Difference Between HSPA+ and LTE

HSPA+ vs LTE | HSPA Plus vs LTE Speed, Spectrum, Features Compared | 3.75 G vs 4G Battery Life is more in HSPA+

HSPA+ and LTE are both mobile broadband technologies for high speed access. LTE is the latest technology currenly being installed in many countries for high speed mobile broadband access. In some countries LTE has been commercially launched. World largest carriers like AT&T (ATT), Verizon have already started migrating towards LTE. WiMAX is also another technology defined under 4G but comparatively most of the big carriers are moving towards LTE. In the US sprint uses WiMAX for the high speed access and providing services equivalent to LTE. Another US carrier T-Mobile is upgrading their network from HSPA+21Mbps to HSPA+42Mbps.

HSPA+(Evolved High Speed Packet Access)

This is the release 7 ,8 and above by 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) which sets standards for mobile broadband networks. This allows data rates at 84Mbps downlink and 22Mbps uplink with the use of MIMO (Multiple Inputs and Multiple Outputs) techniques and higher order digital modulation schemes like 64QAM (Quadrature Amplitude Modulation).

In HSPA+ (Release 7) the capacity is doubled as that of HSPA and more than doubles the capacity of voice as WCDMA. In Release 8 HSPA introduces multicarrier concept and two 5MHz carriers are combined together to double the data rates. With these changes HSPA+ is capable of providing high peak rates, low latency periods and higher talk times.

In Release 7 the data rates of downlink is 28Mbps and in R8 it is extended to 42Mbps theoretically. Later release like R9 is considering the usage of MIMO technique which is capable of doubling data rates and it is around 84Mbps. The MIMO technique being used inR7 supports 2×2 MIMO in which 2 transmit antennas at nodeB and two receivers at the mobile terminal in which two parallel data streams are sent orthogonally so the data rate is doubled without increasing the bandwidth of the system .

Due to high data rates provided by HSPA+ it is possible to use it as a broadband internet access. Applications like VoIP, low latency internet games, streaming, video calling, multicast and many more are capable through HSPA+ enabled mobile devices.

HSPA+ also known as Internet HSPA due to its optional architecture also known as All-IP architecture in which the entire base stations are connected to all IP based back bone. It is significant that HSPA+ is backward compatible with 3GPP release 5 and 6 with easy upgrading capability from HSPA in to HSPA+.

LTE (Long Term Evolution)

LTE is one of the technologies accepted by ITU as 4G technologies which are capable of meeting standards specified by ITU for 4G networks. 4G networks are designed so as to maximize the capacity and speeds of radio networks.

The data rates specified for LTE is 100Mbps downlink and 50Mbps uplink with low latency of less than 10ms which satisfies the ITU specifications for 4G networks as well.

The bandwidths used for LTE is varying from 1.4MHz to 20 MHz and supports FDD (Frequency Division Multiplexing) and TDD (Time Division Multiplexing).

Following radio access technologies are used in LTE networks while achieving that much higher data rates, MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output), OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) and SC-FDMA (Single Carrier FDMA). SC FDMA is similar to OFDMA except that it uses some additional DFT processing and currently this is recommended by the 3GPP to be used as the uplink communication methodology due to transmission power efficiency and cost concerning of mobile equipments.

The following frequency bands are to be utilized in the LTE networks in various places in the world 700 and 1900 MHz in North America, 900, 1800, 2600 MHz in Europe and 1800 and 2600 MHz in Asia and 1800 MHz in Australia.

Difference between HSPA+ and LTE

1. HSPA+ is compatible with previous releases and LTE is not backward compatible with 3G networks.

2. HSPA+ data rates are capable of delivering 84Mbps downlink maximum and LTE is capable of providing more than 100Mbps downlink.

3. LTE uses OFDMA and SC FDMA in radio access networks with MIMO techniques and HSPA+ relies on MIMO techniques.

4. HSPA+ channel bandwidth is fixed at 5MHz and it combines two channel while doubling data rates and LTE uses varying bandwidth of 1.4MHz to 20 MHz.