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T-Mobile has beat AT&T to completing a full 3G upgrade, and will now begin an HSPA+ rollout to further upgrade its 3G network to an intermediate in preparation for its planned 4G LTE rollout.  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
T-Mobile has completed its 3G network upgrade and now offers 3G coverage to over 200 million Americans

The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is a third-generation (3G) mobile telecommunications technology.  AT&T and T-Mobile are both using the technology to build upon GSM concepts and offer a faster successor to earlier standards like EDGE.  UMTS offers faster up and down data transfer rates than EDGE. 

The U.S. doesn't have full 3G coverage yet, but the nation's major carriers are already looking ahead to deploying 4G, as they continue their 3G rollout.  Sprint was the first major carrier to start to deploy a true 4G network (WiMAX).  Now T-Mobile has announced that its 3G upgrade of its current network is complete and it is beginning its own effort to deploy 4G (via HSPA+, then LTE).

T-Mobile uses High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) to offer downlink speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps (peak speeds) on its 3G data network.  Previously the telecomm had only offered slower 3.6 Mbps downlink rates.  T-Mobile also has announced that this high-speed-upgraded network now covers 200 million Americans.

Next up, T-Mobile is focusing on deploying Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) across its network.  A trial deployment is already underway in Philadelphia.

HSPA+ will bring downlink speeds of up to 56 Mbps and uplink speeds of up to 22 Mbps.  Actual improvements, though will vary based on how close you are to a T-Mobile tower with HSPA+ capabilities (that's the nature of the technology, not a T-Mobile-specific shortcoming).  The closer you are, the bigger the boost you get.  Customers far from a tower may not notice a significant speed increase. 

T-Mobile plans on completing its HSPA+ network upgrade by the end of this year, and will be the first major carrier in the U.S. to do so (granted Sprint already is rolling out the WiMAX, arguably a more advanced standard).  Of the GSM carriers (AT&T, T-Mobile) in the U.S., though, T-Mobile will be the top dog in terms of data transfer, as it upgrades to HSPA+ -- an important bridge technology to WiMAX competitor Long Term Evolution (LTE).

T-Mobile had more good news to report today -- for the first quarter of the 2010 it will be the exclusive carrier of the new Nexus One -- a collaborative effort by Google and HTC that sports Android 2.1 and is arguably the most attractive Android handset, in terms of features, on the market.



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RE: AT&T
By tdktank59 on 1/6/2010 6:57:46 AM , Rating: 3
Ive been with T-Mobile for around 4 years now.
Never have had a single problem due to their network.
In most places (besides basements, bart tunnels in SF and a few misc buildings with a ton of cement everywhere) I had great coverage. Phone offerings where normally lack luster. Im stuck with the G1 which has no friggen head phone jack. (wish I had realized how much I would have used it when I got the phone) However that's HTC's fault and not T-Mobiles.

Im glad they are rolling out these new upgrades to their system it should make it a lot better!

I think I get somewhere around 300+kbps download and 100+kbps upload while on the cell phone. Thats in populated areas as well for a cellphone I feel thats pretty friken good!


RE: AT&T
By Gwoben on 1/6/2010 9:20:27 AM , Rating: 2
probably T-Mobile has better coverage on west coast, but it is really bad in the northeast. Trying to compare it to AT&T is just silly. Too bad, I would sure prefer to use 10c/min T-mobile prepaid plan rather than AT&T 25c/min.


RE: AT&T
By ksherman on 1/6/2010 9:36:23 AM , Rating: 2
They are also great over here in the Mid-West. During those Customer Satisfaction surveys that Consumer Reports did recently that pimp-slapped AT&T, they showed T-Mobile very very closely behind Verizon in my region (Chicagoland).

I had T-Mo for years before switching to AT&T for the iPhone. Their coverage was good and the price of their plans were even better. Having been on AT&T for almost 2 years now, I don't feel like their coverage is better, it doesn't feel much different.

But alas, AT&T had 3G and the iPhone 3G, so here I am! But don't dismiss T-Mobile out of hand. Heck, they had Katheryn Zeta-Jones on their commercials for a while. Nothing wrong there.


RE: AT&T
By superflex on 1/6/2010 2:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
There's no T-Mobile 3G coverage in Cincinnati. Just good old EDGE.
I was considering the N1, but looking at the coverage map yesterday, I decided to wait for Verizon to get the phone.


RE: AT&T
By Samus on 1/7/2010 1:48:27 AM , Rating: 2
T-mobile is a joke here in Chicago. But so is AT&T. This is a CDMA town, considering the dominance of Verizon, US Cellular and Sprint.


RE: AT&T
By StevoLincolnite on 1/6/2010 10:08:19 AM , Rating: 4
quote:
I think I get somewhere around 300+kbps download and 100+kbps upload while on the cell phone. Thats in populated areas as well for a cellphone I feel thats pretty friken good!


You should be demanding more.

I enjoy a consistent 12mbps (Up to 21mbps) 3G speed here in Australia via Telstra's NextG network, A friend of mine who works for Telstra also demonstrated the new upgrade to me and he managed to download at around 30mbps constant (Up to 42mbps.)

The other upside? Great coverage. - I have literally -never- been somewhere where I have not been capable of getting any signal, might be different in the city however, but I do travel around the country allot.

From my own experiences in the US of A, and similar experiences from friends and family, your 3G networks plainly "suck" in comparison. (Especially AT&T.)


RE: AT&T
By mcnabney on 1/6/2010 11:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
In America, the wirless networks are paid for and operated by private industry and not the government.

Also, I highly doubt that 100% of Australia is covered. More like the east coast, highways, and towns.

And what on earth could you do on a cell phone with 30+mps? That is enough to stream multiple channels of HD video. To a phone. Yeah. And latency hasn't been well addressed, so good luck playing a FPS over that connection.

And for what it is worth, I have always had signal with Verizon with the occasional exception of canyons and basements.


RE: AT&T
By StevoLincolnite on 1/6/2010 12:17:29 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
In America, the wirless networks are paid for and operated by private industry and not the government.


Telstra is a Private company, they do have a allot of regulation and have to follow strict rules set by the government, but it seems that has done more good than harm if you compare the two different situations.

quote:
Also, I highly doubt that 100% of Australia is covered. More like the east coast, highways, and towns.


It's geographically the largest 3G network in the world, and covers over 98% of the population, nowhere in my previous post did I state 100% coverage, I did state that I have never -personally- been in an area without coverage. (Telstra has an obligation to cover regional areas, as enacted by the government as a condition for them to close the CDMA network.)

And if Telstra doesn't provide coverage in a certain area, I'm sure Vodaphone/3 Mobile/Optus/Virgin (And dozens more) might.

quote:
And what on earth could you do on a cell phone with 30+mps? That is enough to stream multiple channels of HD video. To a phone. Yeah. And latency hasn't been well addressed, so good luck playing a FPS over that connection.


I never once specifically stated Mobile phones in my previous post either, however Wireless broadband comes to mind, there are probably plenty of other uses not related to latency sensitive tasks.

Personally I'm waiting on the roll out of the 100mbps+ mational broadband network the government is building and will then privatize to replace my currently relatively slow 14mbps DSL connection.

It's like with Dial-up did we really need broadband when it first came out? No, we didn't, we didn't have streaming video, flash and graphics rich websites, drivers and other files that are 5mb in size or larger, and yet look at where we are today.

If you build it, they will come, new services will take advantage of the additional bandwidth and take full use of it.

... Time to move out of the Dark Ages of broadband sir'.


RE: AT&T
By ksherman on 1/6/2010 11:47:29 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, U.S. has a ton of area to cover. Even when these companies upgrade their coverage in 6 major areas, they leave out a huge portion of their subscriber base... Its a major undertaking, its no wonder a private company is hesitant to invest the capitol required to move this technology forward. Governments drop billions at the request of a few hundred people (Congress) and don't have to prove that profits will come from the investment.


RE: AT&T
By Chaser on 1/6/2010 2:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
Drive outside the city/suburbian region you are in on the highway until you are rural, then exit and drive away from that highway for 10 miles and then let us know how good your T-Mobile service is.


RE: AT&T
By rcc on 1/6/2010 3:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
Been there, done that, works fine.


RE: AT&T
By Chaser on 1/7/2010 6:38:16 AM , Rating: 2
T-Mobile is the personification of the term "you get what you pay for".


RE: AT&T
By Jedi2155 on 1/6/2010 8:39:16 PM , Rating: 2
I'm mostly in the east LA/San Bernadino area with my T-MObile G1 while my co-worker who has a iPhone commonly gets better reception than me. From my personal experience in SoCal I've generally notice better "reception" from AT&T although I can't really tell the difference in actual service despite being with both AT&T for over 2 years.

Still love my T-Mobile service for their friendly customer support and awesome pricing but wish the overall reception would be better primarily in the north Orange County and East LA areas.


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