July 13, 2012

O2 Launches Speedier 3G Network via DC-HSPA

DC-HSPA looks set to double download speeds

DC-HSPA looks set to double download speeds

As we seem to be some way from getting 4G in the UK, a speedier 3G service sounds attractive.

And for O2 customers that could come sooner rather than later, as O2 UK has begun its rollout of DC-HSPA (Dual-Cell High Speed Packet Access), which is a faster form of 3G. And the network claims that mobile data download speeds could be doubled by the new technology; it is claiming potential maximum speeds of 42Mbps – that’s twice as fast as HSPA+, which currently offers the fastest data speed in the country.

But don’t get too excited – the rollout is being restricted at the moment to ‘major cities’ – so it’s good news if you live in Birmingham, London and Manchester, but not so thrilling for the rest of us.

The other issue is the sparsity of devices that actually offer DC-HSPA support. The Nokia Lumia 900 and the new iPad are presently the only devices that are compatible with the new technology, but that will hopefully alter as it becomes more widespread.

That shouldn’t take too long either – Vodafone already uses DC-HSPA in the big cities – although it says its highest speeds are 28.8Mbps – and Everything Everywhere is planning to roll out the new technology by the end of 2012.

While this is good news, we’re just disappointed that it’s not a story about 4G rollout, rather than just a step up from 3G.