Rumor Mill: Is T-Mobile getting into the netbook game?

T-Mobile USA may soon be joining its larger Tier 1 competitors in the netbook market, according to the blog TmoNews, which cited an unnamed source.

The blog said the nation's No. 4 carrier will launch the Dell Mini 10 netbook at the end of March, though it did not provide a specific release date or pricing information. The Dell Mini has been a popular choice for wireless carriers. Sprint Nextel recently introduced the netbook and AT&T Mobility offers a similar version of the device.

T-Mobile has historically lagged the nation's larger Tier 1 carriers in both network buildout and Web-connected 3G devices. However, the carrier has kicked its efforts up a notch with its HSPA+ network upgrade, which it will be deploying this year. Last week at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, the company said it will release its first HSPA+ device, the webConnect Rocket Laptop Stick, in March. The company plans to deploy HSPA+ across the breadth of its network by the end of 2010.

T-Mobile's possible entrance into the netbook market comes as no real surprise. The netbooks market exploded last year partially thanks to a variety of carriers subsidizing the gadgets in a bid to drive up mobile data revenues. Netbook shipments jumped 79 percent last year to 30.2 million units, according to a recent report by research firm Strategy Analytics, driven by growth in North America and Western Europe.

A T-Mobile spokeswoman declined to comment on the report.

For more:
- see this TmoNews post

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