updated 04:10 pm EDT, Tue August 31, 2010
T-Mo HSPA Plus live in Boston, San Diego
T-Mobile this afternoon said it had switched on its HSPA+ 3G access in several major cities. The 21Mbps access should be live in Boston and Miami as well as Fresno, Palm Springs and San Diego in California. Coverage should also be faster in Erie, Pennsylvania; Richmond, Virginia; Spokane, Washington; and Topeka, Kansas.
At the same time as it rolled out the updates, the carrier added that it now planned to double its HSPA+ speeds to 42Mbps sometime in 2011. It didn't give an exact schedule, but the technique would follow that being used by Canadian carriers and others making the leap, where devices connect to two virtual carriers and 'stack' connections to reach the new speed.
HSPA+ is for now limited to modems and netbooks using T-Mobile's 3G frequencies, but it plans to have a 14.4Mbps smartphone later this year in the T-Mobile G2. Although small, T-Mobile technically has the fastest theoretical maximum speeds where Sprint's WiMAX network is limited to 10Mbps. AT&T has the widest coverage and usually favors well in 3G tests, but its plans are relatively modest for 3G and will see it move to a max 14.4Mbps on HSPA+ before it leaps to 4G next year. Verizon is skipping directly to 4G as well.