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HSPA users hit 50 million from 11 million last year

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Radio TowerWith RIM’s first HSPA (the BlackBerry Bold’s flavour of 3G) device now available internationally, and so many worries about coverage arising, it’s time to take a look at some subscriber numbers. Last year, 11 million cell phones were running on the 3G technology, but now we’re looking at 50 million handsets cruising on HSPA networks. That substantial increase is supported by 191 service providers and over 740 devices.

“These figures highlight the global success of Mobile Broadband and the fact that we are continuing to see greater and greater economies of scale,” said Rob Conway, CEO and Member of the Board of the GSMA. “This is driving down the cost of devices and equipment and enabling more and more users across the world to enjoy easy access to media-rich services anywhere at anytime.”

This gives us a lot of hope for better connectivity on the BlackBerry Bold and future 3G devices, but by the looks of the BlackBerry Javelin and BlackBerry Kickstart, the 9000 may be the only HSPA BlackBerry until the BlackBerry Thunder in mid-October.

(via cellular-news)

BlackBerry Thunder Update: tons of network support, no hope for N.A. unlocking

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Verizon BlackBerry Thunder

The Boy Genius continues to filter through the black swamp of tech rumors to deliver us the goods, this time with an update for the BlackBerry Thunder, the exclusive touch screen BlackBerry for Verizon he broke news of during WES.

A few things stand out: first, the Thunder will not have an external microSD slot, meaning you’re going to have to pop the battery to access it, as if it were a BlackBerry Curve. Once you’ve popped that battery, however, you’ll see a SIM card sitting next to it. BG has also heard that the BlackBerry will support CDMA 1x, EV-DO, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and HSPA, making it a very slick hybrid device. Of course, North American readers can forget about unlocking it for use on, say, AT&T: like the BlackBerry 8830, the Thunder will only use CDMA coverage while inside the great US of A — which doesn’t matter much seeing as the BlackBerry will only support the international 900/1800MHz bands with 2100MHz WCDMA band anyways.

BG is still saying Q3 release this year for the Thunder. We keep you in the know as more information develops.

(via Boy Genius Report)

First Real BlackBerry Thunder Pic, Boy Genius Spot On

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Verizon BlackBerry Thunder

BG has done it again, leaking another exclusive picture of a nascent BlackBerry. This time, it’s the BlackBerry Thunder, which Boy Genius tells us is a dual mode (EV-DO Rev. C and GSM HSPA for international travel) touchscreen BlackBerry coming exclusively to Verizon Q3 of this year. Although it’s a mock-up, BG wouldn’t post it unless it was legit. Also, surprise surpise, it looks exactly like the one BG furnished when he originally broke the story during WES — it’s almost like he knew.

Post a comment and tell us what you think of the words touchscreen and BlackBerry being wrapped together in one nice, neat little package.

(via BoyGenius Report)

DoCoMo pushes for 3.5G

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DoCoMoBetween setting up Hawaii with WCDMA through AT&T, and beginning an experimental “Super 3G” project, DoCoMo’s had a pretty busy week. The Super 3G is based off HSPA and is primarily focused on low latency and spectrum efficiency. Funny that, considering Norm Lo’s words the other day regarding 3G. Could this new technology be something RIM bites on?

In addition to this, Super 3G will be examining something called Multiple-Input Multiple-Output or MIMO, which involves multiple antennas receiving and transmitting data on the same frequency. Ultimately, they’re hoping to hit the 300 Mbps downlink mark; a noble goal, especially considering the last big project we’ve heard about was aiming for 100. The 3rd. Generation Partnership Project is on board for this one, marking Super 3G as a long-term evolution for wireless standards and aiming for a 2010 implementation. As far as Hawaii goes, Ohau should have WCDMA coverage by the end of the year, with the rest of the islands getting access early in 2008.

Convergence report says wireless standards don’t compete

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KumbayaWTRS has issued a report that goes over the big players in converged mobile devices.

1) In spite of the plethora of emerging wireless standards, each has its own niche of dominance without much overlap or competition between them.
2) WiMAX has found a solid niche in the backhaul network.
3) HSPA is making strong progress in handsets and represents a highly competitive service offering for carriers.
4) Bluetooth has expanded the functionality of a handset with the incorporation of WiBree into the SIG. Products based on WiBree will almost certainly enter the market this year.
5) DLNA, with its convergence strategy, has developed a mechanism for providing interoperable consumer electronics and mobile communications devices using only existing networking standards. As a result DLNA compliance affords devices added functionality not available previously.

Continue reading ‘Convergence report says wireless standards don’t compete’

3G advances via GSM frequencies

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Radio towerA recent study by Ovum is suggesting that 300 million people across Africa, Asia and Europe could be getting in on wireless broadband by 2012 with some investment in the 900 MHz and 2100 MHz bands. The main pull would be cost effectiveness, but consistent international standards could slow down progress.

“National governments need to coordinate their spectrum policies to enable the widespread rollout of HSPA in the 900MHz band,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Government and Regulatory Affairs Officer of the GSMA. “Such coordination would make HSPA at 900MHz a cost-effective way to provide valuable broadband services to the many people untouched by the high-speed Internet revolution that has swept through the developed world.”

900 MHz is a pretty high-traffic right now, so some heavy restructuring would be necessary in order to make 3G work without interfering with existing GSM signals.