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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Just how late is Nokia with HSUPA devices?

I've written before about the slow arrival of HSUPA and the dearth of HSUPA-supporting devices in the market. Yes, there's a bunch of dongles & laptop modules and the like, but it really hasn't percolated down to phones that much at all. It's much slower than HSDPA was.

Interestingly, it looks like it's not just the silicon that's needed to start the ball rolling. I was having a look through the specs for Nokia's new 5th Edition of its Symbian Series 60 UI. It mentions HSDPA (on Page 16), but not HSUPA. It runs on Symbian OS v9.4, which also lacks uplink support according to this spec sheet.

(And, perhaps unsurprisingly, no mention of the connection manager being able to distinguish between femto and macrocells - although that's probably down to the Symbian team rather than S60 guys)

It looks like HSUPA appears in Symbian v9.5 - but given that the shiny new 5800 musicphone announced last week is the first with v9.4, that mean we have to wait another year for v9.5, S60 6th edition and HSUPA-capable Nokia phones?

If so, this is pretty bad news for those hoping for full, high-quality VoIPo3G from handsets - although VoIP works OK with just HSDPA in good conditions, it really needs the extra uplink capacity if it's going to be used seriously, especially by a reasonable number of people in the same cell.

Interestingly, although Windows Mobile has come in for some criticism recently, this is one area where it's solidly ahead of the pack. Apart from some Japan- and Korea-only models from Samsung, Toshiba and others, the only internationally-available HSUPA phones at the moment are WinMob devices such as those from HTC, Toshiba, SonyEricsson and i-Mate.

And just this morning Vodafone has announced its exclusive Blackberry Storm, which will also support HSUPA when it ships and it looks to me as if it's got EVDO Rev A as well ie with Qualcomm's Gobi multi-standard chipset, for roaming between Vodafone and Verizon at full speed. (EDIT - looks like the 9530 version sold by Verizon has HSPA for international roaming, but the 9500 from Vodafone doesn't support EVDO for travel in the US).

EDIT 2 - Looks like the HTC T-Mobile Android G1 has HSUPA in it as well.

In fact, it looks to me as if Nokia might be being caught between the two leaders in HSPA chipsets - Qualcomm and Ericsson Mobile Platforms. It appears that its current silicon providers - TI and ST Micro, are some way behind in the 3.75G game. Of course, there's the messy 3-way merger between EMP, STM and NXP ongoing, but I'd imagine that's not going to solve the problem for Nokia quickly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


See here http://www.nokia.com/A4136001?newsid=1272718