High-Speed Uplink Packet Access

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High-Speed Uplink Packet Access (HSUPA) is a 3G mobile telephony protocol in the HSPA family with up-link speeds up to 5.76 Mbit/s. The name HSUPA was created by Nokia. The official 3GPP name for 'HSUPA' is Enhanced Uplink (EUL).[1]

The specifications for HSUPA are included in Universal Mobile Telecommunications System Release 6 standard published by 3GPP. – "The technical purpose of the Enhanced Uplink feature is to improve the performance of uplink dedicated transport channels, i.e. to increase capacity and throughput and reduce delay."


HSUPA uses an uplink enhanced dedicated channel (E-DCH) on which it employs link adaptation methods similar to those employed by High-Speed Downlink Packet Access HSDPA, namely:

Similarly to HSDPA, HSUPA uses a packet scheduler, but it operates on a request-grant principle where the UEs request a permission to send data and the scheduler decides when and how many UEs will be allowed to do so. A request for transmission contains data about the state of the transmission buffer and the queue at the UE and its available power margin. However, unlike HSDPA, uplink transmissions are not orthogonal to each other.

In addition to this scheduled mode of transmission the standards also allows a self-initiated transmission mode from the UEs, denoted non-scheduled. The non-scheduled mode can, for example, be used for VoIP services for which even the reduced TTI and the Node B based scheduler will not be able to provide the very short delay time and constant bandwidth required.

Each MAC-d flow (i.e. QoS flow) is configured to use either scheduled or non-scheduled modes; the UE adjusts the data rate for scheduled and non-scheduled flows independently. The maximum data rate of each non-scheduled flow is configured at call setup, and typically not changed frequently. The power used by the scheduled flows is controlled dynamically by the Node B through absolute grant (consisting of an actual value) and relative grant (consisting of a single up/down bit) messages.

At the Physical Layer, HSUPA introduces new channels E-AGCH (Absolute Grant Channel), E-RGCH (Relative Grant Channel), F-DPCH (Fractional-DPCH), E-HICH (E-DCH Hybrid ARQ Indicator Channel), E-DPCCH (E-DCH Dedicated Physical Control Channel) and E-DPDCH (E-DCH Dedicated Physical Data Channel).

E-DPDCH is used to carry the E-DCH Transport Channel; and E-DPCCH is used to carry the control information associated with the E-DCH.


The following table shows uplink speed for the different categories of HSUPA.

HSUPA Category Max Uplink Speed Examples
Category 1 0.73 Mbit/s
Category 2 1.46 Mbit/s
Category 3 1.46 Mbit/s Samsung Galaxy S3 International
Category 4 2.93 Mbit/s Qualcomm 6290
Category 5 2.00 Mbit/s Nokia: Nokia Asha 311, X3-02, X3-01, N8, C7,[2] C5,[3] C3-01, E52, E72, E55, 6700 Classic, N900, 5630 XpressMusic; BlackBerry: Storm 9500, 9530; HTC: Dream, Passion (Nexus One);[4] Sony Ericsson C510, Sony Ericsson C903, Sony Ericsson W705, Sony Ericsson T715, Samsung Wave, Samsung Wave II
Category 6 5.76 Mbit/s Moto-e, Nokia CS-15, Nokia CS-17, Option GlobeTrotter Express 441/442, Option iCON 505/505M, Samsung i8910, Apple iPhone 4,[5] Huawei E180/E182E/E1820/E5832/EM770W/E392u-12/E392u-21, Micromax A60, ST-Ericsson M5730, Motorola Atrix 4G (enabled by software update), Samsung Galaxy S 4G, Sony Ericsson W995, Apple iPhone 5
Category 7 (3GPP Rel7) 11.5 Mbit/s QPSK & 16QAM
Category 8 (3GPP Rel9) 11.5 Mbit/s 2 ms, dual cell E-DCH operation, QPSK only; see 3GPP Rel 9 TS 25.306 table 5.1g
Category 9 (3GPP Rel9) 22.9 Mbit/s 2 ms, dual cell E-DCH operation, QPSK and 16QAM; see 3GPP Rel 9 TS 25.306 table 5.1g
Category 10 (3GPP Rel11) 17.25 Mbit/s 2 ms, QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM; see 3GPP Rel 11 TS 25.306 table 5.1g
Category 11 (3GPP Rel11) 22.9 Mbit/s 2 ms, uplink MIMO, QPSK and 16QAM; see 3GPP Rel 11 TS 25.306 table 5.1g
Category 12 (3GPP Rel11) 34.5 Mbit/s 2 ms, uplink MIMO, QPSK, 16QAM, and 64QAM; see 3GPP Rel 11 TS 25.306 table 5.1g


After HSUPA the 3GPP is working on further advancing transfer rates. LTE provides up to 300 Mbit/s for downlink and 75 Mbit/s for uplink. Its evolution LTE Advanced supports maximum downlink rates of over 1 Gbit/s.

Dual-Cell HSUPA[edit]

Dual-Cell HSUPA (also known as: Dual-Carrier HSPA or Dual-Cell HSPA) is a wireless broadband standard based on HSPA that is defined in 3GPP UMTS release 9. Dual Cell (DC-)HSUPA is the natural evolution of HSPA by means of carrier aggregation in the uplink.[6] Downlink carrier aggregation named Dual-Cell HSDPA was already standardized in UMTS Release 8.[7] UMTS licenses are often issued as 10 or 15 MHz paired spectrum allocations. The basic idea of the multicarrier feature is to achieve better resource utilization and spectrum efficiency by means of joint resource allocation and load balancing across the uplink carriers.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 3GPP specification: 25.321
  2. ^ "C7 Technical Specs". 
  3. ^ "C5 Technical Specs". 
  4. ^ "Nexus One Phone Google Technical Specs". 
  5. ^ "Apple iPhone 4 Technical Specs". 
  6. ^ Nomor 3GPP Newsletter 2009-03: Standardisation updates on HSPA Evolution
  7. ^ Nomor Research White Paper: Dual-Cell HSDPA and its Evolution


  • Harri Holma and Antti Toskala (2006). HSDPA/HSUPA for UMTS: High Speed Radio Access for Mobile Communications. ISBN 0-470-01884-4.