Feb 10 AT 3:51 AM Taylor Wimberly 18 Comments

T-Mobile to upgrade backhaul on 25% of its towers within weeks

As your resident cheerleader for T-Mobile, I feel compelled to update you about any news concerning the carrier’s 3G upgrades to HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+.

T-Mobile recently completed their upgrade to HSPA 7.2, but many customers did not receive the dramatic speed boost they were expecting. We were wondering why T-Mobile was not doing more to promote the faster 3G standard and found out it was because the carrier had not finished upgrading the backhaul to their towers.

After a short breather, it looks like T-Mobile is ready to push on enhancing their nationwide network to make it the fastest in 2010.

GigaOm posted several new network details in an interview with T-Mobile’s Dave Mayo, VP of engineering.

  • T-Mobile has currently deployed fiber to about 7 percent of its towers (with 20 Mbps of capacity on those fiber strands).
  • The operator will turn on fiber to about 25 percent of its towers within the next few weeks.
  • The first markets to receive HSPA+ (21 Mbps) will be along the California coast and “major cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston”.

T-Mobile chose to go with HSPA+ because it is easily deployed over their new 3G network and it will allow them to offer the fastest nationwide 3G in 2010. Other carries are focusing on new technology like LTE and WiMax, but T-Mobile will complete their HSPA+ upgrade by mid 2010.

According to some hands on reports, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network might be faster than Sprint’s new 4G WiMax. It will be interesting to see how the carrier will market the network and if they will still call it 3G or 3.5G.

T-Mobile is still sitting in 4th place among the U.S. carriers, but I think their aggressive support of Android (first carrier with the Nexus One), cheapest smartphone plans, and the fastest network should help them close the gap in 2010.

We should be testing the Sprint Overdrive later this week so check back for some speedtests all over Austin.

p.s. Hey Tmo, if you let us know which cities are getting HSPA+ first, we would love to go test them with our assortment of Android phones.

Source: GigaOm

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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