T-Mobile USA planning upgrade to 42 Mbps HSPA+ in 2011

T-Mobile USA has confirmed it will increase data speeds on its HSPA+ network to peak rates of 42 Mbps in 2011.

The operator has been aggressively rolling out HSPA+ with theoretical peak download speeds of 21 Mbps with plans to cover 185 million people in 100 major markets by the end of 2010. In July, T-Mobile announced it had rolled out service in 50 major metro markets, covering 85 million people. Average download speeds are clocked in the 5 Mbps to 8 Mbps range using T-Mobile's webConnect Rocket laptop stick.

In July, the blog TMoNews cited a picture taken at a T-Mobile managers meeting in Seattle, saying it indicated T-Mobile hopes to stay ahead of the rest of the wireless pack by increasing the speed of its network through software upgrades. The picture showed a chart with T-Mobile ahead of "VZ LTE" (presumably Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) planned LTE network), WiMAX from Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and "AT&T 14.4."

"Our new network offers today's available 4G speeds to more people than any other wireless network in the country, and we're not done yet," said Neville Ray, chief network officer with T-Mobile USA, in a statement. "We are now on pace to more than double our HSPA+ footprint -- reaching more than 200 million people by this year -- with plans to offer 42-Mbps theoretical speeds in 2011."

T-Mobile will make the move to higher data speeds by implementing dual carrier, also called dual cell, technology and without intensive hardware upgrades. The technology uses advanced multiplexing techniques to combine two wireless data carriers into a single carrier. Telus recently revealed it has begun work on HSPA+ with dual-carrier technology to obtain higher data speeds without adding a plethora of extra antennas. New HSPA+ dual carrier compatible devices are expected to be available during the first quarter of 2011, Telus has said.

 For more:
- see this Light Reading Mobile article

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