Feb 17 AT 2:09 PM Taylor Wimberly 13 Comments

T-Mobile to launch first HSPA+ device next month

T-Mobile announced their first HSPA+ device at a press conference this week during Mobile World Congress. The webConnect Rocket USB modem will be the first device to take advantage of the faster speeds offered by HSPA+ which has a theoretical max download of 21 Mbps.

The T-Mobile webConnect Rocket.

The webConnect Rocket will hit stores in March which should coincide with T-Mobile’s backhaul upgrade to 25% of its towers. The HSPA+ network is already live in certain parts of Philadelphia and Kevin Tofel from jkOnTheRun has been testing it.

Even though the theoretical max speed of T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network is 21 Mbps, the best-case scenario for real world tests is normally half that. In his testing, Kevin was able to achieve 9.11 Mbps down and 2.76 Mbps up with the webConnect Rocket. This is almost 10 times faster than what I normally get on my phone and even surpasses Sprint’s 4G WiMax network.

Speed test results for webConnect Rocket on HSPA+.

T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network will also be backwards compatible with all their current HSPA 7.2 phones. This includes virtually their entire Android lineup (I’m not aware of any Android phones that don’t have it). Even though these devices max at out 7.2 Mbps, they should still see improved speeds and reduced latency over the new network. Kevin tested his Nexus One on the Philly HSPA+ network and recorded speeds over 4 Mbps down and 1.3 Mbps up.

The first markets to receive HSPA+ will be along the California coast and “major cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston”. We expect to receive a full list of cities next month as we approach the webConnect launch date.

We are starting to see the first phones with HSPA+ (like the Huawei U8800) and I’m guessing T-Mobile will have something in stores this holiday season. It remains to be seen if T-Mobile will continue to call their network 3G or pick another name to emphasize the faster speeds. I imagine there will be a showdown with Sprint 4G as they are also expected to release a WiMax handset this year.

Via: Engadget

Source: jkOnTheRun

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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  • http://Website andros

    crap, if those speeds get much better i may not need home internet. unfortunately my imagined use case probably wont exist:

    -have phone and this usb “modem”
    -be able to switch data between phone and the modem for my computer use.
    -maybe add 5$ to my monthly bill to allow multiple devices to use the same data connection

    of course this would also have to have tmobile lift their 1gb* clause of the data plan.

  • http://yellowrex.com William Furr

    I’m not terribly excited about HSPA+ for my smartphone. Web browsing on the G1 isn’t bandwidth limited, it’s processor limited. :(

    @andros: I used AT&T 3G for my home internet for six months. I was even able to play World of Warcraft most of the time. I wouldn’t have been able to play any shooters or twitch games, though.

    I also mooched off my work internet when I needed to download anything large because they have that annoying 5 GiB cap. That’s just too low for a home internet connection. 50 GiB or even better 250 GiB would be plenty… for now.

    • http://Website andros

      heh, i was financially gifted enough to buy the nexus one and stop using my G1 so im not proc bound on 3g :). at launch i heard it COULD do 802.11n but i soon realized wifi didnt need to be faster, my 3g needed the speed boost.

      ah the latency is still pretty high, didnt realize that. agreed that the bandwidth limit would need to be much higher. 50gb MIGHT be cutting it if i downloaded my HD stuff at work (even thought it would take all day).

  • http://appliedcomputertechnologyatRIT/NTID Amanda Pulisciano

    WiFi will still be faster than T-Mobile’s HSPA+ Network in most cases. Unless of course someone has a router connected to a dial up service which of course I don’t think anyone would do these days but sounds like a cool experiment. As many devices are now coming with the ability to tether it will come in handy but T-Mobile and many others lock that ability out of their devices and try and force the user in buying a separate device to connect a laptop to connect to the web.

  • http://Website treefq

    I just did a speed test at speedtest.net on my wireless G router and adapter. I matched the DL speed but my upload was only 1.93

    I am impressed. time to dump Time Warner and tether.

  • http://Website noone

    Rooting a G1 eliminates the processor limitation and you can use your G1 as a modem.

    Not rooting and using PDANet has the disadvantage of force close when you have more than 40 connections. You still can easily stream high def videos from Hulu and YouTube. Netflix technology does not cooperate easily with PDANet and after 5 min you will need to reconnect. Increased bandwidth should help, provided you unload your phone or root it.

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  • krazytrixxxsta

    i went to philly on new year day, i dont know if it was less population of tmobile users, more towers in philly or they were already experimenting with the hspa the speed my mytouch had ridiculous speed. high quality videos loaded fast as sh*t on youtube, apps with gps worked faster. i was just amazed by the speed. i didnt get speed like back at home in boston, well not the majority of the time anyways. i got 2.4 mbps when i tethered it, which was the same back home.

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