Earlier I went to Heritage Hotel in Pasay where Globe did a demo of their HSPA+ network. The HSPA+ network is technically considered 4G already since it provides up to 6 – 7 times speed improvement over the current 3G network. Globe said on its initial state, it can do a max of 21 Mbps and upgraded version can do twice that speed and so on for each upgrade. Just like Tower Defense games.
In a simple sense, it’s basically an upgraded version of existing 3G networks so current 3G subscribers near an HSPA+ network would also feel a slight improvement on their speed.
Currently there’s only one HSPA+ base station in Pasay City and that’s in Heritage Hotel (EDSA corner Roxas Blvd.) so we did the demo there. There’s also one base station in Makati but maybe it’s too congested with 3G subscribers that’s why we opted for Pasay.
Anyhow on to the speed test demo. Here are the Speedtest results of laptops running on your current Globe Tattoo stick, a SmartBro stick, a Sun Cellular stick and a Globe HSPA+ stick which is soon to be available.
7.51 Mbps download speed on a mobile dongle. How does that reflect to an actual torrent download? Here’s uTorrent downloading a 914MB movie.
Download speed is hitting 517 kB/s which translates to around 5Mbps. This means torrent downloading of standard definition 700MB movies will only take around 30 minutes or less (depending on seeder quality of course).
The real strength of such speed is on concurrent downloads. See what happens if you download a dozen files all at once in uTorrent.
Total download speed is hitting 1.4 MB/s. And in your Globe Tattoo launcher you will see that it translates to around 10.86 Mbps which is way faster than the SpeedTest result.
Download heaven don’t you think? Well you have to consider the location. We’re under a freaking base station and there’s probably only one HSPA+ user (which was us) and a handful of 3G users in the area so there’s a lot of bandwidth we can play with.
Pricing and availability for HSPA+ plans and devices are still on the works so we don’t have info on that yet but it will probably be finalized next month. We asked about bandwidth capping or throttling for HSPA+ and they can’t say anything concrete about it.
What Globe is saying is that with the roll-out of these HSPA+ stations, current 3G users will expect an improvement in service without having to upgrade devices nor incur additional costs or switch plans. Everything is as is including the 800MB daily cap for prepaid SuperSURF subscribers.
Any questions? I will be creating an FAQ regarding this HSPA+ but I still have to verify it with Globe personnel.