Starting in Toronto this August, Rogers will begin rolling out their HSPA+ network, which clocks in at an impressive 21 Mbps. At those speeds, HSPA+ will provide a solid stopgap for Rogers before the big bad LTE train comes trundling into town. The release only mentions an internet stick to be launched alongside the network, so we’ll have to hold our breath for news on HSPA+ capable phones shortly thereafter. The biggest change manufacturers will have to make to accommodate HSPA+ is the inclusion of MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) antennae, something we’ve only seen in USB modems to date; odds are internet sticks will continue to dominate HSPA+ usage for awhile still.
Australia’s Telstra was the first to roll out HSPA+, while AT&T, Telecom Italia, 02 Germany, Vodafone Portugal and Greece are all in the process of getting HSPA+ running in their respective areas. Most of the time when I think of Rogers and Canadian carriers, the only thing that comes to mind is three-year contracts and atrocious ETFs, but every once in awhile, announcements like this are a clear silver lining.