Feb 10 AT 3:51 AM Taylor Wimberly 17 Comments

T-Mobile to upgrade backhaul on 25% of its towers within weeks

As your resident cheerleader for T-Mobile, I feel compelled to update you about any news concerning the carrier’s 3G upgrades to HSPA 7.2 and HSPA+.

T-Mobile recently completed their upgrade to HSPA 7.2, but many customers did not receive the dramatic speed boost they were expecting. We were wondering why T-Mobile was not doing more to promote the faster 3G standard and found out it was because the carrier had not finished upgrading the backhaul to their towers.

After a short breather, it looks like T-Mobile is ready to push on enhancing their nationwide network to make it the fastest in 2010.

GigaOm posted several new network details in an interview with T-Mobile’s Dave Mayo, VP of engineering.

  • T-Mobile has currently deployed fiber to about 7 percent of its towers (with 20 Mbps of capacity on those fiber strands).
  • The operator will turn on fiber to about 25 percent of its towers within the next few weeks.
  • The first markets to receive HSPA+ (21 Mbps) will be along the California coast and “major cities from Washington, D.C. to Boston”.

T-Mobile chose to go with HSPA+ because it is easily deployed over their new 3G network and it will allow them to offer the fastest nationwide 3G in 2010. Other carries are focusing on new technology like LTE and WiMax, but T-Mobile will complete their HSPA+ upgrade by mid 2010.

According to some hands on reports, T-Mobile’s HSPA+ network might be faster than Sprint’s new 4G WiMax. It will be interesting to see how the carrier will market the network and if they will still call it 3G or 3.5G.

T-Mobile is still sitting in 4th place among the U.S. carriers, but I think their aggressive support of Android (first carrier with the Nexus One), cheapest smartphone plans, and the fastest network should help them close the gap in 2010.

We should be testing the Sprint Overdrive later this week so check back for some speedtests all over Austin.

p.s. Hey Tmo, if you let us know which cities are getting HSPA+ first, we would love to go test them with our assortment of Android phones.

Source: GigaOm

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://twitter.com/DrJeckyl Dr.Jeckyl

    West coast California… HEY! That’s where I live. You know I’ll be testing daily for sure.

    • http://Website thepwneddroid

      yeah! the bay area and the coast rock!

  • http://www.everythinglegit.com Ramon

    I hope New York is one of those cities. Good luck waiting on a reply, I bet they too busy. I notice my down speed around where I live(116street) decreased from 2000kbps to 565kbps for over a month now, what the hell is up with that? Yet at 42street Time Square I get around 1500kbps?? errr..

  • http://www.cogspace.com/ Katie

    As a resident of the “greater Los Angeles area”, I am thrilled by this prospect! I just got my new Nexus One and am itching to see what it can do on HSPA+. Score, T-Mobile!

  • http://Website Mocha K

    Okay off subject here, but I have to know. A system update was released today for the mt3g. Does anybody know what it did

  • http://fotogeek.posterous.com foto/geek

    @Mocha K: Improved call performance. As far as I understand it didn’t add any features.

  • http://Website ontheFritz

    I still don’t know how the 3G is here in South Florida. Guess I’ll find out when I get my N1 next week!

    • http://Website MW

      I’m in the Naples area here in Florida and have pretty solid 3G most of the time. I have not noticed any increase in speeds however.

  • http://Website DonnaDixon

    Still surviving on mostly edge out here in the counties surrounding St. Louis. I wish T-Mobile would continue the push outwards on their 3G coverage because I would love to be able to use services like grooveshark and the internet more reliably on my Nexus One which arrives today.

  • http://Website Marco

    I have a Nexus One so I don’t see even normal 3G speed in San Diego because of 3G/EDGE switching. Couldn’t care less about HSDPA+.

  • http://Website Hector

    I have a very strong 3G signal now where I live (around Knotts Berry Farm Park). Before I only had Edge, even on an ATT cell phone. I was actually wondering why it was I had such a strong 3G signal all of a sudden. Stronger signal came in about 1 week ago.

  • http://Website Maury

    I’ve been using “Sensorly” to map Austin… Pretty neat App and I’m curious to see how T-mobile’s coverage is here as well as where the dead spots are…

  • http://twitter.com/Android_Kev Android_Kev

    Im in Jacksonville Florida and have had 3G for close to a year and still only get 1 megabit a sec. As I understand HSPA+ is 21mbps, so what happend to the 7.2 mbps upgrade? did TMO Just skip that one and move to +.

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