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HSPA+ for Enhanced Mobile Broadband

Qualcomm Incorporated
February 2009
Release 7 HSPA+ For
Mobile Broadband Evolution

Table of Contents

[1] Executive Summary ......................................................................... 1

[2] Introduction and Overview ............................................................... 2

2.1 What is HSPA+?...................................................................... 3

[3] HSPA Offers an Entire Range of IP Services .................................. 4

[4] HSPA+ Doubles Data Capacity and Reduces Cost ........................ 4

4.1 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO)..................................... 5

4.2 Higher Order Modulation (HOM) ............................................. 6

4.3 Discontinuous Transmission and Reception (DTX/DRX)........ 6

[5] HSPA+ More than Doubles the Voice Capacity .............................. 7

5.1 Higher Data Capacity through Voice over HSPA .................... 8

[6] Enhanced User Experience Benefits ............................................... 9

[7] Multicarrier Further Enhances the Broadband Experience............ 10

[8] HSPA+ is the natural evolution of HSPA at a lower cost............... 12

[9] The Optimal Solution in single and aggregated 5 MHz blocks ...... 13

[10] HSPA+ Has a Strong Evolution Path beyond R8 ........................ 15

[11] Conclusion ................................................................................... 16

[12] Appendix ...................................................................................... 17

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[1] Executive Summary


WCDMA operators have rapidly launched High Speed Packet Access
(HSPA) services to capitalize on HSPA’s mobile broadband capabilities
and increased data capacity. As the natural evolution, HSPA+ further
enhances the mobile broadband experience and increases the capacity
through incremental investments and backward compatible handsets.
HSPA+ Release 7 (R7) is commercial and HSPA+ R8 is targeted for
commercialization during 2010. HSPA+ has a strong evolution path
beyond HSPA+ R8 and the definition of HSPA+ Release 9 (R9) has
already started in the 3GPP standards.

HSPA+ R7 doubles the data capacity of HSPA and more than doubles
the voice capacity WCDMA, enabling operators to offer mobile
broadband and voice at even lower cost. HSPA+ Release 8 (R8)
introduces the first step of the multicarrier feature, aggregating two 5
MHz carriers, which doubles the user data rates to all users in the cell.
While HSPA already supports the full range of packet-based IP services
with integrated Quality of Service (QoS), HSPA+ further enhances the
end-user experience through higher peak rates, lower latency, improved
“always-on” experience and extended talk time. HSPA+ is the optimal
solution for single or aggregated 5 MHz carriers and provides
performance similar to that of LTE in the same bandwidth and when
using the same number of antennas. HSPA+ is the natural evolution of
HSPA and provides next-generation performance through an incremental
and a cost-effective upgrade while leveraging existing investments.

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[2] Introduction and Overview


Nearly all WCDMA operators across both developed and developing
countries have rapidly launched HSPA services to capitalize on its
excellent mobile broadband capabilities and increased data capacity.
The enhanced downlink (HSDPA) had been launched commercially by
217 operators in 93 countries as of early 2009.The enhanced uplink
(HSUPA) is also quickly being introduced with around 50 deployments as
of early 2009. HSPA devices have proliferated and mobile operators
have seen data services account for a rising and substantive proportion
of their revenue. HSPA+ is the natural evolution of HSPA and operators
are now preparing to commercially launch HSPA+ R7 in early 2009.
HSPA+ R7 is the first evolutionary step beyond HSPA and HSPA+ R8 is
targeted for commercialization during 2010 with multicarrier as a key
feature. HSPA+ further enhances the mobile broadband experience and
increases the voice and data capacity of HSPA. This white paper
discusses the HSPA+ key benefits:

HSPA+ enhances mobile broadband with data rates up to 42 Mbps


in R8 while R7 enables up to 28 Mbps downlink data rates.

HSPA+ doubles the data capacity over HSPA and more than
doubles voice capacity over WCDMA, reducing the cost of delivering
voice or data services (more efficient voice over HSPA+ can also be
used to free up data capacity).

HSPA+ enhances the end-user experience with lower latency, faster


call set-up time, improved “always-on” experience and a longer talk time.

HSPA+ multicarrier further enhances the broadband experience.


HSPA+ R8 doubles the data rates to all users and can significantly
increase the bursty application capacity, e.g., Web browsing.

HSPA+ is the optimal solution for single and aggregated 5 MHz


carriers, and provides similar performance as LTE for the same
bandwidth and using the same number of antennas.

HSPA+ is the natural evolution of HSPA at a lower cost, enabling an


incremental and cost-effective upgrade that leverages existing assets.

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2.1 What is HSPA+?


HSPA+ is the name of the set of HSPA enhancements that are defined
in 3GPP beyond Release 6 (R6). The enhanced downlink (HSDPA) was
defined in R5 and the enhanced uplink (HSUPA) was defined in R6.

Broadband Broadband 2x data capacity Multicarrier- doubled Enhanced performance


downloads uploads, QoS >2x voice capacity data rates to all users and higher data rates

Rel-99 Rel-5 Rel-6 Rel-7 Rel-8 Rel-9 and beyond


(HSDPA) (HSUPA)
WCDMA HSPA HSPA+ (HSPA Evolved)

DL: 1.8-14.4 Mbps DL: 1.8-14.4 Mbps DL: 28 Mbps DL: 42 Mbps1 DL: 84 Mbps and beyond2
UL: 384 Kbps UL: 5.7 Mbps UL: 11 Mbps UL: 11 Mbps UL: 23 Mbps and beyond2

1R8 will reach 42 Mbps by combining 2x2 MIMO and HOM (64QAM) in 5 MHz, or by utilizing HOM (64QAM) and multicarrier in 10 MHz.
2R9 and beyond may utilize combinations of multicarrier and MIMO to reach 84 Mbps peak rates and beyond. Similarly, uplink multicarrier can double the uplink data rates.

Note: Estimated commercial dates

Note: Estimated commercial dates


2009 2010 2011 2012+
200 201 201 2012 Created 01/14/09
Created 01/14/09

Figure 1: The HSPA+ evolution

This paper focuses on the first and second step of the HSPA evolution
and the enhancements that have been defined in 3GPP R7 and R8. For
a more detailed view of the R7 and R8 features, see the appendix at the
conclusion of this paper. As seen in Figure 1, HSPA+ further enhances
the mobile broadband experience by providing up to 28 Mbps peak data
rates in the downlink (DL) in R7, and up to 42 Mbps in R8.

HSPA+ has a strong evolution path and will continue to evolve beyond
HSPA+ R8 to further enhance the HSPA+ performance and provide a
clear evolution path for current HSPA networks. The definition of HSPA+
R9 was already initiated in early 2009. HSPA+ R9 and beyond is
considering enhancements such as expanding HSPA+ multicarrier
beyond 10 MHz deployments combined with MIMO (Multiple Input
Multiple Output) to provide peak rates of 84 Mbps and more.

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[3] HSPA Offers an Entire Range of IP Services


HSPA and HSPA+ allows consumers and business users to rely on
HSPA as their main broadband connection, and offer a similar user
experience across mobile and fixed networks. HSPA’s high-capacity
broadband uplink and downlink with integrated QoS and low latency can
support the entire range of IP services, including delay-sensitive
applications such as VoIP and low latency gaming. HSPA+ further
enhances the user’s experience and makes these services more
affordable by lowering costs through increased capacity.

Figure 2: HSPA supports the entire range of IP services

[4] HSPA+ Doubles Data Capacity and Reduces Cost


With the launch of HSPA, operators are seeing a significant uptake in
data demand, a result of new data applications and increased demand
for high-performance mobile broadband services. HSPA+ enhances the
performance of HSPA networks and enables wireless operators to
continue to fulfill these data needs in the most economical way, as
HSPA+ doubles the data capacity compared to HSPA R6.

Figure 3 compares the downlink and uplink data capacity of HSPA and
HSPA+. The almost doubled downlink and uplink data capacity assumes

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advanced receivers (UE equalizer, device receive diversity and Node B


IC)1 in addition to the HSPA+ features.

Figure 3: Data Capacity per Sector in Mbps (5 MHz)

HSPA greatly increased data capacity over R99 systems by adding the
high-speed shared channels with HOM (16QAM), smaller transmission
interval, Hybrid ARQ (HARQ) and opportunistic scheduling. HSPA+
builds on this solid foundation by adding support for 64QAM, 2x2 MIMO,
DTX/DRX and other air interface improvements to enhance the capacity
and the user experience.

4.1 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO)


HSPA+ R7 supports 2x2 downlink MIMO that uses two transmit
antennas at the Node B to transmit orthogonal (parallel) data streams to
the two receive antennas at the device. Using two antennas and
additional signal processing at the receiver and the transmitter, MIMO
can increase the system capacity and double user data rates without
using additional Node B power or bandwidth. Additionally, MIMO
beamforming provides gains for cell edge users where parallel MIMO
streams may not be possible.

1
UE Type 3 device receiver: linear MMSE equalizer and receive diversity.

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To be most effective, parallel MIMO streams need a high signal-to-noise


ratio (SNR) at the device and a rich scattering environment. High SNR
ensures that the device will be able to decode the signal successfully
and a rich scattering environment ensures that the two data streams
remain orthogonal. The MIMO benefit is therefore maximized in a dense
urban (city) environment, as there is enough scattering and cell sizes are
small (potentially high SNR at the device). In rural environments with
large cell sizes and less scattering, the MIMO gains will be smaller.

4.2 Higher Order Modulation (HOM)


HSPA supports 16QAM modulation on the downlink and QPSK on the
uplink. As Figure 4 shows, the data capacity (bits/symbol) increases as
we move from QPSK to 16QAM and 64QAM. HSPA+ R7 introduces
64QAM on the downlink, which increases the data rates by 50% for
devices in good signal conditions (high SNR). On the uplink, 16QAM
doubles data rates for devices that are not power headroom limited.

Wireless signals transmitted with a higher modulation are more sensitive


to interference and require a higher SNR at the receiver for successful
demodulation. HOM significantly increases the data rates for users with
high SNR. Hence, the traffic for these users can be serviced faster,
leaving Node B with more time and resources to service users in weaker
signal areas, such as the cell edge. Overall, this provides high data rates
and improved user experience for all users in the cell.

Figure 4: Higher Order Modulation

4.3 Discontinuous Transmission and Reception (DTX/DRX)


The CPC feature DTX allows the device to gate off the control channels
when there is no user data to send. In the same way, DRX allows the
device to turn off the receiver at certain agreed intervals in which Node B
does not transmit any downlink information to the device. Synchronized
DTX and DRX operation allows the device to shut off its transmitter and
receiver blocks completely, which significantly improves the device
battery life for voice over HSPA services. CPC also improves the
”always-on” experience by allowing users to stay longer in the connected
mode without compromising battery life when using bursty applications
like Web browsing. DTX also increases the uplink capacity by reducing
the uplink interference, which is especially beneficial for low-rate data
applications like voice over HSPA.

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[5] HSPA+ More than Doubles the Voice Capacity


High-quality voice is a key service that has traditionally been the core of
the wireless business. HSPA+ enables two options, CS (circuit-switched)
voice over HSPA or VoIP, which both more than double the WCDMA
R99 voice capacity and provide up to 50% more talk time, while
maintaining the same quality and codec. Users will continue to enjoy
simultaneous voice and high-speed data services while operators now
can flexibly mix voice and data services on the same HSPA+ carrier.
Figure 5 shows the voice over HSPA options and the more than doubled
voice capacity over WCDMA.

Figure 5: Voice over HSPA more than doubles voice capacity over WCDMA

CS voice over HSPA leaves the core network intact, allowing operators
to leverage their existing core network investments, while VoIP relies on
the IMS core network. CS voice over HSPA is therefore the natural
upgrade for most operators but could also be an intermediate step
toward the long-term goal to migrate to VoIP.

In current WCDMA/HSPA networks, voice services are carried over


dedicated CS bearers, which are assigned to users for the duration of
the voice call. Voice over HSPA uses the shared-packet channels with
smaller transmission intervals and HARQ to transfer voice packets more

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efficiently. HSPA+ further improves voice capacity by introducing


enhancements such as CPC. This optimizes air-interface resource
usage, providing almost double the voice capacity without Node B IC and
an almost threefold increase with Node B IC.

The enhanced serving cell change (E-SCC) in R8 further improves the


handover reliability with reduced dropped calls in demanding propagation
environments. It also enables full voice over HSPA capacity potential by
allowing the use of F-DPCH in all propagation scenarios2.

5.1 Higher Data Capacity through Voice over HSPA


The more than double voice capacity increase can also be used to
increase the data capacity. This is a key driver in the adoption of voice
over HPSA, as it increases the data capacity and offers data services at
a lower cost. Mixing voice and data on the same HSPA+ carrier is more
efficient than mixing WCDMA R99 CS voice and HSPA+ data. This
means that at any given voice load level, the system has significantly
more data capacity if voice over HSPA+ is used instead of WCDMA CS
voice. Figure 6 presents the remaining downlink data capacity for these
two cases. Furthermore, voice over HSPA is typically uplink-limited, and
there is additional capacity left over in the downlink at the maximum
uplink voice capacity.

Figure 6: Sector Data Capacity when Mixing Voice/VoIP and Data

2
Without E-SCC, signaling might have to be transported on DCH which will reduce the
Voice over HSPA capacity.

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[6] Enhanced User Experience Benefits


HSPA+ not only improves the user data rates for enhanced mobile
broadband, it also enhances the end-user experience in other ways:

• Improved “always-on” experience by allowing user to stay longer


in connected mode without compromising battery life (CPC).

• More responsive user experience thanks to lower latency with


50% reduced transition time between inactive and connected
states and 50% reduced over-the-air call setup time compared
with HSPA R6 (enhanced Cell_FACH/PCH).

• Up to 50% extended talk time through voice over HSPA (VoIP or


CS voice over HSPA) compared to WCDMA.

CPC improves the “always-on” experience by allowing packet data users


to stay in the connected mode longer without significantly compromising
the battery life. A user has to move to the inactive state after some
inactivity time, but CPC enables the user to stay in connected mode
longer and potentially already be in connected mode when the user
becomes active again. In addition, the enhanced Cell_FACH allows for
50% reduced transition time between active and inactive states.
Together, these features provide an enhanced user experience with a
better “always-on” experience and more responsive services.

The enhanced Cell_FACH/PCH is achieved by moving the transmission


of the paging channel (PCH) and the intermediate Cell_FACH state to
the high-capacity HSPA channel. This allows for higher performance and
thus reduced latency. The enhancements also reduce the over-the-air
call set-up time by 50%3

3
The transition time from inactive mode (Cell-PCH) to active mode (Cell_FACH/DCH).

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[7] Multicarrier Further Enhances the Broadband


Experience
The multicarrier feature aggregates multiple 5 MHz HSPA carriers,
creating a fatter data pipe and thus providing an enhanced mobile
broadband experience to all users in the cell, as depicted in Figure 7.
The initial HSPA+ R8 implementation of multicarrier supports two
aggregated downlink (DL) carriers that will double the user data rates to
all users across the cell—all the way to the cell edge. Furthermore, the
peak data rates scales with the bandwidth and doubles to 42 Mbps in the
downlink in 10 MHz (without MIMO in R84).

Figure 7: Multicarrier further enhances the broadband experience

Multicarrier thus allows subscribers to enjoy an enhanced broadband


experience with quicker overall network responses thanks to the higher
data rates. This is especially beneficial for bursty applications like Web
browsing in which the user can be served twice as fast compared to a
single carrier and experience 50% reduced over-the-air latency.

4
Future releases beyond R8 may allow combination of MIMO and multicarrier. HSPA+ R8
also allows the combination of MIMO and 64 QAM to enable 42 Mbps in 5 MH.

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Figure 8: R8 Multicarrier doubles user data rates to all users in the cell5

Multicarrier is typically a cost-effective software upgrade to the Node B


that allows for incremental introduction—multicarrier can be introduced in
high demand areas or even single sites with seamless interoperability
with single carrier deployments. Multicarrier leverages spectrum
resources better through dynamic load balancing across carriers and
improved trunking efficiency, creating a better network performance as
data services increase. Multicarrier mainly enhances the broadband
experience, but can also provide significant capacity improvement for
bursty applications over partially loaded carriers.

As shown in Figure 9, multicarrier can support significantly more bursty


applications users, like Web browsing, compared to two single carriers
for the same user experience (latency) in partially loaded networks.
Networks are not typically fully loaded all the time and multicarrier could
double the bursty application capacity compared to two single carriers. A
multicarrier deployment approaching a fully loaded network scenario will
resemble the full buffer scenario and provide limited capacity gain even
for bursty applications.

5
Each scenario is based on the same total number of users per carrier. Shows peak data
rata (scaled down a factor 2x) and the burst data rate for the median users and the 10%
worst (cell edge) users.

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Figure 9: R8 Multicarrier capacity vs. latency tradeoff6

[8] HSPA+ is the natural evolution of HSPA at a


lower cost

HSPA+ provides an excellent technology evolution path from HSPA


enabling operators to maximize their return on existing investments with
commercial deployments starting in early 2009. HSPA+ is designed to be
compatible with existing R99, R5/R6 devices and networks, and uses the
same spectrum and network resources to deliver enhanced
performance. The existing radio and core network can be upgraded to
HSPA+ without the need for adding any new network elements. Existing
WCDMA and new HSPA+ devices can roam seamlessly between
WCDMA, HSPA and HSPA+ networks. Backward compatibility will
enable operators to roll out HSPA+ features in phases, without concern
about device/network incompatibility. Many of the HSPA+ features are
software upgrades to the existing base stations.

6
The bursty nature means that a multicarrier can support more users at the same response
time for partially loaded carriers. The gain depends on the load and can exceed 100% for
fewer users (less loaded carrier) but less for many users (starting to resemble full buffer).

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By deploying HSPA+, wireless operators will benefit tremendously


from the vast 3GPP device and vendor ecosystem that provides
economies-of-scale benefits to the 3GPP community. Operators have
greater flexibility in selecting vendors, and have a larger choice of
devices and terminals that they can potentially offer to their customers
at an affordable price.

This wide vendor support and backward compatibility also enables


operators to deploy HSPA+ in a timely manner and gives them a time-
to-market advantage compared with other competing technologies.

Figure 10: HSPA+ Network Upgrades

[9] The Optimal Solution in single and aggregated 5


MHz blocks
HSPA+ is an incremental upgrade of the existing HSPA networks,
using the same spectrum and network resources. HSPA+ performance
in single or aggregated 5 MHz block is comparable to LTE, using the same
number of antennas.
Figure 11 shows the comparable capacity of HSPA+ and LTE in a 5 MHz
system. Given the advantages of backward compatibility and superior
system performance, HSPA+ is the optimal solution for upgrade of the
existing HSPA networks and for new, re-farmed single or aggregated 5
MHz spectrum blocks.

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7
Figure 11: Downlink Data Capacity per Sector ( Mbps) and peak data rates

3GPP is also standardizing LTE in Release 8, an OFDMA-based system


supported by a new core network called EPC. Throughout the design of
LTE and EPC, emphasis is placed on ensuring interoperability with
existing 3GPP technologies like WCDMA/HSPA. This will ensure that
HSPA+ and LTE co-exist while LTE will leverage newer, wider or TDD
spectrum to provide a capacity boost in high-demand areas. Initial
deployments of LTE will be best suited for urban hot spots, whereas
HSPA+ will cover the existing vast HSPA footprint. Multimode devices
will be used. HSPA+ will also ensure a consistent user experience
across the entire network with similar performance when using the same
bandwidth and number of antennas as LTE.

7
Source: Qualcomm Simulation, details in 3GPP R1-070674. 500m ISD, HSPA+ results
scaled up from 10 MHz, HSPA+. HSPA+: 16QAM not considered for the UL and device IC
not considered for the DL. HSPA+ multicarrier and DL Interference Cancellation would
further increase HSPA+.

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[10] HSPA+ Has a Strong Evolution Path beyond R8


HSPA has a strong evolution path beyond HSPA+ R8. The definition of
HSPA+ R9 has already been initiated in early 2009 with focus on
multicarrier enhancements. The combination of MIMO and multicarrier in
10 MHz would enable 84 Mbps in HSPA+ R9 . Uplink multicarrier is also
a R9 candidate that would increase the uplink data rates to 23 Mbps,
with similar benefits as downlink multicarrier within the limit of the device
transmit power.

HSPA+ R8 allows aggregation within the same spectrum band only, but
future enhancements may also target the aggregation across bands,
even with large RF separation, allowing operators to better leverage all
their spectrum assets. Aggregation of up to four downlink carriers are
also being considered, enabling 84 Mbps peak data rates in 20 MHz
(without MIMO).

Figure 12: Multicarrier aggregation of up to four carriers

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[11] Conclusion
HSPA+ is the natural and most economical evolution from HSPA,
allowing WCDMA/HSPA operators to make the most efficient use of their
existing assets and investments in network, spectrum and devices at a
lower cost. HSPA+ is backward compatible, allowing for a gradual
introduction of devices and a smooth, cost-efficient and simple network
upgrade to existing HSPA nodes. Thanks to the doubled data capacity
and more than doubled voice capacity over HSPA and WCDMA,
respectively, HSPA+ enables operators to offer mobile broadband and
voice services at an even lower cost. HSPA+ further enhances the end-
user experience through lower latency, extended talk time through VoIP,
and an improved “always-on” experience.

Given the availability of HSPA+ R7 in early 2009, HSPA+ and its


evolution remains the most optimal solution for existing WCDMA/HSPA
operators. HSPA+ provides a proven technology with economies of scale
in device and network procurement. HSPA+ has a strong evolution path;
HSPA+ Release 8 (R8) is targeted for commercialization during 2010
and introduces the first step of the multicarrier feature which further
enhances the broadband experience by doubling the user data rates to
all users. HSPA+ is therefore the optimal solution for single or
aggregated 5 MHz carriers and provides similar performance as LTE in
the same bandwidth and when using the same number of antennas.

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[12] Appendix

Table 1: Key HSPA+ R7 Features

Table 1presents the key HSPA+ R7 features and their benefits. In


addition to the HSPA+ enhancements defined in the 3GPP standards,
we anticipate that interference cancellation (IC), both in the uplink (Node
B IC) and downlink (UE IC) will be introduced in a similar timeframe as
HSPA+. Thus, the performance numbers discussed in this paper assume
implementation of Node B IC. Error! Reference source not
found.presents the key HSPA+ R8 features and their benefits.

Table 2: Key HSPA+ R8Features


© 2007 Qualcomm Incorporated. All rights reserved. Qualcomm asserts that all information is correct through February 2009.

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