The Sprint HTC EVO 4G is the new king of Andorid phones, right? T-Mobile held their own press conference earlier today and while they did not announce a HSPA+ handset, they did reveal that one is one the way this year.
In a Q&A session after the event, T-Mobile said they would release a smartphone with HSPA+ support in the “second half of this year”. I spoke with several people who were at the event and T-Mobile was claiming their HSPA+ will be “three times faster” than Sprint’s 4G and cover more people this year.
David from TmoNews was also sitting in the room and told me T-Mobile’s Neville Ray said customers should expect max download speeds of 10-12 Mbps (out of a theoretical max of 21 Mbps). This would put T-Mobile on the same level as Verizon’s 4G LTE implementation. Sprint is promoting their 4G WiMax with top speeds of 3-6 Mbps, (out of a theoretical max of 10 Mbps).
The major downside to T-Mobile’s current HSPA+ data plans is the monthly 5 GB of data cap. Sprint offers unlimited data over their WiMax network.
Seeing as this HSPA+ handset will not launch till the second half, I think we can agree on Q4 2010 as the target date (we know how dates slip). This means the Sprint EVO will likely have a few months headstart, but the extra time in the oven could result in enhanced specs for the T-Mobile phone.
HSPA+ is not just specific to T-Mobile. The technology is maturing and over 40 global carriers are using it in their networks. This means T-Mobile could be working with virtually any handset maker to produce the phone. Possible candidates include HTC, Huawei, Motorola, Samsung, or just about anyone currently making Android phones.
It should also be noted that AT&T will use HSPA+ in certain locations later this year, so keep your eye on them as well.