British mobile operator O2 has begun rolling out a new, faster mobile network standard across major British cities, according to reports. Crave is reporting that O2 has started switching on DC-HSPA. The "DC" part stands for dual cell, and this new standard doubles the bandwidth available over traditional HSPA+, enabling maximum theoretical download speeds of up to 42Mbps. For the less technically minded, it just means faster 3G data, assuming your phone's hardware supports it.
And that's the big sticking point at this stage. Right now there are only three leading devices that support DC-HSPA -- the HTC One X, the new iPad and the Nokia Lumia 900. In any case, if you're rocking a One X on O2 in a major British city (no word on which ones), then you'll likely be treated to faster data speeds from now on.
Rival UK networks are looking to roll out DC-HSPA later this year, ahead of the expected UK LTE switch-on in 2013 and beyond. Three says it'll start upgrading its network with the new standard "this summer," while T-Mobile and Orange (under the "Everything Everywhere" banner) are reportedly aiming for the end of the year. Vodafone tells Crave it already uses DC-HSPA on its network, albeit at slower speeds of up to 28Mbps.