T-Mobile's Ray promises national HSPA+ deployment by mid-2010

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CHICAGO--T-Mobile USA's Neville Ray, senior vice president of the carrier's engineering and operations, said today at the 4G World conference that the company would deploy HSPA+ services nationwide by 2010. Ray added that HSPA+ is now available in sections of the Philadelphia area.

Calling HSPA+ "the most cost effective way for operators to move into the mobile broadband space very aggressively," Ray said the technology easily overlays an existing network footprint, utilizes current spectrum holdings, is backward compatible with all services and boasts a device ecosystem that is rapidly maturing.

Interestingly, he also said that T-Mobile is very committed to LTE. "We will be an LTE house at some point in time, but it depends on how this path develops."

Ray also expressed some surprise at keynote remarks from Kris Rinne, AT&T's senior vice president of architecture and planning, who on Tuesday said AT&T had no plans to migrate to HSPA+ at this time and instead was deploying HSPA 7.2 throughout its network. She said the carrier plans to have the upgrade in place in 90 percent of its 3G footprint by the end of 2011.

"That's a slow migration," Ray said, noting that T-Mobile has only just started to use its AWS spectrum. "We have a lot of spectrum to grow into."

Ray's keynote came at the end of the four-day conference sponsored by Trendsmedia/Yankee Group that was devoted to 4G. Only a few dozen attendees remained at the conference to hear Ray's remarks.

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Rinne: AT&T has 21% of global HSPA market

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