Field trials of HSDPA have confirmed that technology's cellular data speeds of more than 1 Mbps, but it is subject to problems that can significantly degrade those speeds, Motorola acknowledged in a report it released Monday.
The problems are all solvable if the cellular operators take specific steps, the company said. HSDPA is the next generation of 3G that will be deployed by operators that use GSM-based cellular technology. In the U.S., Cingular has said it will start deploying HSDPA in a few markets later this year with a wider roll-out in 2006.
Motorola, perhaps best known among wireless users for its cell phones, also is one of the largest developers of cellular infrastructure equipment used by operators. The Motorola study, which was conducted in Europe, found three specific problems.
First, it noted that video performance will degrade significantly and even freeze up when "a relatively modest number of users are active." Operators can solve that problem by properly prioritizing video services or by providing more infrastructure capacity, Motorola said in a statement.
The study also found there is the potential of significant latency -- or delays -- when using applications such as Web browsing. The delays are caused by the fact that HSDPA equipment can perform so-called state-switching, which switches users from lower speeds to higher speeds without their knowledge. The potential delay could be several seconds and could lead to user dissatisfaction, Motorola said.