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Qualcomm’s HSPA+ Advanced R&D program is focused on research that improves UMTS performance in all layers, from physical to application. The research spans optimizations and improvements on most nodes of the system from UEs to NodeBs and the RNC.

These performance improvements involve design, simulations, analysis, standardization, prototyping and technology transfers pertaining to such HSPA+ features as Multi-Carrier HSPA & Supplemental Downlink.

Supplemental Downlink

Mobile data traffic is growing significantly and is largely downlink centric. Supplemental Downlink is a feature proposed by the Qualcomm R&D’s HSPA+ program as an evolution of the Multi-Carrier feature to use unpaired spectrum bands aggregated with paired spectrum to offer additional downlink capacity.

Supplemental Downlink boosts capacity where downlink data-hungry apps, such as video on-demand, file download for software updates and mobile apps, podcast updates etc. are a factor and can be implemented in different unpaired bands around the globe. In HSPA+ Release 10 up to 3 Supplemental Downlink Carriers can be aggregated with the anchor FDD carrier.

Qualcomm was the first company to demonstrate a prototype supplemental downlink system for HSPA (at MWC 2011). This prototype is also on demonstration at the 6th EU Spectrum Management Conference being held at Brussels (14th, 15th June 2011).

The Supplemental Mobile Downlink demonstration aggregates unpaired spectrum in the L-band (1452-1492 MHz) with paired spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band to boost mobile broadband downlink capacity, supporting more users and enhancing users experience.

L-band harmonization for supplemental downlink is possible in Europe and globally. Other supplemental downlink opportunities exist depending upon country-specific spectrum situations, (for e.g. 700MHz in the US).

Further information is available in the Related Videos on this page and from the documents in the Whitepapers tab above.

Multi-Carrier HSPA+

MC-HSPA provides wireless bandwidth aggregation by combining multiple 5MHz WCDMA carriers from the same cell to offer a higher data rate pipe to the user and increase overall cell capacity. MC-HSPA leverages the existing operator network resources and enables operators to offer customers a much higher quality mobile broadband experience.

As usage of mobile data becomes more mainstream and applications requiring greater bandwidth become more prevalent, MC-HSPA provides operators the means to offer higher data rates to all users in the cell, and thus providing an enhanced mobile broadband experience. It also significantly increases the number of users that can be supported per carrier for a given user experience in the context of applications with bursty data.

Initially in R8, HSPA+ aggregates two downlink carriers (a.k.a. Dual Cell HSPA or DC-HSPA+). Uplink aggregation is added in R9 and up to four downlink carrier aggregation in R10. HSPA+ Advanced (beyond R10) takes this to the next level by aggregating carriers from different sectors on either the same or different NodeBs.