Nokia Siemens Networks on Saturday said it would use Mobile World Congress next week to demo 112Mbps 3G using HSPA+. The technology will be four times faster than existing 21Mbps HSPA+ and will accomplish the feat by bonding four transceivers together into a single data connection. Despite seemingly requiring more equipment, it's actually seen as more efficient since it balances the load and makes better use of available airwaves.
The four-transceiver technology is part of the future 3GPP Release 10 standard and so will potentially show up in real-world networks in the future; many of Nokia Siemens' existing cell sites can be upgraded in software and only need extra versions of the same equipment once the software is ready. In the nearer term, a two-unit base station should be available within the first half of this year and could provide 56Mbps 3G.
Most carriers are more likely to adopt 4G using the LTE standard, which nets a lower 100Mbps but is purely Internet Protocol based and may be more efficient. However, the new technology opens the door to competitive 3G for those that either need to keep the older technology active or can't realistically upgrade to 4G in the near future. T-Mobile plans to embrace HSPA+ this year and has already been preceded by all three major Canadian carriers, but AT&T is due to jump directly from 7.2Mbps 3G to 4G in 2011.