Jan 20 AT 10:35 PM Taylor Wimberly 32 Comments

Questions linger after T-Mobile’s 3G upgrade to HSPA 7.2

In November, T-Mobile told us that they were upgrading their 3G network to HSPA 7.2 before the end of the year (which would provide faster 3G data service). We watched and waited, but no changes were noticed in the first couple days of the new year.

On January 5th, I contacted T-Mobile to check on the status of the rollout and was given the following response.

“HSPA 7.2 (faster 3G data service) is now enabled across T-Mobile’s entire 3G network.”T-Mobile USA

We reported that the network upgrade was complete (as did many other news sites) and then asked our readers to test their 3G download speeds.

What did we find? Did the upgrade give T-Mobile the fastest 3G network in the U.S.?

For the majority of T-Mobile’s customers, the answer was no.

After doing some more research it appears T-Mobile did in fact “enable” HSPA 7.2, but they have not increased the backhaul speeds to many of their 3G nodes. This would explain why many users reported some of the benefits of HSPA 7.2 like decreased latency (ping times under 199), but most of the download speeds remained in the same range.

CIO.com recently questioned T-Mobile about their HSPA 7.2 upgrade and was told:

“[W]e are continuing to increase backhaul in-line with our network upgrades to support these faster speeds. We have not released additional details at this time, but I’ll keep you posted on T-Mobile network news as we have more details to share.”T-Mobile USA

A few select markets like New York and Philadelphia do have increased bandwidth and those users reported download speeds between 3-5 Mbps. However, the majority of the responses in our testing did not see download speeds that exceeded 1 Mbps.

By comparison, AT&T is still advertising they have The nation’s fastet 3G network and that claim is still valid. AT&T currently supports HSPA 3.6 in most markets and has started their own upgrade to HSPA 7.2. I have several friends with iPhones and they get download speeds of 1-2 Mbps.

What’s next?

T-Mobile’s new 3G network could still become the fastest in 2010. The carrier is already preparing for a nationwide upgrade to HSPA+ by mid 2010 (which supports download speeds up to 21 Mbps), but that means nothing without the adequate backhaul to provide the increased bandwidth for users.

We applaud T-Mobile for upgrading to HSPA 7.2, but it has been a letdown so far. Hopefully their work continues behind the scenes and we will see increased data speeds later this year.

Source: CIO

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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  • Titty!

    Don’t be such a pessimist! Here’s my look on things, I, too was excited. That was, until realizing that things need-be updated on the other end of your tower. Bummer. But no let down. Let down would be: not releasing HSPA 7.2 At all. So, as we all await let’s be happy we’ll have HSPA 21 speeds by mid-summer. :)

    Don’t be mad, we were just expecting a miracle. :)


  • http://Website Andrew VanVlack

    My town of fort collins just got 3g. The coustomer service peps said that 7.2 wasent up yet but would be soon.

    • http://fortcollinshvac.org Bill Fisher

      Andrew, I have used T-Mobile for years with a simple old phone and the service is great. I’m about to upgrade to a smart phone (Android) and want to know if you think T Mobile is a good service for data and phone or should I consider a different network? Thanks for your advice.

    • http://Website Bill Fisher

      Oh ya, I’m in Fort Collins also.

  • josesxi

    I’m getting 3.5 Mbps around Madison Square Garden.

    • http://androidandme.com Taylor Wimberly

      That is pretty awesome. I can’t wait to get those speeds on my phone.

      • http://Website adc

        hey taylor is the mytouch getting 2.1

  • smcfay

    Definitely nowhere near these speeds with the nexus one and all its 3g issues. I get 100-683 kbps in a full 3g area.

  • @ComputerGuyCA

    On the Los Angeles Speednet sever I’m getting an average 1.75mb down and about 700 up. Not much of a boost, but its equal to, if not better than, my DSL in Sherman Oaks. It didn’t kick in until the 7th or so.

  • mike

    Still waiting for 3g here in Springfield, MO

  • http://Website healthy

    I got 1914 kbps in downtown chicago, but up where i live (about 50 blocks north) it was back to 568 kbps. so yeah, the back end reasoning seems correct.

    • MFK DGAF

      Yea i live about 30 miles southwest of chicago and I only get about 500-750kbps, which is only a slight increase from 200-500 kbps which I was getting before. But when I was in boolingbrook, IL and merriville, IN I was get close to 1000kbps

  • http://facebook.com/FckingAllen FckingAllen

    Im in Sacramento, CA, and when i first used the speed app i was getting around 500 up. now when i use it i get 800 and something every time, now thats not much, but its definitely something. at least its consistent.

  • Nehalemi7

    Still on UMTS in Utah everywhere I’ve been from Salt lake to Ogden and everywhere in between. Either tmobile is Lying or all the towers around here are leased (OUR network is all HSPA…)

  • Mocha K

    I hope so

  • jalberty

    “We reported that the network upgrade was complete (as did many other news sites) and then asked our readers to test their 3G download speeds.”

    I can tell you that the upgrade is not complete. I have TMOBILE service in Puerto Rico, witch is US Territory and part of TMOBILE US. We still have no 3G coverage. My G1 is still running on EDGE Network.

    I was told that PR was due to the end of 2009. Nothing happened.

    • http://Website Jeff

      Keep waiting. This is classic TMO. All talk. My 3G speeds are a joke.

    • http://Website Daniel

      Well, they said “T-Mobile’s entire 3G network”. You are not in their 3G network. Not that you should settle for EDGE, but still you haven’t disproved anything on their statement.

    • http://www.amistad.com Richard

      It is a joke. T-Mobile with no 3G in Puerto Rico. What the heck are they thinking???

      Obviously they do not care about this market. I say the heck with them! Let’s move to some other carrier. AT&T, Sprint, and Claro have 3G.

  • http://Website junkington

    I recently talked with a t-mobile engineer and they believed the new fiber optic lines would be run to all cell sites by the beginning of fourth quarter with their largest markets getting priority. There won’t be official announcements when they complete an area, but the speeds will immediately be affected. I want it now, but I’m doing fine getting 800 kbps for a little longer.

  • http://Website Marco

    I get donwload speeds of 800kbps and up of 180 in San Diego downtown. I wish they would put more effort in extending their reception. The 3G is so spotty. In downtown San Diego my phones (Mytouch and N1) are constantly switching between 3G and EDGE.

  • Tommy

    I live in the philly suberbs and trust me, my speeds are no different…

  • http://Website sunny

    I got close to 2Mbps download and 0.5 to 0.6 Mbps upload in Irving, TX. This was very consistent – I tested at least 20 different times in various locations and it was rather consistent. BUT I am back to Atlanta where I live and am back to 500Kbps download and 150Kbps upload. Bummer….

  • http://Website MWD

    In San Francisco, the speed seems to have close to doubled from what it had been, but the connection is still not as strong as it could be.

    In LA, by contrast, I’ve found T-Mobile to be insanely fast, with a very strong connection.

  • http://Website Wade

    “This would explain why many users reported some of the benefits of HSPA 7.2 like increased latency..”

    Not sure how increased latency is a benefit, might want to proofread your articles before posting ;)

    I’m still stuck on Edge in my town, even though ATT and Verizon customers are on 3G. I’ve pretty much decided to jump to another network as soon as my contract is up with TMO.

  • http://Website Miller

    This is old news. T-mobile reported this on their forums two weeks ago.

  • http://www.androidsfinest.com Jorge

    Here in Utah my 3G speeds are still the same but I’m still hoping for the full upgrade

  • david martinez

    I live in dallas tx and my speeds reach between 1.7-2.0mbps

  • Ramon

    After braging about getting my 2mbps. My speed actually decrease to 500kbps down. Uncool t-mobile!! I’m in New York.

  • http://Website Big76Daddy

    As of the 8th, I was getting downloads with the high of 0.72Mbps here In Dallas. Today I’m getting an average 1.89Mbps. Can’t wait till it gets even faster.

  • http://Website Joe Open Source

    I am in the Tampa area, between 400 and 800kbs D and barely 350kbs up! I purchased the Nexus and thought T-Mobile had 7.2 as advertised ..there is a class action lawsuit against T-Mobile and Google regarding this very issue!

    They better throw the switch soon or they will be sued by many many people

  • http://Website Jayson

    I am in the Salt Lake City area and I get an average of 400-550 kbit/sec speed with my Nexus One. It is slow but works. With the 2.2 update I have been using wifi tether for my netbook but it is pretty slow. I can’t wait until either they upgrade here in Utah or I move somewhere that has “priority” on upgrades from Tmo.