Optical/IP Networks

T-Mobile Brings HSPA+ to 10 New Markets

T-Mobile US Inc. is bringing faster mobile broadband to 10 new towns and cities and promises that 140 million Americans in over 25 markets will get its 42Mbit/s update by mid-year.

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:

  • Big AT&T & T-Mobile 4G Buildout Ahead?
  • Is 4G Worth Losing T-Mobile?
  • T-Mobile Demos 42Mbit/s HSPA+ in NYC
  • T-Mobile Lights Up 42 Mbit/s
  • MWC 2010: T-Mobile Boosts Backhaul

    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

  • WilliamofOccam 12/5/2012 | 5:08:42 PM
    re: T-Mobile Brings HSPA+ to 10 New Markets

    Given that T-Mobile is investing so much in HSPA+ (presumably with AT&T's tacit approval), how serious is AT&T about LTE deployment in the near future? Labelling HSPA+  as 4G appears to be a sharp marketing move to fend off Verizon's "real" 4G LTE competition, at least in the short run.

    joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:08:42 PM
    re: T-Mobile Brings HSPA+ to 10 New Markets



    Indeed so.


    Also, T-Mobile doesn't really have a choice but to keep spending. If by some chance the merger doesn't happen then the 42MBit/s upgrade is the best answer they have to LTE right now.

    joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:08:42 PM
    re: T-Mobile Brings HSPA+ to 10 New Markets

    That, Billy Boy, that is the $39B question, isn't it?


    This we know:

    AT&T says in its release that it commits to covering 95% of all Americans with 4G LTE. In conferences, they've said they'll use the AWS spectrum to deploy more 4G.


    The release clearly states 4G LTE not just 4G.


    It does seem, however, that even with T-Mobile's owned towers and rented tower space (Does AT&T get to keep all those deals even?) we're looking at a fairly monumental build-out to get to that target. I suspect we should keep a close eye on the wording of any conditions that the FCC puts on the merger to see how much wiggle room AT&T has over what counts as 4G in this case.

    paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:08:42 PM
    re: T-Mobile Brings HSPA+ to 10 New Markets


    Actually, if AT&T approved of T-Mobile's spending it would open them up to lawsuits.  It is one of those very gray areas where companies that have not yet merged can not act as one entity.  If they do collude then that is a problem, especially if there are conditions put on the merger by regulators.  It is definitely a tightrope to walk.




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