Jul 07 AT 6:01 PM Taylor Wimberly 12 Comments

T-Mobile’s first HSPA+ handset is coming from HTC in September

HTC was the first handset maker to provide Sprint with a 4G handset (the EVO) and now it appears they will deliver the first HSPA+ handset to T-Mobile later this year.

A report from Light Reading is claiming that T-Mobile will launch its first HSPA+ handset this September, according to a spokesman at Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Mobile’s parent company. The new device launch in September will be followed by the introduction of a second HSPA+ smartphone in the fourth quarter.

This new information lines up nicely with the leaked T-Mobile roadmap that revealed an Android handset called the HTC Vanguard that is tentatively scheduled for a launch on September 9th. We expect the second HSPA+ handset will be the much rumored HTC Project Emerald, which is slated for November 5th.

T-Mobile still refers to their new HSPA+ network as 3G, but it actually offers max theoretical download speeds up to 21 Mbps, double what is currently available from Sprint 4G. Real world data speeds on T-Mobile’s HSPA+ handsets should actually be closer to 10 Mbps, which also exceeds the 3-6 Mbps that Sprint advertises on their EVO.

Of course the other major advantage of HSPA+ is that it’s fully compatible with existing HSPA 7.2 devices, which includes T-Mobile’s entire Android lineup. By the end of 2010, T-Mobile hopes to cover over 100 markets and 185 million people.

When T-Mobile was asked about the report on upgrading to HSPA+ 42 Mbps, the spokesman responded that T-Mobile had not decided if they would use the new standard or switch to LTE (like AT&T and Verizon are doing for their 4G networks). T-Mobile was able to transition to HSPA+ 21 Mbps primarily through software upgrades to its cell sites and with expanded backhaul to their towers, but the move to HSPA+ 42 Mbps (or LTE) will require new network equipment.

Customers who were considering picking up the Samsung Vibrant next week now face a tough decision. Are you willing to hold out a couple more months to purchase one of the first HSPA+ handsets?

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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  • holysmokesbatty

    I thought the Vibrant (Galaxy S) has the ability to access HSPA+?

    Wouldn’t that make IT the first HSPA+ device for T-Mobile since it comes out in a week or am I reading something wrong somewhere?

    Or do you just mean the first T-Mobile exclusive phone?

    Just curious.

    • SliestDragon

      No, the Samsung Vibrant is a HSPA 7.2 device. It will be able to “take advantage of HSPA+ speeds”, but 7.2Mbps down is it’s limit.

  • SliestDragon

    Wait, when you say “but the move to HSPA+ 42 (or LTE) will require new equipment” you mean just new tower equipment right? Yeah, I’ll be happy to have a phone(Project Emerald!) that can do 21Mb down, anything faster then my WiFi will make me happy, but I’ll be a little upset if I finally get a phone that can handle the faster speeds and they double it a few months later.

  • http://Website dls

    the vibrant is not an hspa+ device, but will still benefit from it as will all t-mobile android phones.

  • http://Website ROb

    To be exact, the entiire TMO liine will support HSPA. I’m sOo exciited about thiis new deviice. FINALLY, a replacement for my N1! Don’t get me wrong I luv my Nexus but I’m almost suure that the rumored 2 GHz deviice will have something to do with HSPA+. CAANT WAAIIIT!!

  • http://Website jayy336

    Im really excited for HSPA+ I already get download speeds of 2-4 mb/s on my N1. I just hope T-Mobile thinks ahead and deploys LTE instead of doubling the HSPA+ network. It would be nice if they can do both though :P

  • http://Website William Furr

    I’m not certain what I could possibly do with that sort of bandwidth. 7.2 Mbps sounds like plenty to me. By the time there’s an actual use for 21 Mbps and up, I’ll be upgrade eligible again, and I can get an HSPA+ handset if I want one.

    Right now, my limitation is not bandwidth on my G1, it’s processor speed. A Samsung Galaxy S is a *huge* upgrade for me.

    If I wait for the newest awesomest thing I’ve just read rumors about on a blog, I’ll never buy anything ever, because there’s always something newer and awesomer just around the corner.

  • http://Website s15274n

    Is it reasonable to assume the Galaxy / Vibrant will get 7 MBS Down when the network switches to HSPA+? Right now my G1 gets about 1.1 MBS Down and that seems okay to me…. the only reason I care about more is tethering my phone to my PC or PS3 and canceling my TWC Internet with Road Runner.

  • http://Website Kimbo

    My Cliq tethered to my computer already gets better download speeds than my girlfriend’s Clear connection. I can’t wait for an HSPA+ phone. I’ll be on it like white on rice.

  • http://Website Jim McP

    I’ll probably go ahead and wait to see what Project Emerald is. I’ll be free and clear of all phone obligations then and will look at all my options, not just T-MO

  • http://Website Mar Mar

    I will be upset if I wait out on my upgrade to see that this new phone is not what I’m looking for. Hopefully its a touch screen with a nice size screen, has a camera with Flash (unlike the vibrant), swype , and muccch more. I can’t wait. :)

  • http://Website JROck

    I have Nokia N900, which is 7.2mbit HSDPA+ on T-Mobile and let me tell you…. it does not achieve anything even CLOSE to that. I also have a HTC EVO 4G on Sprint’s CDMA network and it is most definitely faster.