Nokia Siemens Networks has announced that it'll be demonstrating HSPA+ Multiflow at Mobile World Congress next week, a technology that allows phones and modems near the edge of one HSPA+ cell site to connect to a second site simultaneously. NSN is making some lofty promises about the technology, saying it could deliver twice the data speed and up to a 50 percent reduction in latency versus today's HSPA+ networks. Dual-carrier HSPA — which is already in deployment around the world — is somewhat similar in concept, but doesn't allow for connectivity to multiple towers simultaneously. Presumably, Multiflow won't require additional spectrum to operate, either.
The demo will take place in partnership with Qualcomm, which is offering prototype HSPA+ Multiflow-enabled USB dongles for the purpose. If all goes well, the company says it expects the technology to be standardized by the 3GPP by the middle of this year on the way to commercial availability in late 2013. Carriers will be pleased to know that existing NSN equipment will be software upgradeable to support it, but subscriber handsets and data devices will require new chipsets.