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3G/ HSDPA protocols unpacked


There are various protocols that are available for wireless internet connections. This article looks at them, starting with the fastest: 1. HSDPA (High Speed Data Packet Access, also known as 3.5G) : This is the newest type of 3G mobile network. HSDPA allows the end user to receive data at up to 14.4Mbps. (This is not yet available in South Africa though but we are getting there!) That's as fast or faster than many wired broadband connections. All USB modems sold in South Africa are HSDPA enabled. 2. 3G or UMTS: Universal mobile telecommunications service describes broadband , packet-based transmission of multimedia content at data rates up to 2 Mbps to mobile device users globally. Based on the GSM standard, UMTS is endorsed by major standards bodies and manufacturers and is the planned standard for mobile users around the world. 3. Edge: Enhanced data GSM environment is a faster version of GSM service designed to deliver data at rates up to 384 Kbps and enable the delivery of multimedia and other broadband applications to mobile phone and computer users. The EDGE standard is built on the existing GSM standard, using the same time-division multiple access (TDMA) frame structure and existing cell arrangements. 4. GPRS (General Packet Radio Service): GPRS allows a data transmission rate of up to 171.2 kbps and is suitable for internet access. GPRS is based on GSM technology using an Internet protocol (IP). Users who are not covered on the 3G/ HSDPA network will be able to connect to the internet using this protocol although it is slow.