O2 rolls out faster 3G connectivity
16 May 2012
DC-HSPA could double your download speeds
It looks like 4G is still some way off, so the idea of a faster 3G service certainly appeals.
That could be coming sooner rather than later if you happen to be an O2 customer. O2 UK has started rolling out a faster variant of 3G, known as DC-HSPA (Dual-Cell High Speed Packet Access). O2 says it could see typical mobile data download speeds doubling – a potential maximum of 42Mbps, which is twice HSPA+, the current fastest data speed in the UK.
So, all good news then? Well, not quite. Just as the top data speeds right now are often confined to certain areas, access to DC-HSPA is also dependent on geography. O2 claims it will hitting 'major UK cities' first, with London, Birmingham and Manchester likely to be those cities.
There's another problem too – support for DC-HSPA. Apple offers support in the new iPad and Nokia supports the new speeds with the Lumia 900, pictured here. But right now, that's about it. Hopefully that will change as the technology takes hold.
It should take hold too, as O2 isn't alone in looking at it. Three plans to roll it out this summer, Everything Everywhere is looking at a rollout at the end of the year and Vodafone? Well, it is already using it in major cities, but the speeds are well down on the O2 maximum at 28.8Mbps.
It's essentially a good news story, but it's just a shame that we can't be talking about a 4G rollout, rather than taking 3G up another notch.