Feb 28 AT 3:19 PM Dustin Earley 52 Comments

T-Mobile skipping HSPA+ 84 to focus on LTE


Andy Rubin isn’t the only one spilling his guts to reporters at Mobile World Congress this week. T-Mobile USA’s Andrew Sherrard also spent a moment talking about the future of the company he works for, confirming that once T-Mobile finishes rolling out its 42Mbps HSPA+ network, they’ll be skipping straight to LTE and abandoning all plans to deploy 84Mbps HSPA+.

T-Mobile may have been previously committed to brining their network up to speed by utilizing HSPA+ technology, but not anymore. Instead of using spectrum obtained from the botched AT&T merger to buildout an 84Mbps HSPA+ network, T-Mobile will instead use this spectrum to focus on LTE.

Magenta still faces the same problems with LTE as it would have with 84Mbps HSPA+, but as LTE has a brighter future ahead of it, they believe that’s where they should be placing energy and money. In order to successfully deploy LTE, T-Mobile is going to have to refarm spectrum, putting a strain on their 2G network. Sherrard said T-Mobile doesn’t imagine this will be a problem however, as more and more T-Mobile users are using 3G devices. T-Mobile will also stop carrying devices that don’t offer 3G access.

Plans to launch an LTE network for T-Mobile subscribers should come to fruition as soon as early 2013. By the beginning of next year, T-Mobile expects LTE to be available in the majority of the top 50 markets in the US. Abandoning the deployment of HSPA+ 84 and focusing on LTE should help the company achieve this goal.

I’ve been with T-Mobile myself for over five years now, watching my carrier of choice play catchup at every turn. If placing all of their resources on LTE means T-Mobile could finally catch up for once, I’m all for it. How about you?

Source: The Verge

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

    I’m cheering for them! I’m hoping that either T-Mobile or Sprint can be a viable option for me to switch to. I’m getting really tired of being shafted by Verizon and I refuse to switch to AT&T and be shafted by them.

    Go T-Mobile!!

    • slurms mckenzie

      id go with tmobile sprint is a joke in their current state

      • honourbound68

        I need to read more about tmo’s spectrum holdings. sprint has it tough because they may eventually have 4 bands of lte. but according to what i’ve read, their equipment is “easily” upgradeable. I’m cheering for both sprint and tmo though. i’ve only been on verizon for a month and i’m already watching how long i’m on the phone with non-verizon friends.. what’s hard is that the gf is on sprint :( and verizon’s nights & weekends don’t start until 9pm whereas sprints was 7pm and i never had to worry about length of calls as long as i was calling a cell phone :(

        • cb2000a

          I know the feeling. I was on Verizon and really had to watch the minutes. Now with T-Mo and would never go back. (unlimited everything).

    • sunrise

      I was thinking of switching to Verizon. How are they shafting you? I understand they are more expensive but you also get their great coverage and network with LTE in return.

      Do they have illegal billing practices or something like that?

      Honest question.

      • honourbound68

        great coverage.. awesome lte speeds and signal strength (compared to wimax in NJ).. but these differences may add up..
        calls to non-verizon cells eat up minutes (sprint doesn’t)
        nights and weekends start later than sprint
        comparable plans are generally $20 more for verizon

        before 4g, i had nothing but good things to say about sprint. unfortunately, their wimax has left me wanting for more and so for now, verizon fits my needs. if sprint executes their lte plans really well, then i may go back with sprint again. with my corp discount, i paid 70 for 450 minutes, unlimited texting, unlimited data. despite using my phone a lot, i never used more than 100 minutes because almost all my calls were to cell phones. on verizon, i’m already on i’ve used up 150 minutes over 12 days. and while its a godsend to sometimes be able to tell my gf that i have to keep the call short bec of my minutes, it’s a sorespot for her to not be able to talk to me as much as she wants

        • sunrise

          I think Vonage Mobile may help you.

          If you and your gf both have smartphones, you both can install Vonage Mobile, you can make calls to eachother for free without using minutes, and if you make the call over wifi you won’t use data either. If you get all your friends and family to install Vonage Mobile, you all can talk to each other for free.

      • http://www.jaxidian.org/update/ jaxidian

        Illegal billing practices? No. However, I’ve been on Verizon since I got my Droid X on launch day. Ever since I joined Verizon, the following changes have been made (sure, some are understandable/expected, but some are not):

        1. No more 1-yr contracts for the BS reason that “nobody wants them” (I sure as hell did!)
        2. Tiered data (yeah, expected but at least I’m grandfathered into unlimited)
        3. They tried to charge me a fee for paying my bill
        4. One month I suffered 3 MAJOR outages where I had absolutely no data. I took it to the “three strikes and you’re out” so I called and complained after the third time. They offered me a $1.20 credit on my account to compensate for my inconveniences. That only pissed me off.
        5. $299 smartphone prices
        6. They keep strongly pushing locked bootloaders
        7. Because of the lack of 1-yr contracts, my wife and my contracts (which both began on the same day) are now staggered by a full year and they offer me absolutely no way to get them in sync.
        8. They jacked up data costs (again, I’m temporarily protected due to my grandfathered plan)
        9. In addition to the previously-mentioned MAJOR outages, it seems like there’s now ~2 LTE outages per month. And if you’re not on Verizon, you may not realize that if you have an LTE phone and LTE goes down, it usually does NOT successfully downgrade to 3G. You downgrade to NO DATA AT ALL. This PISSES me off!

        Out of the above, it may sound like I’m just bitching and whining. But seriously, this is getting ridiculous when I pay nearly twice as much than the competition. And frankly, I only do so because the competition is doing pretty terrible right now. AT&T isn’t any better at shafting their customers. T-Mobile and Sprint simply don’t have coverage in areas that I need it (i.e. no coverage within ~1 hour of where my parents live although AT&T/VZW have coverage at their house – what happened to roaming on each other’s networks???). So unfortunately, I don’t have a whole lot of options right now. I could give up my grandfathered unlimited plan to go to AT&T and be equally unhappy in the shafting department and moreso unhappy in the data costs department. Or I can go to Sprint or T-Mobile where they treat me much better but their connectivity sucks (even ignoring that both VZW and AT&T have LTE in my city).

        But there you go. My honest answer to your honest question. :-)

    • jonathan3579

      If T-Mobile can offer truly unlimited LTE then they’ll kill a lot of Sprint’s boasting. Then again, T-Mobile loves misusing the word unlimited…

      I have stuck with them for 6 years now and it’s been a bumpy road. Here’s to hoping they can pave the way for another 6 or more.

  • kwills88

    I am all for progress, T-Mobile is still a baby compared to the other major carriers but it grew really fast, I want nothing but good things for them since they’ve been the only carrier I’ve personally know and I don’t mind keeping it that way, with this and some better hi-end phones tmo can be best choice for anyone.

  • MoSDeeb

    T-Mobile LTE is music to my ears and being able to fall back on fast a 3G network is pretty good.

  • MrMrMan

    Unfortunately they’re also skipping all the good phones.

    • shorttaco

      How are they skipping good phones, One S? GS3? G4X? BLAZE? All seem like good phones to me?

    • https://plus.google.com/105652260730187717963/posts erik knudsen

      Every GSM phone is a TMobile phone…how is that skipping anything? I got a Galaxy Nexus…should I blame TMobile for that? Embrace GSM. It’s a good thing I promise. Being on a GSM network means a whole lot more phones are available. Just because TMobile doesn’t offer a subsidy on a phone (which is a con in itself) doesn’t mean there aren’t amazing phones available. Be thankful for GSM service instead of CDMA. With that, you’d be stuck buying only the phones that Verizon wants you to have.

      • n25philly

        Actually a lot of imported GSM phones are not compatible with T-Mobile. I have an import Galaxy note and can only get 2g. The Galaxy Nexus is the exception, not the rule.

        • https://plus.google.com/105652260730187717963/posts erik knudsen

          I think it’s the other way around. I am pretty sure the Galaxy Note would be more of the exception. I could be wrong, but every international phone I’ve wanted has worked with TMobile 3G, some on HSPA+.

        • https://plus.google.com/105652260730187717963/posts erik knudsen

          Like I said though…I understand that I could be completely wrong about this. My main point though is that there are more options than just what’s on the TMobile website.

  • http://facebook.com/jestertx2001 Jesse Moreno

    What does this mean for HSPA+? That spectrum will remain, right? But our current HSPA+-enabled phones won’t be able to use the LTE spectrum, yes?

    Ha I just realized I typed that like a foreigner.

  • Dane Little

    I can’t wait I love t-mobiles service it would be awesome if they upgraded to Lte.I have there htc sensation 4G and I love the phone.t-Mobile has been comming out with some really neat smartphones in the last 2 yrs.keep up the Good work. Thanks,Dane

  • Chad

    As a customer of 11 years I am really happy about this. T-Mobile has been nothing but great to me. I was really worried last year but I feel they can and are taking the correct steps to be the comeback kid and possibly even leap over some of their competitors by 2013. GO TMO!

    • WlfHart

      It would be nice if T-Mo could jump to #2!

  • spazby

    Come on t mobile, put those at&t $s to good use

  • adc123

    When tmobile gets lte will the samsung galaxy s2 be able to use it cuz i heard on xda a guy stumbled on a lte radio on his tmobile galaxy s2

  • R.S

    As someone who left Verizon (was a customer from the very beginning) for T-Mobile, I have been completely happy.

    With my previous phone (3g but HSPA+ compatible), I’d see speeds around 3-4Mbps. Now with my GS2, I see speeds around 12-13Mbps. It may not be the fastest, but it’s faster than every single one of my friends and family members on AT&T and Sprint.

    • slurms mckenzie

      people keep saying faster than sprint. of course its a fucking joke. i cant believe anyone thinks that network offers fast speeds

  • rantmo

    I think it’s fantastic. I don’t particularly care much about LTE vs. HSPA+ or any of the details, beyond LTE serving as a sort of legitimacy for T-Mobile. I’m glad that the AT&T money is being put to a good use, I’m glad that T-Mobile is going to keep on competing and as long as their service remains strong and affordable, the tech they use doesn’t really make a difference to me. But it’s good for them and that’s good enough for me!

  • revs


  • Gary

    I don’t like it.

    HSPA+ is blazing fast and switching the entire network over to something new and not any better for mobile browsing seems like a huge waste of time and money that will inconvenience customers.

    What is the upside? To appear more relevant to tech nerds?

    This worries me.

    • revs

      yeah this could go horribly wrong
      i dont see whats wrong with hspa42 and imagine 84 woulda been way faster than lte

      • honourbound68

        LTEadvanced is where everyone is going to. HSPA+ is still based on older technology which lacks the signal density of LTE. It’s stronger near the base station but weaker away from it. It’s cheaper to deploy but requires more towers. LTEadvanced will allow ultrahigh and denser bandwidth with very high data rates. HSPA+ theoretically maxes out at 168 mbits/s while LTEadvanced will max out at 1 gig/sec

        • cb2000a

          And don’t forget voice over LTE which will be common in a couple of years.

    • Ironzey Lewis

      I kind of agree. I don’t understand all the intricacies of LTE vs HSPA + but it seems like +84 was HSPA’s answer to LTE. Even if the real world speeds where half (42) it would still be blazing fast. Maybe it’s cheaper to change to LTE than to upgrade to +84. Possibly it’s better for long term (see what I did there?) when compared to HSPA +84.

  • Vance

    This whole idea has me going back to the old adage “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it”… I trust tmo to handle the transition effectively, but I wonder why they would decide to cut and run on what seems to be a lean, fast, technology.

  • KRS_Won

    T-Mobile, Metro, and Frog wireless should all merge. Then, Googarola can buy them.

  • Richard Yarrell

    Yes I would love to see tmobile do well I love all the devices they have on their network. The future looks bright for them.

    • Steam

      You do realize that their parent company, Deutche Telekom AG, wants to sell them off, and depending upon who buys/merges with them, T-Mobile may not even exist anymore? The AT&T thing didn’t happen (thankfully), but they can’t make DT keep T-Mobile, if they don’t want it. (Google buying a carrier is one the worst ideas ever, it only sounds good to people who don’t think more than two steps ahead)

      • octavio

        Your right it looks and sounds good on paper, but not very practicle.

  • jamal adam

    This great news. I am rooting for T-Mobile.

  • mikey

    I guess all of us G2 and MT4G owners will have to wait a few extra months to reup.

    • octavio

      Amen brother, Amen. I am assuming that T-mo will have LTE capable devices by Sept/Oct of 2012 and launch in early 2013.

  • Grandmaster

    I’d rather use that HSPA+ 84 than that battery draining LTE, im very satisfied with hspa speeds and battery life, however if anything t-mobile should focus on expanding their network instead of trying to make it faster being that their the youngest of the big 4 so their network towers are more technology advanced which why their even able to achieve such speeds. …..[just my input]

    • honourbound68

      LTE is battery draining because the carriers (Verizon more than AT&T) forces the handset to connect to both LTE and CDMA at the same time. Furthermore, when you’re talking on Verizon with LTE on, you’re actually using CDMA so you’e using more power on the CDMA side which drains the battery faster. On the other hand, HSPA+ allows voice over data (Verizon users will rejoice when voice over LTE or VoLTE rolls out this year.) LTE is the future of telecom. Surprisingly, TMO has the best infrastructure for deploying LTE but they don’t have the bandwidth and will have to recycle bandwidth that’s for HSPA+ to switch to LTE. I’m glad they’ll be able to use AT&Ts spectrum so they can stay competitive. Now only if they didn’t throttle…

  • Taylor

    As someone that hasn’t yet studied the intricacies of LTE (I have 3 kids a very hectic job), I don’t see the benefits it would have over HSPA+84. In any case, I’d always like access to higher speeds, but so far LTE chips seem to be horribly power hungry, and true mobility killers. In any case, killing off 2G/EDGE for network-wide improvements really demonstrates a commitment to the future, even though my mom may be upset when her messaging phone becomes obsolete too soon. Then again, I’d never let her make any technology choices for me…

  • Mark

    As long as their MVNO’s like Simple Mobile and Family Mobile get it I’m all for it :-)

  • Nathan D.

    I think this is awesome trying to catch up with everyone else. It has it advantages of being one of the last carrier to support LTE, look at when they did with hspa since they were the last ones to support 3g they were able to upgrade them to hspa+

  • Zak Lambert

    What is going to happen to all the T-mobile customers without an LTE radio in their phone? Early upgrades?

  • jus

    If they adopt the same model as AT&T LTE with the inability to turn off LTE radios out of the box, then you can see the throttling complaining go up slightly. Add in a LTE Iphone 5, you got double the complanium.

    Its no mystery, not as many are complaining about T-Mobile’s throttle compared to AT&T because of the complete absence of Iphone users on their network.

  • mikey

    What will tmob throttle us to if there is no 2g?

    • octavio

      Mikey, to answer your question. Since T-mo has HSPA+ aka 4g or really 3.5g and it’s refarming the 2g that runs on 1900 mhz, and begin to run HSPA+ on the 1900 mhz. Finally use the 1700 mhz AWS for LTE. The answer to your question is being throttle to regular 3g.

  • Shawn Clark

    With the line up of smartphones Tmo has coming up…I personally see no issue with the upgrade…besides u have to do what’s necessary to stay a part of the competition if not ahead.

  • brayan felix

    T mobile plz get the iphone so that pepole well be happy if t mobile does

    • octavio

      I think T-mo is waiting for a better offer from Apple, because Apple demand a lot from the carriers just to sell your favorite iphone. I picked up this article and it explained to me why T-mo don’t have the iphone http://www.informationweek.com/byte/commentary/personal-tech/smart-phones/240000527 (in my opinion iphone is so overrated and don’t have that flexibility that android has) PS all the data hogs can stay on ATT/VW/SPRINT.