T-Mobile USA MVNO Simple Mobile is now offering "4G" services, an indication that T-Mobile's decision to brand its HSPA+ network as a "4G" offering has trickled down to the companies that resell its service.
Simple Mobile's website now features an advertisement showing a 3G character hobbling around with a walker, while a 4G character flies around in a cape and tights, as if a super hero. Though the Simple Mobile website doesn't appear to provide any further information on its 4G services, the ad is notable considering the battle over 4G marketing among major carriers.
T-Mobile last year began advertising its HSPA+ network as providing 4G speeds. The action was a knock against Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S), which resells Clearwire's (NASDAQ:CLWR) mobile WiMAX service under the Sprint 4G moniker. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) got into the game late last year with the launch of its LTE network, which it advertises as "4G LTE." And, not to be left out, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) last week announced it, too, will advertise its HSPA+ network as a 4G service (as well as its forthcoming LTE network).
Simple Mobile announced its MVNO deal with T-Mobile in March. The company offers plans ranging from $40 to $60, the latter offering unlimited voice, text and data. Interestingly, Simple Mobile does not sell phones; instead, the company provides provisioned SIM cards that users can insert into unlocked GSM phones. Thus, only phones that support T-Mobile's HSPA+ network technology would qualify as supporting 4G speeds.
And if Simple Mobile continues to leverage T-Mobile's data network, the MVNO's services are poised to increase in speed later this year. T-Mobile last week provided additional details on its planned upgrade to HSPA+ 42 technology, which provides theoretical peak speeds of 42 Mbps and represents a doubling of the speeds provided by the carrier's current HSPA+ 21 network, which supports peak speeds of 21 Mbps. The carrier plans to launch HSPA+ 42 sometime this year, and will cover around 140 million POPs with the technology by year-end
- see the Simple Mobile website
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