O2 has confirmed they are rolling out an advanced 3G service to Major UK cities.
The DC-HSPA connection can support speeds of up to 42Mbps. This will still be classed as a 3G connection ahead of of the 4G roll out.
We see this as good news, although, as stated, the upgrade will only take place in major UK cities. Local masts will need to be upgraded and O2 have not confirmed exact locations as yet.
The good news for iPad owners is that the new speeds are supported on the new iPad but of course they will need to be in an area that has had the upgrade to benefit. This may ease the pain somewhat for those who purchased the new iPad expecting it to have 4G capability when it is rolled out in the UK, only to find out it works on a different spectrum and so is incompatible. This led to Apple rebranding the new iPad after some arm-twisting.
While Vodafone have said they have no plans to upgrade to a 42Mbps network after rolling out the DC-HSPA network of up to 28.8Mbps last year, Three have stated they plan a 42Mbps roll out over the summer and Everything Everywhere plan to support a DC-HSPA variant later in the year.