Image courtesy of T-Mobile
This year has been all about 4G. ’4G’ refers to the newest high-speed data transfer protocol used by cell phone carriers for smartphones. 4G coverage is spotty at best no matter which carrier your contract is with. Every carrier now has some form of 4G, and as we all know some are (for now) much better than others. The debate of ‘true’ 4G and LTE has been the talk of many flame wars but quite frankly it doesn’t matter to me what my carrier calls it as long as my speeds are fast.
T-mobile announced in a press event on Monday night that they are going hot with HSPA+ in at least 50 cities around the US. This means that hardware supported devices can now transfer data at double the speeds of the current HSPA+ (21Mbps). So what does that really mean for the millions of users that don’t have hardware supported devices? For one, a better backbone for their “slower” devices to say the least, and second pretty serious bragging rights for being the first to achieve such a fast data rate.
By definition the term “4G” used to be reserved for LTE-Advanced and WirelessMan-Advanced. All this crazy naming really just means that originally WiMax, HSPA+, and LTE were not legitimately truly 4G (even though everyone claimed them to be). Since then, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has revamped the term 4G to include these current forms of faster technology and now carriers can legally say they have true 4G networks. You can read the press release from the ITU if you really want to get lost in some serious geek terminology, but the fact is that we are now running 4G networks on all carriers.
Each time an upgrade goes hot on T-mobile you can be rest assured that it usually means better service for the device you have now. When the Samsung Vibrant was released one of the pitch lines Samsung had been that it took advantage of the HSPA+ service even though the phone’s hardware did not support it. I don’t know all the specifics around their infrastructure but I do know that these “4G” increases mean a faster and more stable network for us who do not qualify for an upgraded phone yet. With all the talk of 4G these days and most of the failures to deliver I have to say that T-Mobile has for the most part kept up their end of the deal in delivering. If all the elements align correctly and you’re in one of the magical coverage areas, phones like the G2, Nexus S 4G, and MyTouch 4G can hit some pretty impressive speed marks. To date the only device capable of this new 42Mbps service is the Rocket 3.0 usb device from T-Mobile.
While customers with existing 3G and 4G devices will benefit from our continued network enhancements, new devices like the new Rocket 3.0 laptop stick will enable customers to reap the benefits of even faster 4G speeds
As of today I believe all 4 major carriers have a 4G/LTE option, but most have problems actually achieving those 4G standard data rates or are spotty at best. As the year goes on the hardware will improve and coverage will become better and better. Android has the
most only 4G devices to date, but with the recent announcement of the Windows Phone “Mango” update coming, carriers are promising some 4G love to Windows Phone 7. To put this speed into perspective, my FIOS service at home is around 26Mbps download according to Speedtest.net. That’s quite a difference than the promised speed of 42Mbps that will be available later this summer in select cities.
As T-Mobile’s 4G network continues to expand and get faster, the company’s portfolio of 4G products is also growing. T-Mobile currently offers a dozen 4G-capable devices spanning smartphones, tablets and mobile broadband products that give customers access to America’s Largest 4G Network. The company has announced plans to deliver a total of 25 4G-capable devices in 2011.
So as usual I welcome this upgrade with open arms. Even if I don’t yet have even a 4G T-Mobile device, I am glad magenta is still looking into the future despite the news of the possible AT&T takeover. I can also tell you that this probably hurts Judie (Gear Diary Commander-in-Chief) to see this news, because right now she is fighting an uphill battle to stabilize her home internet connection and is currently at dial-up or less connection. Hopefully soon we can get her issue worked out but for now if you live in a participating area, feel free to reap the benefits of being on the US’s fastest mobile network. Here is the list of cities that now have (or soon to have) this doubled up HSPA+ data rate.
Image courtesy of T-Mobile
T-Mobile 4G markets where 42Mbps service is launching today:
Albany, Ga.; Athens, Ga.; Atlanta, Ga.; Auburn, Ala.; Augusta, Ga.; Austin, Texas; Bentonville, Ark.; Boulder, Colo.; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Chicago, Ill.; Dallas, Texas; Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Fla.; Denver, Colo.; Detroit, Mich.; Durham, N.C.; El Paso, Texas; Fort Collins, Colo.; Gainesville, Fla.; Gainesville, Ga.; Greeley, Colo.; Honolulu, Hawaii; Houston, Texas; Jacksonville, Fla.; Long Island, N.Y.; Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, Calif.; Macon, Ga.; Mayaguez, Puerto Rico; Miami, Fla.; New Orleans, La.; Oklahoma City, Okla.; Olympia, Wash.; Omaha, Neb.; Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, Calif.; Phoenix, Ariz.; Pittsburgh, Pa.; Ponce, Puerto Rico; Portland, Ore.; Salinas, Calif.; San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.; San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Santa Cruz-Watsonville, Calif.; Santa Rosa-Petaluma, Calif.; Savannah, Ga.; Seattle, Wash.; Spokane, Wash.; Tampa, Fla.; Tulsa, Okla.; Valdosta, Ga.; Vallejo-Fairfield, Calif.; Warner Robins, Ga., and Wichita, Kan.
via TmoNews, Source (press release)