Sep 29 AT 8:00 AM Taylor Wimberly 19 Comments

T-Mobile 3G to get speed boost later this year

Over the weekend I asked our readers to benchmark their 3G network using an Android phone and the response was great. After reviewing the results, it looks like T-Mobile 3G tops out around 1.0 Mbps on Android phones. This got me thinking because we reported several weeks ago that T-Mobile had announced it would be upgrading their network in 2010 to HSPA+ which goes up to 21 Mbps.

The one thing I keep overlooking is the fact that T-Mobile already told us they would support the HSPA 7.2 Mbps standard this year. At the recent Mobilize09 event, T-Mobile CTO Cole Brodmand said, “The technology we have deployed is latest generation. We are just rolling out the next phase this year. We will be upgrading to HSPA 7.2 by the end of the year

From what I can tell, most of the 3G vendor equipment that was deployed in new markets will support HSPA 7.2 with a simple firmware upgrade. The G1 and myTouch 3G both support the same HSPA 7.2 standard, so many Android users will get a significant speed boost in the next several months.

We contacted T-Mobile USA to confirm this and they responded with the following:

In response to your questions about T-Mobile’s recently launched  HSPA 7.2 network, please note that the HSPA family of technology is backward compatible, so, the recently announced network paths of HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+ will support the 3G devices in the hands of our customers today. Customers using 3G phones, including the myTouch 3G, will benefit from faster data speeds on T-Mobile’s enhanced 3G networks.

We believe the current T-Mobile 3G network is capped at 1.8 Mbps, so the jump to 7.2 Mbps is a 400% increase. With such a jump in speed, I also asked if there would be any additional data plans required.

Regarding your question about a new data plan requirement, please note that as a standard business practice T-Mobile does not comment on future business strategies.

Based on previous test results, I doubt we would get anywhere near 7.2 Mbps on our phone but I still expect it will be noticeably faster. I would be over joyed if we could get 2+ Mbps like our Android readers in Canada and overseas so any kind of boost is welcome.

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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  • Erik

    Will this include the Boston market?

  • newspeak

    I read an article about the 21mbit rolling out and they said their phone was maxing out at 7.2 so if thats going to be nationwide i will be very happy indeed

  • Jarrod

    That is great news! I can’t wait! Now we just need to be able to move apps to our SD cards so our PHONES themselves can speed up. Any word on that project?

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Yeah, it’s not happening for a long time. Maybe never.

      • anon

        My apps are on the SD card. G1 user.

  • Aiman

    Dang this is pretty exciting! I can’t wait until this hits the Metro Detroit area!

  • teon39

    T-Mobile should consider providing 3g to everyone before updating or anything else.

    • newspeak

      The 7.2 upgrade and the 21 mbps upgrade are just firmware upgrades so it is prolly really easy to roll out without interrupting the steady stream of 3g that’s been going up lately

  • Miguel

    Interesting, I’m with ya. Any upgrade on speed is welcomed! :) Thanks for sharing Taylor. Cheers!


  • lyfe

    This is great news, and tmobile already launched hspa in Philly. Someone using a usb modem got speeds of 3.6Mbps consistently while in the hspa bubble.

  • thomas

    i live in atlanta and maybe get 3g 20% of the time i would be happy if they made sure i could get 3g all the time.

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  • Kurt

    I wonder if it’ll make that much of a difference in most apps. The browser seems much more bottlenecked by rendering time than by network speeds.

  • lolamarya

    I’d be happy if I could get 3G in my area. Heck, even Edge because a lot of Michigan still runs on GRPS.

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  • Sheldon McGee

    Does this mean that someday the phones from tmobile will work on ATT’s 3G HSPA network?

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