3G Americas, a wireless industry group supporting the GSM family of technologies in the Americas, has provided updates to its popular white paper titled UMTS Evolution from 3GPP Release 7 to Release 8: HSPA and SAE/LTE that explains the leading evolutionary roadmap for the GSM family of technologies to 3G and beyond. Globally, the demand for wireless data services is driving the growth of 3G UMTS/HSPA technology with more than 200 commercial HSDPA networks today and subscriptions to UMTS/HSPA estimated at over 236 million by Informa Telecoms and Media. With more than 3.1 billion subscriptions for the GSM family of technologies worldwide today, the potential for third generation HSPA technology is forecast to reach 1.39 billion subscriptions by year end 2012 and 1.8 billion by year end 2013 according to Informa.
UMTS Evolution from 3GPP Release 7 to Release 8: HSPA and SAE/LTE offers a further review of 3GPP Release-7 (Rel-7) upon its completion in the technology standardization process and an introduction to the improved features of 3GPP Release 8 (Rel-8). The paper explores the growing demands for wireless data and successes for a variety of wireless applications, the increasing Average Revenue per User (ARPU) for wireless services by operators worldwide, recent developments in 3GPP technologies by several leading manufacturers, and 3GPP technology benefits and technical features.
Upon the finalization of the Rel-8 standard later this year, 3G Americas will publish a new white paper on the 3GPP standards that will include the completion of Rel-7 HSPA+ features, voice over HSPA, SAE/EPC (Evolved Packet Core) specification and Common IMS among other new developments and features. Since HSPA+ enhancements are fully backwards compatible with Rel-99/Rel-5/Rel-6, the upgrade to HSPA+ has been made smooth and evolutionary for GSM operators. Additionally, Rel-7 standardizes Evolved EDGE with continuing development in Rel-8 which will improve the user experience across all wireless data services by reducing latency and increasing data throughput and capacity. Finalization of the Rel-8 standard by the end of this year will further progress market interest in commercial deployment of LTE. Leading operators worldwide are announcing their plans to deploy LTE as early as 2010 with trials already occurring today.
The popular white paper UMTS Evolution from 3GPP Release 7 to Release 8: HSPA and SAE/LTE was written collaboratively by members of 3G Americas and is available for free download here.