T-Mobile USA said it deployed HSPA 7.2 network technology--technically twice as fast as its previous 3G network--across its entire footprint. The carrier also reiterated its plans to deploy the even faster HSPA+ technology across the bulk of its network this year.
T-Mobile first disclosed its HSPA+ aspirations last year, and recently began HSPA+ trials in Philadelphia. T-Mobile's decision to deploy HSPA 7.2 across its footprint is an intermediate step toward HSPA+, which can technically provide peak data speeds of 21 Mbps.
Although a small cable operator in Oregon, BendBroadband, began commercially offering HSPA+ in December, T-Mobile will be the first national carrier to widely adopt HSPA+.
Further, the No. 4 wireless carrier said its 3G network now covers more than 200 million people. That, coupled with its recent network upgrades, marks a significant turning point for the carrier, which has historically trailed its larger Tier 1 rivals in terms of network speeds and upgrades.
By contrast, No. 2 operator AT&T Mobility--the nation's other GSM-based carrier--plans to deploy HSPA 7.2 in 25 of the country's 30 largest markets this year, and expects the upgrade to be in place in 90 percent of its 3G footprint by the end of 2011. The company also plans to begin LTE trials this year, with larger deployments coming in 2011.
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