Rants, Raves, Reviews


What is so super about 'Super 3G'?

By Gary R, in , posted: 3-May-2006 16:34

From the GSM world that gave us such meaningless terms as '2.5G' and '2.75G' comes yet another equally meaningless term - 'Super 3G'. This term is being applied to HSDPA most likely because HSDPA delivers faster speeds than '3G' or UMTS. What is not clear is which iteration of HSDPA the 'Super' applies to. Is it the 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 or 14.4Mbps versions that are 'Super'. What about HSUPA is that 'Super, super'? Does this also mean that UMTS did not deliver the '3G' promise? By being 'Super' are people going to be led to believe that what they are getting in HSDPA is better?

Over in the CDMA world (which is obviously what HSDPA and UMTS really are) we seem to care less about labels. CDMA 1xRTT is 3G (as ratified by the ITU), EVDO Rel0 is 3G, EVDO RevA is still 3G and so are RevB and RevC. 4G seems to be something in the stratosphere even beyond EVDO RevC. Although NTT DoCoMo seems to refer to the WCDMA equivalent of EVDO RevC as '4G'.

I wonder what the GSM world are going to call HSDPA if it doesn't deliver the goods? Users on the Cingular HSDPA network certainly don't seem to consider it 'Super' with average reported speeds hovering around 400kbps. Maybe they need to consider a new term for the first iterations of HSDPA, something like 'The Not Quite But Almost and Nearly There Super 3G'. A bit of a mouth full but in an industry known for its fondness of acronyms 'TNQBANTS3G' does have a certain ring to it. Using a 3 point font you could almost squeeze it onto a phone face plate.

I think that I might start referring to EVDO as the 'Super Duper 3G' after all EVDO has delivered what was promised and will keep delivering for now and into the foreseeable future. Or maybe I should just keep it simple and call it '3.25G'


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Gary R
Wellington
New Zealand


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