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
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.
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.
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.