What is Dual Carrier Technology?
Dual carrier HSPA, also known as dual cell HSPA, is a new wireless broadband standard based on HSPA that is defined in 3GPP UMTS release 8. It is considered as a natural evolution of HSPA by combining carriers in the downlink. Carrier aggregation is done in order to utilize resources better and to achieve spectrum efficiency through joint resource allocation and balancing loads among the downlink carriers.
With a single 5MHz carrier for Rel7 (MIMO with 16QAM) and Rel8 (64-QAM + MIMO), an advanced HSPA network can theoretically support up to 28Mbit/s and 42Mbit/s. This can be reached in good channel condition with low correlation between transmit antennas. Another way to double the data rates is to double bandwidth by using DC-HSDPA. For end users in poor environment conditions where MIMO spatial multiplexing and other existing techniques cannot be used , some diversity and joint scheduling gains can also be expected.
Dual carrier HSPA technology can be compared to dual band wireless routers that allow users to send and receive wireless data over two different channels simultaneously. The oft quoted 42Mbps download speed is achieved during testings usually conducted on a dedicated closed network. Real world speeds will be definitely less than 42Mbps. Based on recent testings, customers can expect actual speeds that are double that of current typical speeds provided by HSPA+ devices.
Carriers that Support Dual Carrier HSPA
Some of the carriers around the world that support dual carrier HSPA technology include Telstra NextG Australia, Telus & Bell North America, Turkcell Turkey, Telus Canada, Vodafone Portugal, Bell Canada and SaskTel. Recently, T-Mobile USA announced the launching of its dual carrier HSPA service to 50 markets across the U.S. including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. The carrier previously deployed the technology in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando.
Dual carrier HSPA+ doubles the speed of T-Mobile's existing HSPA+ 21 network to theoretical speeds of up to 42Mbps. This is achieved by boding together two 5MHz HSPA+ downlink carriers each supporting theoretical speeds of up to 21Mbps.
First Dual Carrier HSPA+ USB Stick Modem
The first modem to support dual carrier HSPA technology is the Sierra Wireless AirCard 312U USB stick modem. As such, it is also the first modem to reach download speeds of up to 42Mbps and upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps. This device supports HSPA+/HSPA/UMTS - 850/1900/2100 MHz bands and Quad Band GPRS/EDGE networks. The AirCard 312U can also be used in areas where dual carrier HSPA is not available since it is backwards compatible with earlier HSPA technologies.
Because of its capabilities, the AirCard 312U can handle applications that demand high bandwidth such as HD video streaming and graphic design applications. With this USB modem, you can do more than just check your email or surf the Web. It will also allow you to conduct online seminars and video conferences and query ERP/CRM applications. The AirCard 312U can also be used in areas where signals are weak with the use of the optional external antenna.
4G LTE HSPA+ MiFi Router Dual-Carrier 100 Mbps
The Sierra Wireless Aircard 754S (also known as At&T Elevate 4G) is the latest mobile hotspots support Dual-Carrier HSPA+ and LTE network technologies. With its compact and lightweight design, the AirCard 754S Hotspot provides wireless access at download speeds of up to 100Mbps and upload speeds up to 50 Mbps, so customers traveling globally or at home have the ability to experience the fastest network speeds available and share and manage data with colleagues, friends or family.