AT&T may have announced HSPA 7.2 for later this year, but Rogers has launched HSPA+ at 21 Mbps: Rogers Wireless says that five Canadian cities have data-only access to 21 Mbps HSPA+, the fast current production flavor of HSPA. Last week, AT&T unveiled its roadmap for HSPA upgrades in the U.S. to the 7.2 Mbps flavor, with just six medium-to-large cities getting coverage this year, and 19 more markets in 2009.
Rogers is offering a C$75 USB adapter, and has plans as high as C$80 per month, but those include 5 GB caps. The caps start to seem rather ridiculous when, even at 5 to 10 Mbps of net throughput, you could run through the cap by downloading a single high-def movie over the course of a few hours.
There's a mismatch here between carrier messages: Go faster! But only for a few minutes at a time!
HSPA has seemed like an appealing upgrade for GSM carriers, because it requires relatively modest software updates in many cases; T-Mobile has its eyes on the HSPA prize due to spectrum issues. HSPA operates in 5 MHz slices, while you need 10 MHz or more for LTE.