With the goal of significantly boosting wireless speeds, Ericsson Canada Inc. and Rogers Communications Inc. are running trials of 3G high-speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) wireless services and converged IP multimedia subsystem (IMS) applications over their cellular network in Toronto.

The partners expect the trials – to be conducted over the next six months – will increase wireless speeds from the current average of 300-400 Kbps to multimedia transfer rates of 2-3 Mbps, and enable convergence of the various cable, wireless and wireline networks.

HSDPA – an upgrade to universal mobile telephone system (UMTS) – provides the fastest data rates, peaking at 14.4 Mbps, of any 3G technology, and is expected to launch commercially in 2006.

IMS – an IP-based service creation technology – will enable Rogers to introduce new multimedia voice, data, audio and video services (quadruple play) in a single service environment.

“HSDPA is really an evolutionary step over and above the UMTS systems currently being deployed widely around the world,” said Mark Henderson, president and CEO of Mississauga, Ont.-based Ericsson Canada Inc. “It’s the next natural step in high-speed wireless broadband access technology.”

Henderson said HSDPA was being deployed on a wide scale right now in the U.S., and would be commercially available early in 2006. As well, Ericsson has about 35 IMS commercial platforms already operating worldwide, with companies like Reston, V.A.-based Sprint and Telef