T-Mobile HSPA+ coverage expands to more U.S. cities

T-Mobile HSPA+ coverage  expands to more U.S. cities
On its way to the promised 100 metropolitan areas in the U.S. that should be basking in HSPA+ glory by the end of the year, T-Mobile rolled out the speedy service to major urban areas in the Northeast. The service started in Philadelphia, it has been available in the Washington D.C. suburbs and New York City, and now the carrier just widens the blanket to the bigger cities in Upstate New York, Connecticut, and Providence, R.I. In the mainland, Memphis and Las Vegas also got upgraded to T-Mobile's HSPA+ network, while the faster speeds will be available in the Boston area and the capital itself in the following weeks.  That makes about 30 million people for now, with the intent to get the service to 185 million by year end.

The nice part about this particular choice of technology is that it can be done as an upgrade to the existing infrastructure, which bumps up the speed for current devices using the T-Mobile 3G network. Theoretically, download speeds with HSPA+ (aka Evolved HSPA) can be up to about 21Mbps, but in practice they will, of course, be much lower. Users have reported the T-Mobile webConnect(tm) Rocket(tm) Laptop stick to get about 3Mbps in an HSPA+ area with 7Mbps peak, while a 3G smartphone is said to have tripled its access speed compared to an area with no HSPA+ coverage to 1.8Mbps. Moreover, the wait for server response is also reported to be better, which could make all the difference.

source: T-Mobile, PCMag

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24 Comments

1. BeInspired

Posts: 45; Member since: Apr 21, 2009

T-mobile, you are the man, let's do this, beat Verizon and AT&T.

2. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

LOL, so T-Mobile is passing this off to consumers as 4G - wow - well if both T-Mobile and AT&T complete their expected upgrades by the end of the year then AT&T will win the battle as T-Mobile plan will cover 185 million and AT&T will cover 250 million. Plus, both companies will not gain much in terms of speed and use with this upgrade until the fiber backhaul in each area where this will be installed is completed.

3. pingpong

Posts: 145; Member since: Mar 28, 2010

You make it seem like upgrading to HSPA+ is a bad thing for customers. Once the towers are upgraded people will notice faster speeds without having to upgrade their phones yet. I don't see why it would make that big of a difference that it isn't WiMax or LTE or any of these theoretical "4G" frequencies everybody is bragging about but don't even have yet. I for one am happy that T-Mobile is expanding their data coverage and speeds. I'm not one to brag about the upcoming 10G hyper plamsa super wireless broadband that my carrier "might have" in the future.

4. jenna_23

Posts: 145; Member since: Apr 02, 2010

Why do u think att will win? T-mobile is going to be much faster at 21 mbps compared to att 14 mbps right now t-mobile is muuch faster than att and its still not the end of the year..

328. hmm... unregistered

that made no since what so ever... date speeds for all four main carrier have been tested... at&t came in number 1 at 1.6 mbs... tmobile came in at an average of 900kbs... your hypothetical numbers would never be true for a cell phone... tell me how you plan on getting "21 megabites" per second with a horrible half gig of ram... no a chance from a wireless network... the 1ghz processors cant keep up with that speed... verizon came in at less then 700kbs which is slow as dial-up. harly worth mentioning...

334. hmm... unregistered

if you dont believe me check out pc worlds tests in 13 cities http://www.phonearena.com/image.php?m=Articles.Images&f=name&id=28780&name=smartphone.gif&caption=&t itle=Image+from+%22PC+World+says+AT%26T+best+in+3G+performance+tests%22&kw=&popup=1

5. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Lol, dood. 4g isn't a speed, its a term for the generation of the tech. Hspda+ from tmobile is faster and cheaper to deploy than wimaxx. Att isn't going to run hsdpa+ at 21mbs lke tmobile, its gonna run closer to 12 last I heard. Tmobile will retain its current speed crown until vzw rolls out lte.

7. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Correct, I did not imply it was - it is the tech used - HSPA+ is still 3G. Heck, even LTE is something like 3.8 tech, but companies have agreed to call it 4G. Just like those fanboys calling the next iphone 4G - 4G in that case is 4th generation iphone. The faster HSPA speeds will def help a network building up to LTE as the speed comparison will be nil at first, until companies build up LTE. You are comapring the fastest 3G speeds to the beginning of LTE - it may be close at first, but when LTE is thoroughly built up on a network it will easily outdistance itself from any 3G network. Meanwhile, we consumers will enjoy faster speeds for years to come. Remixa, AT&T and T-MOBILE are both rolling out HSPA+ and T-mobile customer will not be getting anywhere close to 21 mpbs.

11. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

ok.. learn to read. nowhere did i compare LTE speeds and tmo's HSDPA+ speeds. I said it will retain its speed crown UNTIL LTE rolls out. LTE is exponentially faster. ATT is not rolling out the same speed HSDPA+ that TMOBILE is. Again, if you woulda read, tmos THEORETICAL MAX is 21/mbs. ATTs THEORETICAL MAX is 12mbs. No, tmo isnt gonna be hitting that all the time, because its the cieling of its speed. As they expand out their network and improve bandwith, it will get closer to that though. LTEs cap is around 100mbs. Yes, its a whole new category, and in my mind the ONLY one that should be clearly classfied as something else. WiMaxx may be 4g tech, but its running slower than Tmobiles 3G+ speeds and on par with what ATT wants to run at. so again, current speed king is Tmobile (21 max), then Sprint (12-14max), then ATT(7.2 max), then VZW (3 max). next year as LTE Rolls out it will go VZW (100) then Tmo (21) then sprint (12-14) and ATT (12) tied around the same. The real question is, on a phone will you really notice the difference between 100 and 21 to pay the huge difference in speed? Tmobiles plans are cheaper by far and aircards for customers are 39.99, even on 3g+ speeds. VZW is gonna charge tiered pricing for LTE which could get rather expensive. That said, if they give an unlimited option for home use id pay to have LTE as my home service in a heartbeat :)

6. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ok, no offense to jenna and ping, but the speeds you list will not occur in the real world, but, yes will be faster. AT&T is doing the same exact upgrade and both customer bases will benefit from this, including my TILT :-) Jenna, speed tests have confirmed that AT&T is the fastes, but not the best. When and if both companies complete the upgrade and if you read my post carefully, I wrote the following: "well if both T-Mobile and AT&T complete their expected upgrades by the end of the year then AT&T will win the battle as T-Mobile plan will cover 185 million and AT&T will cover 250 million. Plus, both companies will not gain much in terms of speed and use with this upgrade until the fiber backhaul in each area where this will be installed is completed" notcie the word IF and BOTH and UPGRADES. Now look the figures for POP, AT&T's plan will cover more of the country than T-Mobiles - those facts came from FIERCEWIRELESS as well the companies respective marketing/media spokespeoplpes. Now, just because those towers are upgraded does not mean everything is fine and dandy like sour candy. You need backhaul for all of that exta data being used, so fiber optic backhaul and some wifi backhaul is needed. The companies have gone on record stating that that portion of the plan is still in progress. It is easy to install the upgrade in all of the towers which AT&T has done already, but the fiber optic backhaul is where the real work is being done and it takes time. T-Mobile is marketing their 3G network, albeit, theortically faster than the current 3G networks, as 4G technology, which it is not. I am not saying what they are doing is bad, it is actually good. In the end AT&T and VERIZON will win out because those network subscriber bases are increasing while SPRINT is juggling a half a dozen networks and now WimAX with possible LTE by 2012. That takes extra cash and they are banking on one phone as AT&T has and is. Verizon had to stop building up FIOS because the money it gets from the operation is split with its parent comapny and it could not afford to build up FIOS anymore, while simultaneously, working to start on LTE. Also, Verizon is dumping its landline services on other companies to save money - it already did so with a company in the northeast and that company went bankrupt as it could not handle the influx of customers. Interesting tidbit, huh? AT&T is sitting on a ton of money and is going to maximize its 3G network, so that when a 4G customer with a 4G phone and 4G sim card is forced onto that 3G network it will not be a huge difference in speeds. It is a good plan, but we shall wait and see. T-Mobile is actually looking for a partner to build a 4G network with as it cannot afford to do it alone as its profits are split their parent company. In other news, AT&T and APPLE are starting talks on a new contract. If you folks want to learn about wireless networks and its happenings then check out FIERCEWIRELESS.com.

12. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

wow, u know, for a screen name like "networkdood" u really dont know much about the networks. a) FIOS is run by verizon LANDLINE. Not VERIZON WIRELESS. They are 2 seperately run companies and do not share a bank account. FIOS runs into trouble because of lock out clauses that the cable companies like comcast have with local governments. Here in jacksonville they have a multiyear lockout anti-competition clause that limits how many cable providers can be in the city... keeping out FIOS (and pissing me off!!!!) And BTW, if a company has an INFLUX of customers that means they are making MORE money and therefor WOULDNT go bankrupt because they had "too many customers". That doesnt even make sence. b) just because ATT ANNOUNCED they wanted 250 million people covered doesnt mean they will. You have to remember the 7.2 mb network they already have partially built is HSPA. I can all but bet they are counting that in their numbers as well as what they PLAN to build around on their 12mb/s. It is NOT the same speed as Tmobile's 21mb/s. Please understand that. They are also WAY BEHIND Tmobile in the actual build out process. Tmobile has been gearing up and upgrading for over a year now, ATT just started. "covering 250 million" and having "250 million being able to use it" are not the same thing. ATT is the king of double talk. I'll beleive it when i see it. c) ATT is NOT the fastest. That is Tmobile. Tmobiles theoretical top speed is 21mbs in certain areas. ATTs theoretical top speed is 7.2 in certain areas. I know im not an astrophysicst but i think 21 is greater than 7.2. And yes, noone has VZWs coverage which is always the most important thing. d)amazingly, i do actually agree with you that sprint is juggling too much and they obviously havent learned from their mistakes about split networks AKA Nextell/sprint.

14. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Per each companies marketing/spokespeople - AT&T is planning to cover 250 mill and T-Mobile is planning to cover 185 million - figures are not exact and are theoritical, and are not my plans, but the plans of each carrier. Reality and planned reality are two different monsters, sometimes. T-mobile is not the fastest yet until an official speed test is carried out on all networks again, as was the case recently AT&T was tested out as the fastest. That will change, more than likely. T-Mobile can say 21 Mpbs....it will never happen. HSPA+ is the same for both companies - speed may vary depending on the software. AT&T has already completed its upgrade, but has to complete the backhaul part of the deal and that will take time, so maybe that is what you meant by AT&T being behind. Which makes sense because they are always behind. For both companies no one should believe anything until it becomes a reality.

17. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

You are gullible to believe that VERIZON landline does not share a bank account with the wireless division, which is owned by 2 companies. It is all about the bottom line and Verizon is trying to improve theirs. They just do not have any money for continuing a FIOS buildout and would rather concentrate on their LTE buildout which will be even more expensive than AT&Ts LTE buildout. Google VERIZON and landline and you will find some interesting articles on this.

8. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

This article from FIERCEWIRELESS does a much better job that what PHONEARENA (no shock there) is reporting: T-Mobile USA appears to be taking aim at its larger rivals on the 4G playground. The company has expanded its HSPA+ network in the Northeastern United States--and is now promoting the technology as providing "4G" speeds. By designating HSPA+ as a 4G technology, T-Mobile has caused some friction with its competitors, namely AT&T, which is also deploying HSPA+ throughout its network as a stepping stone to its 2011 deployment of LTE. T-Mobile said its HSPA+ network now covers more than 30 million Americans and it plans to cover 100 major metropolitan areas--185 million people--by year-end. In a press release, the company said HSPA+ supports theoretical peak download speeds of 21 Mbps but noted that typical downlink and uplink speeds will vary based on a number of factors, including location, device, and overall traffic on the local wireless network at a given time. "Our competitors are asking consumers to pay more for faster wireless service with limited coverage and very few capable devices," said Neville Ray, senior vice president of Engineering and Operations for T-Mobile, in a release. "In contrast, T-Mobile is already delivering 4G speeds today to customers and we continue to make major leaps in expanding our HSPA+ mobile broadband footprint." But AT&T is not happy with T-Mobile's designation of HSPA+ as a 4G technology. "I think that companies need to be careful that they're not misleading customers by labeling HSPA+ as a 4G technology," said AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) spokesman Seth Bloom. AT&T plans to cover fully 250 million people by the end of this year with HSPA+, and it will begin rolling out LTE network technology next year. Bloom said AT&T will call its HSPA+ upgrade just that: HSPA+. "We aren't labeling those technologies as 4G," he said. However, he added that AT&T will refer to LTE as a 4G network. While there is no universally accepted definition of "4G," T-Mobile's use of 4G in reference to HSPA+ appears to be a competitive response to AT&T, as well as Sprint Nextel (NASDAQ:S) and Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ). Sprint is using Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) WiMAX network and marketing its mobile broadband services as Sprint 4G. Likewise, Verizon is building an LTE network that it is trumpeting as 4G. Unlike its competitors, T-Mobile has not said if, or when, it will upgrade its network from HSPA+ to LTE. Earlier this month the Financial Times reported that Deutsche Telekom was considering partnering with Harbinger Capital Partners to make its T-Mobile USA subsidiary a wholesale customer of Harbinger's proposed nationwide LTE network. T-Mobile said the HSPA+ service is now available in the New York City metropolitan area, including New Jersey and Long Island, as well as Upstate New York (Albany, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse); Connecticut (Hartford, New Haven, Milford and Stamford); Providence, R.I.; Memphis, Tenn.; Las Vegas; Philadelphia and the Washington, D.C. suburbs. T-Mobile said the service will expand to Boston and Washington, D.C., in the coming weeks. The carrier said more than a dozen devices, including its myTouch 3G Slide and Garminfone smartphones, will be able to access its HSPA+ network. And what about the backhaul necessary to support the promised speeds of HSPA+? "T-Mobile currently has fiber backhaul capacity for a majority of our high-speed sites in these new locations to support these very fast speeds," wrote a T-Mobile spokeswoman in response to questions from FierceWireless. "Over the next few weeks, we'll continue to put the necessary backhaul in place in these locations to complete the upgrade. T-Mobile expects to have fiber backhaul in place in more than 100 metropolitan areas by the end of the year."

9. mdw92581

Posts: 131; Member since: Feb 25, 2010

Here's a little information for those who may not know yet. I just spoke with a customer care tech rep and he said that the highest current theoretical 3G speeds are 3.6mbs and they are bypassing the 7.2 and going straight for the HSPA+. He said the average i should be seeing right now is 1-2mbps. I was trying to figure out why i'm not getting anywhere near the supposed 7.2mb speeds and this explains why. More importantly was that he said there will be no additional charge for HSPA+ 21mbps(half that realistically). ALSO he said that Tethering is "not supported" by Tmo BUT they aren't against it which means unlike SPRINT us Tmo customers will be using FroYo intergrated Tethering to share "4G like speeds" for FREE!! Come on HTC Vision!

13. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

tmobiles 3g network in all 3g areas is about 1.5mbs unless ur in one of the supercool new areas that gets 21mbs. No phone out has that capability yet though, but if your on a smart phone, all non blackberries (windows/android) can go up to 7.2-10mbs depending on the phone. For whatever reason, blackberries top out at like 3 or 4mbs. Think of it as a free upgrade because unlike other companies, they arent charging an extra penny for it.

15. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

3g 7.2, 14.4 may be available but even with a capable phone you will get only 2-4Mpbs for a variety of reasons.

10. Galen20K

Posts: 572; Member since: Dec 26, 2008

Go T-Mobile! WHOot! ignore the haters and do your own thing as they fight amongst themselves.

16. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

No one is hating on anyone company. This is not a ballgame where you root for a team. This is about corporations who take your money. You are just a number to these companies and do not believe anything else.

18. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

ok, again, not trying to support one network as we all know the shortcomings of each network - here is a great link that contains more links, including to those websites that have down more recent speed tests: http://links.mkt1985.com/ctt?kn=232&m=3009098&r=MTg5NTE2NzIwNTYS1&b=0&j=ODk4NjIzODcS1&mt=1&rt=0 and if this does not work check out the article at FIERCEWIRELESS.com.

19. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Search Wikipedia.com with HSPA+ HSPA+, also known as Evolved High-Speed Packet Access is a wireless broadband standard defined in 3GPP release 7. HSPA+ provides HSPA data rates up to 56 Mbit/s on the downlink and 22 Mbit/s on the uplink with MIMO technologies and higher order modulation (64QAM). MIMO on CDMA based systems acts like virtual sectors to give extra capacity closer to the mast. The 56 Mbit/s and 22 Mbit/s represent theoretical peak sector speeds. The actual speed for a user will be lower. At cell edge and even at half the distance to the cell edge there may only be slight increase compared with 14.4 Mbit/s HSDPA unless a wider channel than 5 MHz is used. Future revisions of HSPA+ support up to 168 Mbit/s using multiple carriers[1]. HSPA+ also introduces an optional all-IP architecture for the network where base stations are directly connected to IP based backhaul and then to the ISP's edge routers. The technology also delivers significant battery life improvements and dramatically quicker wake-from-idle time - delivering a true always-on connection. HSPA+ should not be confused with LTE, which uses a new air interface. As of November 2009, there are 20 HSPA+ networks running in the world at 21 Mbit/s and two are running at 28 Mbit/s[2]. The first to launch was Telstra in Australia in late 2008, with Australia-wide access in February 2009 with speeds up to 21 Mbit/sec. So, both companies are installing the same basic technology and to make it faster you have to continuosly upgrade the software. It is a great thing actually, for consumers as initally it may be faster than LTE at first until carriers upgrade LTE enough to maximize its potential. Again, T-Mobile should not pass this off as 4G, which it implies in press releases. But, the speeds will make one think their phone is flying on the 4G network.

20. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

What is funny is that there is no 4G tech out there officially as the group responsible for naming it will officially approve LTE ADVANCED as the first official 4G tech, so no one in the US will truly have 4G tech, but rather 3G 3.9.

21. iunlock

Posts: 1; Member since: May 27, 2010

I'm getting consistent 4-5Mbps download in Honolulu, HI with the new HSDPA+ network. At night I peak at 6-7Mbps. FYI: Because of T-Mobile (finally right? but well worth it) AT&T and Verizon no longer can advertise that they have the nations fastest network. Sprint will stop very soon, if they haven't already advertising that. T-Mobile in my opinion is the most stable GSM carrier, over AT&T who always get's dropped calls and slow download speeds.

22. AnonOne unregistered

I live in the middle of an HSPA+ city and in the T-Mobile store the download speeds on a Samsung Vibrant never went above 3Mbps, and it flunctuated between hich 1.x and mid 2.x quite a bit. You aren't getting 4-7MBps download speeds unless there are very few people using that tower. Also, T-Mobile's Coverage is generally the worst out of the major carriers. Worse than Verizon, AT&T, and even Sprint. Their plan pricing is also ridiculous, their phone selection isn't the greatest (although somewhat better than Sprint's, IMO), and the sales reps in the store typically don't seem to know what they're talking about around here. We have 3 HSPA+ T-Mobile cities in this state, though, and one being where I spend quite a bit of time does leavel ess of a sour taste in my mouth than Sprint's WiMax. You also don't have to pay for the increased speed and the other 3G handsets DO benefit from the HSPA+ upgrades. But when I think T-Mobile, I think Expensive Plans, non-Exciting phones, terrible marketing, and coverage beyond terrible.

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