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O2 UK Begins Roll-Out of Double-Speed 3G Connectivity

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Browsing and downloading while on the go with your smartphone or tablet is about to get a whole lot faster if you’re on the O2 UK network.

O2 has revealed plans to roll out a speed increase for 3G connectivity across the UK. While it’s not the blisteringly fast 4G LTE speeds we’re garnering for, it is a jump of double the current speeds.

Most smartphones today use a type of 3G connectivity called HSPA, which can give us top download speeds of 21Mbps if we have full signal. O2 is now rolling out something called ‘DC-HPSA’, which stands for dual-cell high-speed packet access.

With the type of DC-HSPA that O2 is starting to broadcast in the UK, download speeds jump to a theoretical 42Mbps – double that of the standard. The network iterates that we may never see this top speed, as real world conditions may bring the speed down.

O2 confirmed that is has started the rollout of DC-HSPA connectivity this week in major cities, although it doesn’t confirm exactly which ones. With mobile network rollouts the likely candidates for getting new tech first are London, Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol.

Not everyone will be able to make use of the new higher speeds on their smartphones and tablets. The gadget that you have needs to have a radio chip that can process DC-HSPA signals. The new iPad can make use of it, as can Nokia’s new Lumia 900 smartphone.

If you’re not on O2 then there’s still a chance you can benefit from signal boosts. Three is has been plotting to launch DC-HSPA this summer, Orange and T-Mobile (and therefore by proxy, Virgin Mobile), will do the same sometime between October and December.

The upgrade comes at a time when our 5 major UK networks are all jostling to be the first to offer 4G connectivity, which promises speeds of up to 70Mbps. Everything Everywhere, the merger of Orange and T-Mobile, are currently trialling 4G with customers in the North of England.

Are you on O2? Noticed a speed increase when browsing on your gadgets lately? Let us know.

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