Globe HSPA+ 4G Mobile Technology in Action
This morning, Globe demonstrated its new HSPA+ service for the Filipino media. The telco promotes its new offering as the first 4G (fourth-generation) mobile technology available for the Philippine market.
Globe Executives Talk About HSPA+ and its Benefits
The event was kicked off by a press conference was conducted by Peter Bithos, Senior Advisor for Consumer Business, and Erwin Roque, Head of Access Technologies. Here were some key points of their presentation.
There are at least 19 HSPA+ sites in Metro Manila. To paraphrase Mr. Bithos’ hirit: “We’re rolling out 4G in places were people actually need them, not at a distant resort.” Here’s a map of where HSPA+ is already available in Metro Manila…
…and below is a map of the HSPA+ sites Globe will roll out in the Philippine capital and surrounding areas within the year. The telco will also implement HSPA+ coverage in other major Philippine cities by the end of 2011.
HSPA+ improves the performance of 3G devices. Many smartphones and USB dongle modems are limited by two things: the speed of the network they run on, and the chip that controls their wireless communications.
Most of these newer devices are capable of surfing the web at speeds much faster than what the Philippines’ 3G networks allow. HSPA+ pushes these network limitations to a higher level, letting gadgets achieve their full wireless broadband potential. And of course, using an HSPA+ gadget with Globe’s 4G mobile networks will unlock even more wireless speed.
The point is that Globe selected HSPA+ to kick off its evolution to 4G because it provides “better and faster service” even to 3G and 3.5G users. No one will be left behind, and no upgrades to experience better wireless broadband are necessary.
HSPA+ and WiMax are 4G. It’s amazing that this point needs to be addressed, but let’s cover it anyway. Last December 2010, the International Telecommunications Union updated their definition of 4G:
As the most advanced technologies currently defined for global wireless mobile broadband communications, IMT-Advanced is considered as “4G”, although it is recognized that this term, while undefined, may also be applied to the forerunners of these technologies, LTE and WiMax, and to other evolved 3G technologies providing a substantial level of improvement in performance and capabilities with respect to the initial third generation systems now deployed.
That’s quite a mouthful, but in layman’s terms: WiMax, which Globe has offered to its customers since 2009, is 4G. And since HSPA+ is an evolved version of 3G technologies like HSDPA and HSUPA, it also falls under the 4G label.
Experiencing HSPA+ 4G
To demonstrate the speed of its HSPA+ service, Globe first showed off a Samsung Galaxy S II (I9100). It’s an Android 2.3 device that can maximize the HSPA+ network, which is indicated by its buffer-free YouTube video playback and the “H+” that appears on the status bar.
Globe then pitted a laptop with a test HSPA+ USB modem against three other notebooks with a 3G Globe Tattoo, Sun Wireless Broadband, and a SmartBro stick respectively. Of course the HSPA+ 4G dongle won the speed test comparison with its 3G counterparts.
But many speed tests are a superficial look at connection quality at best, since they only test internet access for a brief period of time. What really matters is how well the connection does with constant usage.
So I borrowed the HSPA+ modem and plugged it into my laptop’s USB port. The Huawei HSPA+ dongle loads its own installer once it starts, just like your average 3G stick.
The ultimate speed test for me is Steam. The online game store will maximize any internet connection used by its customers. My copy of Team Fortress 2 was downloading at an average speed of over 400 kilobytes a second.
To make things interesting, I also loaded a YouTube playlist featuring our favorite sensual Intel endorsers. Both the Steam download and the online videos never slowed down, even as they ran at the same time.
The final results? A sustained download speed of 400+ KB/s on Steam, and YouTube videos that never paused. According to the modem’s software, average download speed was 4.8 Mbps, with regular peaks going beyond 10 Mbps.
I downloaded over 900 megabytes of data within half-an-hour, meaning the HSPA+ connection was faster than my 3Mbps Tattoo@Home broadband. This test is exactly why I’m excited about Globe’s HSPA+ service and what it promises customers. With the telco allocating a half billion US dollars for its 4G roll out and improvement of its existing 2G and 3G networks, 2011 may be a great year for wireless broadband and smartphone users.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 27th, 2011 at 5:50 pm and is filed under Events, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.