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  (Source: T-Mobile USA, Inc.)
Carrier plans to cover 185 million users with high-speed network by year's end

T-Mobile continued to roll out its "4G-like" HSPA+ network today to a bevy of new markets, much to the chagrin of AT&T

With the addition of Los Angeles; Dallas; Atlanta; Houston; Seattle; Tampa and Orlando, Fla.; Pittsburgh; Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem, N.C.; Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Okla.; New Orleans; and Charleston, S.C.; Bentonville, Ark.; Anderson, S.C.; and Fayetteville, N.C., to its roster of HSPA+ markets, T-Mobile's high-speed network now covers 25 major metropolitan areas across the country, the company stated in a press release.

"T-Mobile has rolled out HSPA+ service to more than 25 major metropolitan areas in four month’s time, as we drive towards having the most pervasive mobile broadband network delivering 4G speeds in the country," said Neville Ray, senior vice president of Engineering and Operations for T-Mobile USA in the press release.

The nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier plans to implement the technology in 100 major metros and cover 185 million Americans by the end of the year. It is important to note that the number of people covered does not correlate to quality of coverage, particularly with a technology like HSPA+, which fluctuates based on individual users' proximity to the towers.

HSPA+ isn't exactly 4G technology -- like Sprint's WiMax and Verizon's LTE -- but rather an upgrade to 3G that delivers what T-Mobile calls "4G speeds" to consumers with HSPA+ devices, like the MyTouch Slide or the webConnect Jet Laptop Stick. HSPA+ offers theoretical downlink speeds of up to 56 Mbps and uplink speeds of up to 22 Mbps.

Earlier this month, Phone Scoop conducted an independent test pitting Sprint's WiMax network against T-Mobile's HSPA+. "T-Mobile's upgraded HSPA+ network is worth a hard look. HSPA+ is just as fast as WiMAX for downloads, and much faster when it comes to upload and latency,"Phone Scoop concluded.

With the exception of Sprint, whose WiMAX network is still pretty spotty, T-Mobile is the only other major wireless carrier in the U.S. that currently provides anything that even resembles 4G.

An AT&T spokesperson previously told us that his company plans to beef up its existing 3G network before upgrading to HSPA+ and ultimately LTE, Verizon has said it plans to have three to five handsets compatible with what will most likely be tiered data service on its LTE network by next year.





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