The 100Mbit you get from Ethernet is generally LAN only. Heck my home network has been running at 1Gbps for nearly two years now but it still chokes down to 1Mbps Down/256Kbps Up going out to the internet.

    • Wow. 40+MBps speeds on cell networks, and text messages will still be .20$ per.

      I think there's a typo in your post, with the extra '.' before the number 20.

    • $0.20 for text messages?!

      $15/mo and I have INFINITE text messages!

      • Heh, that's what you think.

        It really means you have infinite ACCESS, not usage. Try using cell phone monitoring and pushing txt's through a cell phone as a syslog monitor onsite.. 1 Million txt's/mo would get you disconnected..

  • How bandwidth does each tower even have for the backhall?

  • Here in Australia (Score:3, Interesting)

    by speeDDemon (nw) ( 643987 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:20PM (#25981591) Homepage

    Wireless is really the only hope we have for getting high speed broadband to all our country (7,686,850 sq km), and begrudgingly I must admit that our main carrier (Telstra) is actually doing a very good job.

    7.2Mb is available EVERYWHERE, not just next to the tower, not near a big city. Sure, for some people in distant locations they may need a roof mount antennae, but its everywhere.

    And they have on their roadmap 14Mb slated for next year, and 28mb for 2010. Now its just a roadmap, but so far they have met their promises with wireless, so I wont disregard them just yet.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      14.4 Mbps is already live in Australia nationwide on Telstra's NextG network. Telstra demonstrated 21 Mbps at their investor day in November and have committed to the market to have it available across the network early 2009. This isn't roadmap its real. Check their website and view the demo which was performed on the investor day.

      Roadmap they promised the market was to have 42 Mbps in 12 months time.

      If they don't meet these commitments the market will hammer them and that's not roadmap either, t

    • by mongie ( 978727 )

      I'm affraid you're mistaken on the "next to a tower" thing. Telstra's speeds drop off (dramatically) just as much as Vodafone and Optus.

      The NextG network is already running at 14.4mbit, but there is no hardware to support that at this point. They do have 7.2Mbit equipment, but even that will only really run at 1-2Mbit.

      If 21Mbit provides 5Mbit real speeds, I'll be amazed. 42Mbit? Well, you might get 8-10 realistically?

    • by !eopard ( 981784 )
      *Everywhere*. I call BS, since I was working on satellite connections and we've just rolled a few satellite setups out to some job sites. These are right next to major roads, even the federal highway system has large spots with no coverage. Get 10km from major roads and you get diddly squat. Here's a quick link to show you how much is/isn't covered: [] Oh, and I'm not dissing Telstra, they're doing a good job IMO in increasing coverage.
  • I bet when we reach 42Mb/s it will still be capped at 10gigs for about 2 years worth of consumer outcry, too.

  • I'm still waiting for my flying car, and I'd say that's a more realistic thing to be waiting for than low-cost, high bandwidth, uncapped internet in the United States.

    • You'll get your flying car after I get my lunar colony. ~:-)
      • The moon is actually photoshopped. :) Everybody knows heavenly bodies are perfect spheres... Those imperfections we can see are because somebody did too many cut and paste operations. Now, back to my flying car!

  • In Australia, one operator (Telstra) went from 7.2 to 14Mbps. They announced that they would rapidly move to 21Mbps, so most hardware manufacturers didn't bother manufacturing 14Mbps chipsets. I for one hope that 21Mbps doesn't also get skipped in favour of 42Mbps.
  • by dutt ( 738848 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:42PM (#25981891) Homepage
    The technology is called Long Term Evolution (LTE) and is part of the 4th generation of mobile telephony.

    More information about it is found here: []

    The article doesn't mention a lot of facts and it also fails to mention that speeds upto 100 Mbit/s is the goal for LTE. So this will be the next step in broadband services over wireless mobile networks.

  • Contractual Limits (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vlm ( 69642 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:46PM (#25981955)

    Mobile broadband speeds could hit a blistering 42Mb/sec

    I guarantee there will be one of two contractual limitations:

    1) "Unlimited" service forbids the downloading of any media files, use of any streaming applications, any online gaming purposes, any voip or video conference service, and has a cap of 100 megs per month which you'll reach in 2 seconds


    2) "pay as you go data plan" only $150 for 100 megs per month which you'll also reach in two seconds.

    Cell phone providers are a confuse-opoloy of crooks whom exist solely to screw over their contractually enslaved victims as much as possible before they switch to another provider, whom coincidentally also only exists to screw over their "customers". Nothing but pure distilled "marketing". I hope they all go out of business in the recession.

    Other than that, yeah its great news.

  • Is there a site that shows an electromagnetic radiation map? Not that I think much of what we're walking through is any more dangerous than the Sun's rays, but I'd be curious as to where the most intense EM is on the planet.

  • by noname444 ( 1182107 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @06:58PM (#25982097)

    What about latency and reliability?
    I'm happy with 3.6 Mbit/s, or even lower, if I get a reliable connection with low latency.
    Rock solid 512 kbit/s with 20 ms latency would be preferable to anything available in the mobile market right now.

    • by George_Ou ( 849225 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @08:36PM (#25983109)
      HSDPA 3G is the technology we have now that's 7.2 Mbps. It has a interface latency of 150 ms round trip.

      HSPA+ is the technology coming out in 2009 that this article is talking about which has a downstream capacity of 44 Mbps, and I think they're trimming the latency down to about 90ms round trip.

      LTE is the next gen technology launching in 2010 and it will go 85 Mbps downstream on 2xMIMO using 10 MHz of frequency. It can go 300+ Mbps using 20 MHz 4xMIMO. They're getting the air interface latency down to 20 ms round trip which is getting really good and it's only 10 ms higher latency than wired DSL. It all depends on your application requirements. If you only care about VoIP and online gaming, you don't even need 100 Kbps and all you want is the lowest ping times. You only need the burst speed for web surfing and downloading new maps, etc.
    • What about latency and reliability? I'm happy with 3.6 Mbit/s, or even lower, if I get a reliable connection with low latency. Rock solid 512 kbit/s with 20 ms latency would be preferable to anything available in the mobile market right now.

      I will be happy when I get 100 MB / 100 MB bi-directional [] access to the internet for around $50 per month. Heck the Japanese have had this level since 2003 and now in 2008 they are migrating up to 1GB / 1Gb for less than $55.00 per month []. How far behind do we have to fall anyway?

      As for

      Who cares about bandwidth?

      I do!

      I still want the same speed upstream as I am getting downstream. Enough excuses already time to honor your promises [] to the United States government and U.S. consumers. (Note: While some of the telcos that promise

    • I use to be on satellite and id get 1.5down/384k up and around 1200ms pingtimes Now I'm on sprint Mobil (aircard) and i just got 1.4down/500up with 84ms pingtime for $20 less not a bad deal except now i think they charge for going over 5mb a month
    • Well the Feds do say anything over 200 kbps qualifies as broadband. :)

  • I'm in a rural area of Colorado. DSL and Cable are not available, but the Sprint Broadband service is. However, as good as it works I would really like to have something better.

    QWest is the phone company out here and they won't install DSL in my area because there are only 25 potential customers, they say they need 75 to make it worth it. Oh, and if they were to install it, they guess at most I would get would be 1.5Mb which is nearly what Sprint gives me.

  • by slonik ( 108174 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @08:11PM (#25982883)

    As someone who works in the field of wireless cellular physical layer (MIMO, FEC, etc.) I would offer a bit of a reality check. As a rule of thumb in a wireless mobile environment with large cells even with MIMO, LDPC or Turbo coding, advanced QAM modulation, etc one should not expect spectral efficiency more than 4 bits/second/Hertz for an average user. And even this number is optimistic and assumes low mobility speeds and low interference.
    For a 40MHz full-duplex channel (half the resources in uplink, half in downlink) one would optimistically expect 80Mbits/sec per cell downlink or uplink. This capacity will be shared amoung all the users served by the cell. If, as a user, you get 8Mbits/second sustained throughput, consider yourself lucky.

    • If, as a user, I got 8Mb/s sustained throughput I would consider myself very lucky. This is within 20% of what I get at home - getting the same speed wherever I go would be ideal.
    • Parent makes an important point -- bandwidth in a cell is SHARED among the users.

      Now imagine how many users you might have in a 1-km radius cell. All of a sudden your "up to 42Mb/sec" connection doesn't look so good any more. And unlike with wired nets, you don't have as many options to deal with the problem by carving out smaller subnets with independent bandwidth. Spectrum eventually hands you a limit.

      In Japan we experienced this firsthand. Last year we were the first to get reasonably priced flat-rat

      • Transparent caching appliances at the cell towers should be mandatory for this type of device, with the speeds they are talking about.

        I mean, think about it. Most cell phones (not the geek style, but most that Lusers have) access WAP style pages. Caching them at the head end would SEVERLY drop the amount of traffic going in and out of the high speed link to the rest of the world.

        But, since most cell towers are in areas that can't even get reliable DSL, and the providers backhaul their signals wirelessly t

    • by waded ( 1032834 )
      Thank you; yours is the voice of wisdom I was looking for.
    • Shannon's limit states that you can't go faster than 1-7 bits/sec/Hz, but that applies to a single spatial stream. If you have 4 spatial streams with good multipath, then it is possible to go 4 times faster. This is why LTE 4xMIMO with a 20 MHz channel can go past 300 Mbps which is 15 bits/sec/Hz.
      • by slonik ( 108174 )

        Sorry, but you are wrong. Shannon Information Theory is universal and is applicable to any communication device including MIMO, etc. If you are really interested, there is plenty of good Info Theory books (Tomas & Cover; Galager, etc) that will help you in this area.

        Please, for God's sake, do not take marketing "white papers" as source of scientific facts.

        BTW, another frequently overlooked consequence of the Shannon Theory is that at any receiver a Signal-to-Noise-Radio per received information bit shou

        • Yes it does, this is why MIMO devices are able to go well past the limit in practice and there are plenty of real-world examples. I've also asked Professor Dale Hatfield ( about this and he has stated that each spatial stream has its own shannon's limit.
  • So they increase the speeds and let's say the US government does offer free wireless access to the Internet. Considering that, once again, they missed the boat and have already complained that the Internet will fail if they don't start capping bandwidth. So then will they ask for a bailout too? Probably.
  • American cellular companies are notorious for being slow at releasing new broadband technology over their European and Japanese counterparts. I worked for AT&T Wireless in their data centers. Contrary to their commercials, 3G didn't take three years to complete, it was closer to eight years.
  • Multicarrier HSPA+ (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Erich ( 151 ) on Wednesday December 03, 2008 @10:11PM (#25983979) Homepage Journal
    Telstra is rolling out HSPA+ Jan 2009 @ 21Mbps. That's 21Mbps in a single 5Mhz band of spectrum, without MIMO.

    If you use two bands (10Mhz) you get Multicarrier HSPA+, which peaks at 42Mbps. I'm sure you could stick more bands together and get even higher rates.

    With HSPA+ getting 21+ Mbps in a single 5Mhz carrier, are folks really going to get that much improvement in areas with lots of users with WiMAX at 100Mbps in a 20Mhz carrier? There's only so much spectrum...

  • i'd love to see it where i live. Sure the cell companies have my by the tenders, but it's the only thing I can get living out in the country. I get between 800kb - 900kb. That's a far better speed than the 36kb i was getting 2 months ago dialing in to the office. The phone Companies are never going to finish the last mile for DSL, and now that I've been using a verizion modem, I can see why. They make more money on the cell modems than they do on DSL, and there is very little infrastructure to put in place.

  • by Have Blue ( 616 )
    That reminds me, what happened to ultra-wideband? Are there any new developments with it recently, or did it turn out to be completely vapor?
  • You know . . . I still live in an area where AT&T still hasn't rolled out 3G! I'm stuck in the 2.5G dark ages with EDGE. (Carbondale, IL) What is this 42MBps you speak of?
  • I was expecting something better :-)

    In the current configuration available with XOHM, Clearwire (DL/UL - 35/12), it is possible to achieve 46 Mbps using MIMO and 64 QAM 5/6 with 10 MHz bandwidth in 2.5/2.6 GHz operation.

    But, this is the throughput at the Base Station. Good Wimax terminals can handle up to 35 Mbps (some claim 40 Mbps) in the downlink.

    64 QAM 5/6 is already pushing the limits of wireless. It is possible to decode this modulation and coding only at very high signal to (noise+interferen

  • This is all fine and dandy, BUT.....

    What about the fact that 9 of 10 times, a cell tower is somewhere that even getting a T1 to is kind of hard.

    Where my house is, we get our internet via WiFi (802.11B and A). A T1 circuit is > 1K dollars a month, and their is ONLY the telco to get it to.

    Getting a 42 meg/sec link up here would be rediculous.

    I've put up cellular towers before. Man, some of these places are damn near inaccessible in good weather. Of course, their is backhaul, and we all know that TCP/IP

  • Sprint and Verizon EVDO are both available in my area, but both have 5GB per month limits. They're the best broadband connection I can get. I get about 1.2 megabit, and 120ms latency. Much better than satellite.

    5GB goes fast if you watch any streaming video such as or

    Verizon says their Mobile Broadband connections are oriented towards business travellers and streaming video isn't one of the things I should be doing much of. Well fine Verizon, then give me DSL or something. I'

  • As many of the readers have pointed out, any wireless speed claim is irrelevant without specifying what spectrum is being used. Shame on Ericsson for making these headline-grabbing claims without clarifying how it will be achieved.

The absent ones are always at fault.