It has been about a week since the last time I wrote about “T-Mobile 4G” and unlike the first time I am now being encouraged to continue the conversation. Most people appeared to enjoy my last rumor report, so I’ll try and stick with a similar format in the name of being consistent. Read on after the break for all the latest details about T-Mobile’s new network and let us know if you think they should call it 4G.
High-level executives at T-Mobile really want to brand their new HSPA+ network as 4G, but their legal team is stopping them for fear of false advertising lawsuits.
Leaked document #1: “America’s largest 4G network”; Leaked document #2: “Starting in the holiday window…we’re going to be loud and proud about our network”; T-Mobile Press Room: Continuous use of the phrase “4G speeds”; T-Mobile Coverage site: Has title “4G Wireless Network Speed”; T-Mobile G2 ads on TV: “With 4G speeds, it’s as turbo charged as you”; The confusion surrounding the new mytouch HD/4G/HSPA+ branding; Various conversations with industry insiders including David from TmoNews who I’ve linked to a dozen times in this post.
One Android Insider’s take on the rumor
What the heck is HSPA+? If you know the answer to that question then congratulations, but the average consumer looking to purchase a new smartphone likely has zero idea.
If a new customer walked into a T-Mobile store and they were looking to purchase a smartphone, which device do you think they buy – the myTouch 4G or the myTouch HSPA+?
T-Mobile knows that anything with 4G plastered on it is the latest buzz and that’s why they have been using the phrase “4G speeds” almost non-stop since they rolled out their HSPA+ network upgrade this summer.
As we covered in our last article, no one really owns “4G” and the carriers can use it how they see fit. Technically, the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunications (ITU-R) defines 4G as an advanced cellular system that “must have target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbps for high mobility such as mobile access”, but that doesn’t apply to the current generation of “4G” networks.
As pointed out by our friends at IntoMobile and Phandroid, only WiMax 2 and Long-Term Evolution Advanced have been deemed worthy of the 4G name by the ITU-R and we don’t expect to see those technologies being widely used in the U.S. till 2013 or later.
Based on all the information I have, T-Mobile knows that using “4G” is a farce but their HSPA+ network is just as fast (sometimes faster) as competing 4G networks in the U.S. so they feel justified in calling the bluff and using it too.
In closing, I hope the execs at T-Mobile have the balls to go ahead and launch “T-Mobile 4G” this year. Maybe a lawsuit or two would bring some attention to the amazing speeds they are already offering and that 42 Mbps upgrade coming next year.
What do you think T-Mobile should do? If their HSPA+ network offers the same speeds as other “4G” networks, shouldn’t they be able to use “4G” as well?
Full disclosure. I admire T-Mobile as a company and I’ve been a happy customer for the last five years. I almost left them back in 2008, but the G1 kept me on board and I’m now a loyal customer because they don’t force me into a lame contract (much love for Even More Plus plans).