On the eve of the GSM Africa conference in Cape Town, Ericsson and MTN South Africa are demonstrating how 3G networks using WCDMA technology enable new mobile broadband services when combining HSDPA and Fixed Wireless terminals. The combination makes it possible for MTN to offer the most cost efficient wireless alternative to ADSL for delivering broadband data services to the residential market.

Ericsson says that its HSDPA solution is now live in 15 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. In all these countries, the solution is live on commercial hardware and software, providing data speeds up to 3.6Mbit/s in the downlink.

Ericsson is not alone in trumpeting its HSDPA development. Nortel and Qualcomm announced that they have successfully completed HSDPA calls with a category 6 handset using 16 QAM modulation and reaching 3.6Mbit/s data rate over the air interface.

Nortel claims the industry's first HSDPA mobile call in January 2005. It also completed its first live test calls with LG using a commercial handset solution for HSDPA in March 2005.

Also, Nokia has announced that its Networks business group has successfully completed a HSDPA call, reaching 3.2Mbit/s, at its facilities in Beijing. The data call, which achieved stable throughput, was made in a Nokia network using a test terminal. Earlier this year, the Nokia Research Centre in China completed the industry's first High Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) demonstration.

The first commercial HSDPA software release from Nokia for network infrastructure offering up to 1.8Mbit/s download speeds will be available at the end of this year, followed by a software upgrade to 3.6Mbit/s starting mid-2006.