Rogers To Launch 21Mbps HSPA+ Network


Rogers has officially announced its plans to begin a 21Mbps HSPA+ network roll-out across Canada, making it the first wireless carrier to offer these speeds in North America (Canada wins again, in North America anyway).

Canada Wins

Rogers 21Mbps HSPA+ Network

The current network speed for Rogers 3G is up to 7.2Mbps, but as many of you know, the speeds on our iPhones rarely break 4Mbps. The full HSPA+ upgrade is set for mid-2010 completion and will deliver speeds of up to 21Mbps (did you catch that? “up to“), just in time for a possible new iPhone launch in the summer months. These speeds are also similar to what you would expect from higher-tier land-line based internet such as from Shaw, Rogers Cable, Telus High Speed, etc.


The HSPA+ roll-out begins in Toronto in August 2009, and will move to Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and the remaining major cities in Canada. By completion, the new HSPA+ network will blanket the current 3G HSPA network areas. For those areas in Canada where Rogers HSPA+ may not be available, you will still have access to the 3G HSPA network of speeds up to 7.2Mbps.

Can my iPhone have 21Mbps?

The short answer is no. While the current iPhone hardware cannot access 21Mbps, any new iPhones that come out may be able to. However, at this time, no current iPhone hardware can access these speeds. A device cannot exceed a speed past its capability.

  • 3.6 HSPA Device = Maximum speed of 3.6Mbps = iPhone 3G
  • 7.2 HSPA Device = Maximum speed of 7.2Mbps = iPhone 3GS
  • 21.0 HSPA+ Device = Maximum speed of 21.0Mbps = Jesus Jobs iPhone 2010

With that being said, your iPhone 3G/3GS will marginally benefit from the increased network capacity. As we have seen, most of our Rogers iPhone 3G/3GS devices cannot break 3Mbps/4Mbps, however with the new 21Mbps HSPA+ network, we may be able to see results closer to what the iPhone 3G/3GS can actually achieve. That is 3.6Mbps on the iPhone 3G and 7.2Mbps on the iPhone 3GS. However, in real world tests, it is highly unlikely that any device will be able to achieve the 21Mbps speed.

Is HSPA+ 4G?

HSPA+ is not 4G. HSPA+ falls somewhere in between 3G and 4G. Eventually Rogers will achieve 4G or LTE, but at this time HSPA+ is more like 3.75G.


I’m with Fido. What about me?

Considering Rogers owns Fido, but Fido only operates a smaller network within urban areas, Fido will also benefit from the 21Mbps HSPA+ upgrade but only in the small urban areas that its current network influence operates in.

rogers_fidoThe network upgrade is definitely a good move for Rogers, especially with the new wireless carriers coming in Fall 2009. I do wonder though if we will see a decrease in prices with an increase of data capacities or if we will see the opposite, with an increase in prices and a freeze of data capacities. Here’s to hoping for the former.


  • Does this have any affect on those of us living in rural areas without 3G currently? Will the cities be upgraded to this new speed and us rural folk upgraded from EDGE? The only thing really holding me back from getting an iphone is how slow our network is here.

  • Dusty

    Rogers is stepping up. I wonder whats next? iPhone 4G(S) and another device which involves paying a good chunk of cash to get these speeds with.

  • Mike

    I don't see why the new iPhone 3GS cannot “handle” the new speeds.

  • The iPhone 3GS only has capacity of up to 7.2Mbps. It cannot exceed this.

  • I have a 3GS and my top speed is 1.44 mbps down and I rarely get that. I don't care about 21, I'd be happy with a solid 3. I'm an hour outside Toronto near Niagara Falls, and the network has been bad lately, Slow speeds or no connection at all. It was great the first 6 to 9 months I had the iPhone.

  • Pingback: Rogers moving to 21Mbps HSPA+ network, at&t still at 3.6Mbps | When Will Apple?()

  • tbayprovs

    Dear Rogers,
    Please bring 3G to Thunder Bay, Ontario first before upgrading the rest of the Country with this new 21Mbps data speed?! I know Thunder Bay has “ONLY” 113,000 people, but we would most certainly take advantage of 3G AT LEAST!!! EDGE just doesn't cut it anymore when we see the advantages of what highspeed data on a cell phone can do for everyone. I know for a fact that phones such as the new iPhone 3G S keeps on selling out in Thunder Bay. Wouldn't it be nice if we could use those phones to their full potential?
    Enough said.


  • Nick_Abby

    exciting news for 3GS owners! as stated this should open up the networks Pipe enough for everyone to see a increase in available bandwidth with their 3g's 3gS phones (iphones or not!)

  • LarryB

    They have announced MTS will join with Rogers and share the new HSPA together. This will mean anyone who uses Rogers or Fido, will be able to access areas outside of Winnipeg where Rogers/Fido could not reach. Overall this sounds like a good thing for us here in MB has coverage was pretty weak.

  • Jonny

    Rogers doesnt care about Thunder Bay customers. Get on the Tbaytel 3G network that was just launched. Extremely fast.

  • Jonny

    Rogers doesnt care about Thunder Bay customers. Get on the Tbaytel 3G network that was just launched. Extremely fast.