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  • solipsism - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    I am under the impression that HSPA+ started with Release 7 at 17.6Mbps, not 14.4Mbps. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    Ahh, you're alluding to the wiki page which has changed and now shows that difference ;)

    So that actually used to be correct.

    I used to be under the impression that it was wrong myself for some time, until I both found the original tables in the 3GPP specifications used to create the original UE category tables, and then spoke to Qualcomm about it and learned that 64QAM support is not mandatory in release 7, but optional. Both MSM8x55 and MDM6x00 only support 16QAM, but 3GPP release 7 mandatory features, and are thus HSPA+. There are some newer modems coming out from Qualcomm which do include 64QAM support, however.

    So here's the two tables:

    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/HTC/In...
    http://images.anandtech.com/reviews/gadgets/HTC/In...

    which I'd strongly encourage you to check out. The table on that wiki page sort of confuses things.

    HSPA+ brings a lot of other things to the table other than adding support for a higher order modulation scheme that doesn't get used much other than when you're very close to the cell center. I believe there's been some drive testing showing it's used ~15% of the time, I'm running my own drive testing on the Samsung Galaxy S 4G which shows a breakdown of what percentage of frames were QPSK, 16QAM or 64QAM. The SGS4G (and probably SGS2) include an ST Ericsson THOR 5730 21 Mbps HSPA+ modem, which to my knowledge is the first shipping one with 64QAM support. We'll probably show the same or similar numbers based on the data I have now, but testing is still ongoing and taking me a lot longer than expected.

    I'm getting off topic, but basically most of the mandatory stuff in HSPA+ is actually reduced signaling overhead, faster call setup, and similar under the hood enhancements. To that extent both of these phones are HSPA+ even though they're only 14.4 Category 10 / 16QAM - they support all those mandatory features.

    I hope this helps, I've been meaning to bring it up for a long time because I too assumed there was something going on and the switch from HSPA to HSPA+ happened only with 64QAM inclusion.

    Take care,
    Brian
    Reply
  • solipsism - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    That cleared much up. Thanks for the thorough reply. Reply
  • xdrol - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    There are no mandatory features in Release 7. The only mandatory features for WCDMA devices are in the very first version of the 3GPP standard - all new features of all subsequent releases are optional.

    You are still right that this is a Rel7 device, as it supports features new in Rel7.
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    That's actually the best way of saying it - if you have release 7 features, you're release 7.

    I misspoke, thanks for pointing that out. :)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    Interesting information.

    I'm especially curious about the "faster call setup" portion of the standard. Is this something that will be noticeable by the average consumer? Is it significant enough to be testable?

    I, for one, would be very curious to see if there's a significant improvement. One of frustrations with current mobile technology is how long it sometimes takes to connect phone calls, and how often the call "fails" before it even rings. It would be great to know whether HSPA+ will improve this situation.
    Reply
  • B3an - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    Will you be reviewing the Galaxy S2 soon? It's only the best phone ever. Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    We definitely will be, just have to wait for Samsung US to send us one ;)

    -Brian
    Reply
  • jjj - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    "AT&T Update Enables HSUPA on Motorola Atrix, HTC Inspire - Our Analysis"

    OK i was curious about the Atrix and started reading.
    Finished reading and no Atrix analysis...!
    Reply
  • Brian Klug - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    Yeah unfortunately we only have the HTC Inspire to analyze, but the update for the Atrix is exactly the same and should show similar performance on the upstream. I'm not sure whether it also has a strange distribution of upstream throughputs, however.

    -Brian
    Reply
  • mcnabney - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    Nice, but still CLEARLY 3G. The 4G BS about HSUPA and HSPA+ is just marketing lies. LTE is just BARELY 4G and it easily beats this, especially latency (ping). Sub-50ms pings will make wireless connectivity effectively the same as a fast, wired broadband connection. Reply
  • Death666Angel - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    Can't wait to read it. It's the first phone I've had pre-ordered. Awaiting the import from UK to come some time later this week (to Germany where it will launch in about 2 to 4 weeks).... :) Reply
  • iuqiddis - Sunday, May 01, 2011 - link

    How's the battery life effected, if at all? Thanks! Reply
  • adam92682 - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    System update reports that my atrix is up to date. I wasn't given the option to upgrade. Reply
  • hyvonen - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    After seeing the AT&T support page showing how to update the phone first to 4.1.57 and then to 4.1.83 but being unable to do it, I spent an hour this morning on chats with AT&T and Motorola tech support folks. AT&T was useless - they had nothing to tell me, they just pointed me to an AT&T support website that showed how to do the update (with tricks like "turn off wifi, turn it on again, reboot cell phone", "take battery out" etc.). In the end they sent me to Motorola tech support chat.

    The moto folks had a better idea what's going on, but some of the info seemed conflicting. First they said that the new release is sent to a small select group, and that it's being tested... after the testing is over, it'll be available to everyone in 5-7 days. After a few questions, they said they started rolling out the update on April 27th, implying that it takes a while to get it to all the customers.

    Their main point was: keep waiting for the "notification", and once you get that, you can update the phone.

    Interestingly, the AT&T support page no longer shows the update to 4.1.83 - only to 4.1.57. Two hours ago it was still there...

    So, bottom line: AT&T did NOT make the update available in April like they promised. It is STILL not available to regular folks.
    Reply
  • adam92682 - Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - link

    I just got the notification that the update is available now. Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    Brian, all these benchmarks show is essentially peak throughput.
    Much of the work being done in improving these standards has to do with other issues, including:
    - better TOTAL throughput in a cell, so that more phones ALL see consistent high speed
    - better performance at the edge of a cell
    - better cell handover (ie fewer dropped calls)

    I appreciate that these are not things it is easy for you to test personally, but can you at least pressure the phone manufacturer and carrier to provide information --- and shame them by pointing this out if they refuse to provide the information.
    For example, even if you can't get information about how well they are implemented, you can ask the manufacturers and carriers how many independent antennas they are using in the phones or in the towers; how many rounds of turbo decoding they run; what sorts of mechanisms they use to jointly utilize
    retransmitted frames (eg Chase combining vs partial incremental redundancy), so they offer soft handover, etc etc. The INTERESTING stuff that's going on is not what allows for maximum throughput, but what allows the system to continue working well under poor conditions.

    Otherwise we're going to see these reviews degenerate into the same moronic megapixel stupidity we saw with digital cameras for a while, or earlier the MHz stupidity of the Pentium4 years --- an obsession with a single number that doesn't much distinguish one carrier or phone from another, while ignoring the large totality of issues that do lead to distinctions.
    Reply
  • EnerJi - Monday, May 02, 2011 - link

    +1

    Well said!
    Reply
  • synaesthetic - Tuesday, May 03, 2011 - link

    Well jeez, I've been seeing 2-3Mbps upstream (note this is average, NOT peak!) on my MT4G for months now... and I saw 1.5-2Mbps on my Samsung Vibrant...

    Really, AT&T, shame on you for tooting your horn as the "fastest" when my carrier, the one everyone loves to hate, blew your upstream speeds away ever since I've been with them!

    And keep your damn dollars and your lockdown-crazy hands away from my T-Mobile!
    Reply
  • dhfkjah - Friday, May 06, 2011 - link


    www.stylishdudes.com

    All kinds of shoes + tide bag

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    Reply

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