Hidden away in today's festive message from Three UK was the news that the carrier is planning to roll out 42.2Mbps HSPA+ speeds across its network over the next year. Three says it's already deployed 21.1Mbps HSPA+ across "the majority" of its 3G network, and adds that it plans to extend HSPA+ to all 3G coverage areas by early next year.
Other UK networks haven't made quite as much noise about HSPA+, though we have noticed quiet roll-outs of the tech in certain areas by T-Mobile UK and Vodafone. Currently HSPA+ is only available on a minority of handsets sold in the UK, with notable examples being the Samsung Galaxy S II and Galaxy Nexus, which support up to 21.1Mbps.
Looking ahead, Three says its main challenge for 2012 is to ensure that the repeatedly delayed UK LTE spectrum auction goes ahead, freeing up valuable airwaves for 4G rollout in the coming years. Yeah, when it comes to LTE in the UK, we're still talking years, not months. In preparation, Three says it's planning to run its own 4G LTE trials at some point in the near future.