Dec 08 AT 1:32 PM Taylor Wimberly 41 Comments

T-Mobile ready to flip the switch on nation’s fastest 3G

We recently reported that T-Mobile’s rollout of HSPA 7.2 was still on track for 2009, but I was beginning to have my doubts they would meet that aggressive schedule. With only three weeks left in 2009, we have seen no official updates from T-Mobile.

One might think the 4th place carrier would begin to blow their own horn and promote the news of their pending 3G upgrade.

I reached out to T-Mobile to see if their HSPA 7.2 launch date had been adjusted and received the following response:

Thanks for checking in on this. HSPA 7.2 will be enabled across T-Mobile’s entire 3G network by year-end.

  • T-Mobile’s 3G network currently covers 250 U.S. cities, reaching approximately 180 million people. T-Mobile will continue to strengthen and grow its 3G network to reach approximately two-thirds of the U.S. population by the end of the year (more than 200 million POPs).
  • T-Mobile will integrate HSPA+ into its 3G network in the next several months with broad national deployment anticipate for mid-2010. With HSPA+, customers will experience network throughput speeds that are three to five times faster than today’s 3G networks — with theoretical peak download speeds of 21Mbps (depending on device and other factors).

So believe it or not, many T-Mobile customers with Android phones should be receiving a nice 3G speed boost by the end of the year.

We have known HSPA+ was the next update after HSPA 7.2, but I’m a little surprised to see it will begin in the “next several months”. I have not heard of any handsets that would support HSPA+ so maybe one of the rumored devices for Q1 2010 could receive this feature.

The devices on T-Mobile’s network which support HSPA 7.2 include:

  • HTC G1
  • HTC myTouch 3G
  • Motorola CLIQ
  • Samsung Behold II
  • Touch Pro 2 (Windows)
  • Dash 3G (Windows)

Even though all these devices support HSPA 7.2, it is still unclear if they will need a software update to enable this feature.

If I had to predict the exact date T-Mobile will turn on HSPA 7.2, I would say Christmas is looking pretty nice. How cool would it be to wake up to a free gift from your carrier?

I wonder what will become of AT&T’s campaign that proudly proclaims “The nation’s fastest 3G network“.

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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  • Nate

    Epic! Can’t wait for this.

  • http://Website fabian

    You won’t need a firmware upgrade.
    The rest of the world already has HSDPA and HSUPA and it’s working fine with stock roms.

    Here in Germany for exaple I can use pretty much any ROM available and HSPA (up to 7.2mbps) is working just fine.

    • http://Website jujubees

      dude hsdpa is what current 3g is

    • codethief

      Which carrier are you on? T-Mobile? ’cause O2 just gives me the normal 3.6 speed.

  • http://Website fabian

    Forgot to mention that I’m using a HTC Sapphire (also known as “Magic” or “MyTouch”)…all the htc android phone should support it though.

  • http://Website ranwanimator

    No one has yet answered the question, “Will HSPA improve coverage area, or is it just faster, spotty coverage?”

    All my Verzion buddies don’t have any problems in my neighborhood, but I can only get a signal in the upstairs of my house. Downstairs and in my front yard it is a dead zone. Will the update increase the power/coverage?

    • http://Website narunetto

      I doubt it. It’s just a software upgrade, so unless there’s some more efficient coding tech is in the new rev, don’t see it helping. You should call up T-Mobile and let them know. There was some 3G dead zones in my town and I let them know and they fixed it.

    • http://Website Drake

      I talked to a T-Mobile rep and they said that the HSPA update will not improve coverage.

  • http://Website Ruben

    I am at Puerto Rico I have a myTouch 3 and all I get is edge any where on the island. I have Been waiting for 3g service to start in Puerto Rico. Hopefully we will soon get 3g service.

  • abi

    Really epic. I can’t wait tmobile needs this jump over speed. But speed isn’t the only thing they need. They need the phones

  • http://Website Acsteffy87

    can’t wait till T-mobile sues AT&T for claiming to be the fastest 3G network

    • http://Website ultravision

      thursday or friday you should have 3g in cincy

    • mudcat

      Gotta love those carrier wars! No contest on this one. lol

  • brian

    I’d settle for plain old 3G in Cincinnati. Any word on that? Month, Date, AND Year please.

  • http://Website Miller
  • http://Website Jim


    I was told today, at the Tylersville T-Mobile store that Cincinnati’s 3G would be turned on Dec. 10 – This Thursday. Of course I’ve heard that before.

  • http://Website ali

    There is no way that they currently cover 180 million people. Just look at their 3G coverage map from their website and compare it to At&t, Sprint, or Verizons. Maybe 1/3 of the population at best. They need more coverage, not more speed.

    • http://Website ML

      You’re confusing area and pops… over 2/3 of all the US do live in large cities… if they cover these cities well then they will in fact cover 2/3 of the population… so don’t confuse the 2…

    • http://Website WootRoot

      I highly doubt T-Mobile picked the number 180 million randomly….. T-Mobiles coverage may not be as big as some others, but I believe it could be 180mil big.

      • http://Website jujubees

        t-mobile already has better coverage than att and sprint in 6 of the 7 regions in the us

    • mudcat

      You can’t go by the maps. They are never accurate. In my city I have 3g coverage at least 2 miles farther than the map shows in any direction.

      • http://Website TMOguy89

        T-mobile’s coverage map says i live on the very edge of a tower and should expect only 1-2 bars , well i have a bold 9700 and it shows i have 5 full bars with 3g consistently !

  • http://Website Nitaino

    Wow tmobile rocks!, I cannot wait for 7.2 on my Tmo Touch Pro 2 ( Nitaino -Boricua living on- SLC,UT -soon Las Vegas- )

  • jon

    2010 is going to be the Year of Tmobile and Android! Many surprises await!

  • http://Website Galen20K

    And so they step up their game once again! Go TMOb!

  • http://Website Ricky Jr happy and cant wait..but im a little confused. the cities that are just now getting 3G (Louisville, KY – Dec. 11) will also be upgraded to 7.2 by years end.?

  • http://Website Drake

    After you said “Even though all these devices support HSPA 7.2, it is still unclear if they will need a software update to enable this feature.” It got me thinking, if there is a need for software update, maybe this will be when T-Mo Android users will get eclair?

  • erik

    Its live in Philly was pulling down 450KB/s consistantly last night over 3g. 10 MB file in 11 seconds.

    • http://Website jujubees

      dude try using it as a modem. i used the TP2 in regular 3g in colorado and was pulling 1.6 mbps when i did the CNET bandwidth test

  • Osiris

    Do they use the same frequency they currently use or a different one hopeing I can use my unlocked iPhone

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  • http://Website Wirecup

    T-mobiles website says they will only cover the “core” part of any city and not the suburbs with 3G. Therefore, if you do not live in the “core” city, you will never get 3G speeds, just 2G speeds. Guess who decides what is “core”?

  • ExtremeT

    I was talking to someone from tmo about a month back who was telling me about all the upgrades to the network and such that they are doing. The speeds and such that are possible and are coming to tmo’s network are sounding awesome and is actually one of the reasons I’ve stayed with tmo (that guy told me a lot lol probably more then he should have) since I was seriously considering switching to another carrier/android device.

    I have to say I’m seriously impressed at tmo’s aggressive actions with both upgrading the network and their support of the Android platform/market in general.

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  • http://Website tom p

    i’m in tampa, living in suburbs (land o’ lakes) getting anywhere from 250 KB/s down up to 650 KB/s down depending on time of day (i guess) i thought 3G was supposed to be delivering 2 – 3 MB/s down?? i’m confused

  • http://Website tom p

    well, this is whats on the wikipedia 3G page:

    “Data rates:
    ITU has not provided a clear definition of the data rate users can expect from 3G equipment or providers. Thus users sold 3G service may not be able to point to a standard and say that the rates it specifies are not being met. While stating in commentary that “it is expected that IMT-2000 will provide higher transmission rates: a minimum data rate of 2 Mbit/s for stationary or walking users, and 348 kbit/s in a moving vehicle,”[13] the ITU does not actually clearly specify minimum or average rates or what modes of the interfaces qualify as 3G, so various rates are sold as 3G intended to meet customers expectations of broadband data.”

    I wish I could do business like that…”yes mam, i can do that job for you, but i cant be sure i will actually do the job i say i can do, nor can you complain about it, because i dont really have to do the job you want me to do….but you must still pay me as though i did the job you wanted me to do”

    ……silly, i know

  • http://Website jjhart

    Well something is going on. I live in PA near Philly and I have been on the EDGE network at home and then just two weeks ago my 3G indicator popped up. I used from the Android Market to test my speeds. A big difference from the two networks for sure.

    I also had a friend who just bought the Droid and we compared our test speeds using the same app. My MyTouch results measured 1.01Mbps while the Droid measured 2.1Mbps. We tested each other side by side at the same place for comparison.

    If T-Mobile does follow through with these claims, I think I will stay with with them as I have been frustrated trailing behind the other carriers. I hope the claims are true in 2010.

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