High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) is a collection of mobile telephony protocol that extend and improve the performance of existing UMTS protocols. Three standards, HSDPA, HSUPA and HSPA+ have been established.
High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) deployments support peak downlink speeds of 1.2, 1.8, 3.6, 7.2 and 14.4 Mbps. Each data speed is defined as a Category within HSDPA.
High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) deployment support peak uplink speeds up to 5.76 Mbps. Also uses Categories to describe the various evolutions within HSUPA
HSPA+ (also known as: HSPA Evolution & Evolved HSPA) provides data rates up to 42 Mbps on the downlink and 22 Mbps on the uplink. Most common mechanism for increasing data rates is MIMO, a smart antenna technology.
LTE Long Term Evolution next version
Category 1 1.2 Mbit/s
Category 2 1.2 Mbit/s
Category 3 1.8 Mbit/s
Category 4 1.8 Mbit/s
Category 5 3.6 Mbit/s
Category 6 3.6 Mbit/s
Category 7 7.2 Mbit/s
Category 8 7.2 Mbit/s
Category 9 10.2 Mbit/s
Category 10 14.4 Mbit/s
Category 1 0.73 Mbit/s
Category 2 1.46 Mbit/s
Category 3 1.46 Mbit/s
Category 4 2.93 Mbit/s
Category 5 2.00 Mbit/s
Category 6 5.76 Mbit/s
Category 7 11.5 Mbit/s
Technology Standards Evolution
It is worth noting that a number of 3G devices are WCDMA Rel99. This means that either their Uplink or both Uplink and Downlink is constrained to either 384kbps or even worse 128kbps.
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Comment by Loftus, on 3-Apr-2009 16:40
Don't forget the additional categories introduced with HSPA+, namely:
Cat 13: 17.6Mbps
Cat 14: 21.1Mbps
(Cat 11 & 12 are for devices unable to support 16QAM modulation, and have been somewhat superceded by cat 3+)