When we speculated T-Mobile might call their new HSPA+ network “4G” they were very quick to point out that was not the case (yet). Instead, T-Mobile chose to inform us of their network upgrade schedule and said they would “integrate HSPA+ into its 3G network with broad national deployment planned for this year.”
Now T-Mobile has apparently decided to refer to HSPA+ as “Very Fast Mobile Web” according to some leaked documents on TmoNews. The flavor of HSPA+ that T-Mobile is using maxes out at 21 Mbps and they claim it will offer “home broadband like speeds on the go”.
The first device from T-Mobile to support HSPA+ will be the webConnect Rocket which launches on March 14. Initially, the device will only be sold in pilot markets where HSPA+ service is lit up. We believe this is part of the backhaul upgrade that T-Mobile revealed last month.
The pilot markets for the HSPA+ webConnect Rocket include:
- Dallas, TX
- Miami, FL
- Los Angeles, CA
- Chicago, IL
- and maybe Philadelphia, PA (current test market for HSPA+)
Pricing information for the webConnect Rocket and Very Fast Mobile Web data plans is currently unavailable.
Android fans should pay attention because T-Mobile is likely to launch a HSPA+ handset by the end of the year.
Huawei recently announced the world first HSPA+ Android smartphone model number U8800. The Huawei U8800 features the Android 2.1 operating system, integrates HSPA+ capabilities to support downlink speeds of up to 14 Mbps, and has a 3.8-inch wide screen.
We have no evidence this phone will come to the U.S., but T-Mobile USA already sells non-Android Huawei phones (like the Tap) in their stores today. Huawei is hoping to bring Android phones to the U.S. and this could be an opportunity for them.