updated 09:25 am EDT, Mon September 14, 2009
Rogers HSPA+ goes live
Rogers today officially deployed its HSPA+ service in Canada. The service has a peak speed three times faster than its existing HSPA network, at 21Mbps, and is launching in a much wider area than originally promised. Where the company had initially planned only to release it in the Greater Toronto Area, the initial rollout brings HSPA+ both to Toronto as well as to Calgary, Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver.
The launch also brings a new modem, the HSPA+ Rocket Stick, to take advantage of the service from launch. The USB peripheral installs on both Macs and Windows PCs without needing a separate driver disc and has tri-band support for HSPA+ as well as earlier HSPA standards, including peak upstream speeds of 5.76Mbps; it also handles quad-band EDGE and GPRS in fringe areas. A microSDHC slot optionally gives the drive as much as 8GB of storage.
Service effectively starts on September 28th, when the new Rocket Stick ships for $75 with a three-year contract or $200 contract-free. Extra cities should receive the faster network in the next few months.
The upgrade now gives Rogers the fastest cellular network in North America, as T-Mobile isn't expected to use HSPA+ until 2010 and Verizon also won't launch its 4G service until the same year. Sprint's 4G service currently runs at a peak 10Mbps.