Vodafone has announced it is to trial HSPA+, what they describe as an evolution of today's radio access HSPA technology, to look at its potential to deliver even higher data rates through the upgrade of existing networks.

Vodafone will work alongside Ericsson, Huawei and Qualcomm to trial Release 7 HSPA+ (also known as HSPA Evolution).

The initiative will help to establish whether HSPA+ is capable of delivering data throughput rates of up to 28.8Mbps compared to the 14.4Mbps maximum offered by current HSPA networks.

HSPA+ technology can offer higher throughput than HSPA through its use of multiple antennae on both base stations and handsets (Multiple Input Multiple Output) as well as the deployment of a complex modulation technique called 64-QAM HSDPA.