Ericsson tests super-speedy wireless network

Someday soon, your entire broadband experience could be wireless — and blazing fast at the same time. You've heard of 3G? Now get ready for "Next G."

Network-building heavyweight Ericsson took a big step toward that super-fast wireless goal today, making the first data call at an industry-first 21Mbps (megabits per second) speed with its Telstra Next G commercial network, using speedy tech called HSPA Evolution. Best of all, this is just the first step of HSPA Evolution, promising future speeds four times that fast.

How fast is 21Mbps? Considering that a really good wired broadband connection in the U.S. will download data at around 15Mbps, and the average download speed for wired broadband in this country is 8.9Mbps, a wireless 21Mbps speed is a huge improvement. It's certainly going to be a gigantic speed leap above the relatively pokey 3G speeds of today. Ericcson says a full commercial launch of this new network starts early next year.

Via Ericsson