Finnish operator Elisa and Nokia Siemens Networks have successfully demonstrated a new technology that allows operators to simply and cost effectively increase voice capacity of their 3G networks, potentially up to 100%. The trial call was conducted in Elisa’s live 3G network using R&D prototype devices supplied by Nokia. In technical terms the demonstration was of the world’s first circuit switched call over a high speed packet access network (CSoHSPA).
Mobile systems such as GSM were designed to carry each voice call via a dedicated voice channel. This is known as circuit switching. The CS over HSPA feature carries voice calls over HSPA’s packet-based transport channels instead.
While mobile users would see no difference in their voice service, the CSoHSPA technique, when supported by the continuous packet connectivity (CPC) features of 3GPP Release 7, requires far less handset battery power, providing a significant, potentially up to 50% increase in talk time. The efficiency of the technique also means call setup times can be cut in half and operators benefit from much higher voice capacity per carrier, making it feasible for both consumers and operators to use 3G as the preferred network for making voice calls. To enable the technique in existing 3G networks, no changes are necessary to the core network and only a simple software upgrade required in the radio access network.
“In the field of digital mobile communications, Elisa has been a forerunner in both Finland and internationally. Elisa’s fast 3G network is the best network in terms of coverage, range and quality in Finland and as such, perfect to demonstrate new technologies. For our customers CS over HSPA enables better quality as it increases talk time and it is also cost efficient way to further develop our network”, said Timo Sippola, Technology Manager in Elisa.
The demonstration illustrates the focus of Nokia and Nokia Siemens Networks on features that benefit both the operator and consumer providing an end to end solution.
“HSPA+ features are a needed and excellent step forward from current HSPA on the way to LTE. This demonstration of CSoHSPA shows one of the ways that consumer experience can be improved and makes 3G more attractive to consumers. Simultaneously operators need to ensure that they make most out of investments in traditional circuit switched networks, while embracing the advantages of HSPA evolution”, said Keith Sutton, Head of the WCDMA/HSPA business in Nokia Siemens Networks.
The CSoHSPA feature, standardised on top of 3GPP Release 7, is part of HSPA evolution, or HSPA+. Nokia Siemens Networks is the leader in driving HSPA+ forward. In addition to this milestone, Nokia Siemens Networks has demonstrated HSPA+ peak rates of 21Mbps, and pioneered network simplification with the flat architecture of I-HSPA (Internet HSPA), to improve overall network efficiency to meet the needs of booming data traffic.