Qualcomm Partners Testing HSPA+ and 3G, LTE Chips

Qualcomm says customers including LG, Nokia Siemens, Huawei and Sierra Wireless are testing its new chip sets. Expected to be in devices in 2010, the chip sets support dual-carrier HSPA+ and LTE, which interest T-Mobile and Verizon, respectively.

Qualcomm is now providing customers with trial versions of its newly developed multimode, high-speed wireless chips.

The Mobile Data Modem, or MDM8220, is the first to support DC-HSPA+ (Dual-Carrier High-Speed Packet Access Plus), while the MDM9200 and MDM9600, according to Qualcomm, are the industry's first multimode chip sets for 3G and LTE (Long Term Evolution).

The dual-mode chips enable customers to take advantage of higher-speed technology where it's available, while being backward-compatible with prevailing technology.

"These chip sets demonstrate significant progress toward enabling the mass-market commercial deployment of two next-generation technologies that bring more advanced data capabilities to mobile devices for new global markets in addition to North America," said a Nov. 12 Qualcomm statement.

LTE is a 4G technology competing with WiMax. In August, Verizon Wireless completed its first successful LTE 4G data calls, and plans to launch LTE in 30 markets in 2010.

HSPA+ is a 3.5G technology, though on Nov. 11 T-Mobile announced the launch of a trial HSPA+ network and that some initial tests showed faster speeds than those claimed by early 4G providers.

Qualcomm said devices based on its MDM solutions are scheduled to go on sale in the second half of 2010, and it's working with manufacturers including Huawei, LG Electronics, Novatel Wireless, Sierra Wireless and ZTE, as well as infrastructure vendor Nokia Siemens, and network operators Emobile and Telestra Wireless.

"We are pleased to be working with so many industry leaders to bring these advanced technologies to market," Alex Katouzian, vice president of product management for Qualcomm CDMA Technologies, said in a statement. "We remain committed to CDMA and OFDMA WAN modem leadership and the seamless and cost-effective commercialization of next-generation technologies around the world."

Qualcomm describes the dual-carrier technology as doubling networks' bandwidth from 5MHz to 10MHz by aggregating two HSPA carriers in parallel. The MDM8220 DC-HSPA+ solution reportedly provides downlink data rates of up to 42M bps and 11M bps on the uplink.