T-Mobile said it plans to upgrade its cellular data network to EDGE by the end of this year, but has no immediate plans for 3G. The carrier has said it will likely deploy 3G by 2007 or 2008, but that's long after rivals Verizon, Sprint, and Cingular will have launched their 3G networks. Many analysts fear T-Mobile risks falling behind its rivals on the 3G front and that if it does not move quicker, it may find itself too late to the 3G party to catch up. Others claim that T-Mobile may be making the smarter play here. Since T-Mobile is a GSM carrier, the company's immediate 3G option is UMTS, which in its current iteration does not offer vastly superior data speeds to EDGE. By opting for EDGE and waiting for the next version of UMTS, HSDPA, T-Mobile may be the smarter carrier. Regardless, T-Mobile does not yet have sufficient spectrum to deploy 3G.
For more on T-Mobile's 3G plans:
- check out this blog entry
PLUS: T-Mobile launches prepaid in a market where it does not offer service. Article