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DoCoMo to launch 3.5G service
Posted on 27-May-2003 07:36. | Tags Filed under: News.

Most of us with mobile connections use 2.5G (GPRS and CDMA). (very) Few use 3G services, just launched in UK, Italy and Australia. But DoCoMo, the Japanese telco is already preparing to release HSDPA (high-speed downlink packet access), a 3.5G tecnhology with speeds of up to 14.4mbps.

DoCoMo last month ordered mobile simulators for the testing and evaluation of HSDPA from UbiNetics Ltd. in Cambridge, England, that specializes in wireless test and measurement equipment. HSDPA uses some of the advantages of W-CDMA, or wideband code division multiple access, the technology upon which many 3G services will be based. But HSDPA is much faster than 3G because it uses a more efficient coding technology.

I wonder if this is really needed. For "walled garden" applications, like MyO2 or Vodafone Live!, which are based on small "pieces" of wml information, like a map, a picture, a page of news, 2.5G is enough, although 3G is nicer. For courier drivers and field personnel who need transaction-type transfer of data, this is great. But some people need connections that are longer, like access to imap servers, or voice servers. In these case, the latency in wireless networks will impact the service for everyone.

By the way, interesting to note one of the countries where Vodafone is not the number one, is Japan. The reason for them to be there (as J-Phone), is to know more about how the public interact with mobile services. The Japanese mobile user is incredible!

We know how telcos deploy less cell sites than needed. And how the number of users in each cell impact in the overall performance for other users.

Also, there is no much more space available in the current IP addressing, so people need to start moving to IP6. Currently telcos assing NAT addresses to users using GPRS and CDMA networks, but this impact in how people can access company's services through firewalls and VPN boxes.

Until a wider range of address is available, people will be limited to use "lifestyle" services on mobile network.

And the cost is prohibitive too. That's why companies are so interested in wi-fi based IP telephony. Workers can walk around the office and take the phone with. If working from home they can still make and receive calls like in the office, and on the streets a wi-fi spot is enough to connect, VPN, and place a call, paid by the company's bulk buy from the long distance provider, which is way cheaper than mobile carriers can do now.

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