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"E-EDGE, in contrast to EDGE, only modestly increases spectrum efficiency. "

This is different from the story I've heard... According to the recent research brief from ABI research, the expected spectral efficiency of EEDGE is 0.4 (Bps/Hz/Sector) where EDGE is only 0.08 - 0.10...


I wonder where this huge increase in spectrum efficiency should come from. Form a spectrum efficiency perspective, the difference between 8PSK of EDGE and 16QAM (or whatever they want use in E-EDGE)is marginal. Also, the coders can't make a big difference as the lowest EDGE coder almost has no redundancy. And finally as far as speed is concerned the 1 MBit/s they quote fits nicely into two carriers. Therefore, I think the "story" you heard should be treated with care.


Hmmm. How about the MSRD and Type 2. Of course transmitting and receiving simultaneously will demand more processing power, which will drain the bettary faster. From that point of view i'd think that they might be doing the same thing as what they've done to exaggerate the performance of UMTS (which has been proved to be disppointing!)


Hello Red,

again a good comment! To MSRD (Mobile Station Receive Diversity): It's certainly an interesting way to be able. It will take some time, however, before such chipsets are available. Even for HSDPA I haven't seen a MSRD chipset yet.

Type 2 (send/receive simultaneously) will be necessary to use all 8 timeslots of a carrier for a mobile simultaneously. Again, additional hardware in the mobile is necessary which is not available today.

Here's an interesting presentation from Blackberry (surprisingly!) which gives some further details on the different things to be done for Evolved EDGE: http://www.rabc.ottawa.on.ca/e/Files/ACFB7A8.ppt . Note: The presentation mentions 64QAM modulation which was not discussed in depth in the 3GPP Technical Report mentioned above as for example 32QAM did (I wasn't aware that they were looking at 32QAM so I corrected the text above as well). I would be cautious even with 32QAM as HSDPA for example didn't use it because designers said that in real life it would be very unlikely that 32QAM could be used often.

The TR quoted above says: "Also, increasing the modulation order to
32QAM, or maybe even to 64QAM, will probably result in such an increase of receiver complexity that new hardware is needed in both base stations and mobile stations." -> We are definitely not talking about a software upgrade only solution for the network here!

So my main criticism remains that theoretical E-EDGE performance (tomorrow) is compared to theoretical HSDPA performance (today). Even here, top speeds are much different. But to be fair, E-EDGE should be compared to UMTS LTE (Long Term Evolution) as timelines are identical and mobile station complexity with multiple antennas, receiver chains, etc. will be similar. Here, E-EDGE doesn't compare very well at all.

Again, thanks for your post!



Hi Martin,

In my opinion the main arguement for E-EDGE is business (again). It's not about the technology. UMTS turns out to be too expensive to be deployed everywhere (and Qualcomm!). The return is not significant. Operators need something to fill in the blank and bridge the gap. I wouldn't be surprised if operators take the approach of E-EDGE in suburbs and HSDPA in big cities only. They shouldn't kill each other. LTE is too far out in the future.

You've sort of convinced me that E-EDGE doesn't have obviouse technical advantage. I know the author of the presentation you quoted quite well. He's a true beliver of EDGE. :-)

guess i'm being a little bit disorganized here.


Check out Telstra as a case study in Australia. They built the worlds largest HSDPA network covering 98% of Australia's population and 25% of the land mass in just 10 months from concept to completion. (Australia is the size of the USA) A base station was commissioned on average ever 25 minutes, 24 hours a day throughout the project. It operates on the 850MHz band, to enable the wide coverage.


Hello David,

thanks for your comment. Very interesting! I wasn't aware that the 850 MHz band is used in Australia. That unfortunately also quite limits the number of devices available for UMTS/HSDPA that can be used in the network as most mobiles today only support the 2100 MHz band. Do you know which devices Telstra offers and what prices they have for Internet access?


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