The operator said Tuesday that it has switched on 21Mbit/s High-Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) services, which it sells as "4G," in 10 new markets. These include Ames, Iowa; Anderson, Indiana; Battle Creek, Benton Harbor and Jackson, Michigan; Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado; Lawrence and Manhattan, Kansas; Springfield, Illinois; and Wichita Falls, Texas.
Overall, the operator says that it now has the faster network capability in 167 cities and towns across the U.S., covering more than 200 million people in total. You can see a full list of coverage areas here.
Additionally, in 2011, T-Mobile is doubling the speed of its HSPA+ network to achieve a theoretical download speed of 42 Mbit/s. Users in Las Vegas, New York and Orlando, Fla., are the first to get the "HSPA+ 42" update. Chicago and a further expansion of the New York network into Long Island, N.Y., and Northern New Jersey will follow. By mid-year, T-Mobile expects more than 140 million Americans in over 25 markets to have access to these increased 4G speeds.
T-Mobile says that its "original 4G phones" showed average download speeds approaching 5 Mbit/s in some cities and peak speeds of nearly 12 Mbit/s on the 21Mbit/s upgrade. The 42Mbit/s upgrade should increase those averages with suitable devices.
Why this matters T-Mobile's HSPA+ deployment is one of the indicators of where AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) might start to deploy LTE using T-Mobile's 1700MHz AWS spectrum, if it wins its US$39 billion bid for the smaller operator. T-Mobile has so far been deploying HSPA+ in the areas where it has the backhaul capabilities in place to support the faster uploads and downloads, which can cause bottlenecks at the connections that link the towers to the wired Internet.
For more Read about T-Mobile's HSPA+ moves below:
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile