HSPA+, or Evolved High-Speed Packet Access, is a technical standard for wireless, broadband telecommunication. HSPA+ enhances the widely used UMTS based 3G networks with higher speeds for the end user, which is comparable to the newer LTE networks.
HSPA+ was first defined in the technical standard 3GPP release 7 and expanded further in later releases. HSPA consist on HSDPA (Downlink) and HUSPA (Uplink) which are completely different systems (the only thing they have in common is the HARQ mechanism).
The usage of MIMO technics and 16/64QAM modulation in HSDPA provide higher data rates (14.4Mbps). HSPA+ increases the network capacity and the user data rates because of the better spectral efficiency. Moreover, it reuses UMTS architecture in order to minimize the capital expenditure of the operator, but base stations (NodeB) have more intelligence with RNC functions. The flattened all-IP architecture, where the stations connect to the network via IP, allows a faster and cheaper network.
In Spain, Movistar, Vodafone and Yoigo has commercially launched HSPA+ with speeds up to 42Mb/s in major cities.