BendBroadband, a small cable operator in Oregon, does not have the same stature as T-Mobile USA, but the company beat the wireless operator to the punch by launching in the nation's first commercial HSPA+ network.
BendBroadband's service is only available in select areas in central Oregon, but can provide connections of more than 15 Mbps on the downlink (though typical speeds range between 6 and 8 Mbps). The company is offering a range of pricing plans, including ones in which mobile broadband is bundled with fixed broadband connections.
The bundled plans start at $19.99 per month for 2 GB and range up to $49.99 per month for 50 GB, with a $1.50/GB overage charge. The standalone mobile broadband plans start at $34.99 per month for 2 GB and go up to $64.99 per month for 50 GB, with the same overage charge.
In an interview with IntoMobile, BendBroadband CTO Frank Miller said the carrier counts 17 cell sites now and has roughly 20,000 potential customers in its cable footprint. The company eventually plans to migrate to LTE, and is currently using Ericsson equipment for its packet core and radio access network.
T-Mobile, a major proponent of the HSPA+ evolutionary path, plans to deploy HSPA+ services nationwide by 2010. The carrier is currently testing the technology in the Philadelphia area.
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