Mobile broadband to hit 42Mb/sec in 2009

According to Ericsson's chief technology officer mobile broadband could be about to recieve a blistering speed boost

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 according to John Cunliffe, the technology to smash that barrier is just around the corner.

"If you look at what's actually happening, the fastest service in the UK at the moment is 7.2Mb/sec, but we can easily see how we get to 14Mb/sec by improving the codes using the modulation," he tells PC Pro.

"After that there are two steps that can boost speed. We go to the modulation that is 64 QAM... that's 64 combinations of information in the same slot as one piece of information. In other words it's massively spectrally effecient. We think that's going to give us 21Mb/sec.

"But then there's another technique called MIMO, multiple in multiple out. What this means is you have multiple radios on a device, this is like Wi-Fi uses with the N standard.

With MIMO we can go from 14Mb/sec to 28Mb/sec. They're two paralell paths, but we can then combine them to get 42Mb/sec. Essentially this is happening through 2009."

Cunliffe acknowledges that while the technology to boost speeds exists, it may take another year or so for the dongles themselves to catch up. However, he doesn't think speeds will stop at 42Mb/sec.

"We think even more in the future, we can probably squeeze that to 80Mb/sec, and that's before we even get to Long Term Evolution."

For a comprehensive roundup of all the UK's mobile broadband services, read our feature.

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