T-Mobile Completes 3G Upgrade, Eyes 4G


T-Mobile completed the upgrade of its nationwide 3G HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) wireless network, the company said, noting that it has boosted the speed at which users can transfer data to 7.2 Mbps on its entire 3G network.

T-Mobile has been slow to counter its mobile rivals in the 3G space, falling behind AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Sprint when it comes to coverage area and speeds; its 3G service is now available to more than 200 million users nationwide.

According to T-Mobile, the majority of its subscribers can take advantage of the upgraded HSPA 7.2 3G network. Most of the carrier's popular devices, including the T-Mobile G1, MyTouch 3G and the newly unveiled Google Nexus One, plus any other device running the Google Android mobile operating system, can utilize the speed increase.

And T-Mobile isn't resting on its high-speed laurels. The carrier is already looking ahead and has started testing the 3G HSPA+ (Evolved High Speed Packet Access) service, which can boost speeds to up to 21 Mbps. T-Mobile is testing the HSPA+ service in Philadelphia and plans to have that service running in several U.S. markets later this year. The HSPA+ speeds are significantly faster than many competitors' mobile broadband offerings. T-Mobile also has current and upcoming devices in the hopper that can take advantage of HSPA+.

Along with HSPA+, T-Mobile is looking ahead to 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) service, though few details of when 4G testing and service will begin are available. T-Mobile rival Sprint was the first U.S. carrier to deploy a 4G network with its WiMax, which competes with the LTE network T-Mobile plans to roll out.