T-Mobile USA rolls out dual-carrier HSPA+ in more markets than expected

T-Mobile USA announced it will launch dual-carrier HSPA+ in 50 markets across the U.S, including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles and Miami. Dual-carrier HSPA+ effectively doubles the speed of T-Mobile's HSPA+ 21 network to theoretical speeds of 42 Mbps.

T-Mobile had already deployed the technology in three markets--Las Vegas, New York and Orlando--and during the CTIA Wireless 2011 trade show it made an announcement that the faster speed technology would be in 25 markets by mid-2011. The operator exceeded its promise by launching 55 markets.

To support the dual-carrier HSPA+ launch, T-Mobile began selling its first 42 Mbps-capable product, the T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 laptop stick, on May 25. Built by ZTE, the stick sells for $100 after a $50 mail-in rebate and with a qualifying mobile broadband plan (2 GB or higher) on a two year service agreement, with voice line and enrollment in Easy Pay. Customers can also purchase the T-Mobile Rocket 3.0 without a contract for $200.

The higher data speeds come about because T-Mobile is taking two 5-megahertz HSPA+ downlink carriers--each supporting theoretical speeds of 21 Mbps--and bonding them together. The resulting bandwidth puts T-Mobile on par with Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) LTE network.

AT&T and T-Mobile are lobbying federal agencies to approve AT&T's proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile.

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