Definition

HSPA (high speed packet access)

Contributor(s): Colin Steele

HSPA (high speed packet access) is a third-generation (3G) mobile broadband communications technology.

The term HSPA actually refers to two specific protocols used in tandem, high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) and high speed uplink packet access (HSUPA). HSPA networks offer a maximum of 14.4 megabytes per second (MBps) of throughput per cell.

An improved version of high speed packet access technology, known as Evolved HSPA, offers 42 Mbps of throughput per cell. By using dual cell deployment and multiple input, multiple output architecture, HSPA+ networks can achieve maximum throughput of 168 Mbps overall.

The International Telecommunication Union recognized HSPA+ as a fourth-generation (4G) technology in December 2010. HSPA+, however, offers significantly slower speeds than the predominant 4G standard, long term evolution (LTE).

This was last updated in March 2013

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