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3G/HSPA

T-Mobile Preps HSPA+ Launch

Deutsche Telekom AG (NYSE: DT)'s T-Mobile in Germany says it will "soon" launch a 3G service with speeds up to 21 Mbit/s in the country and will start marketing a device for the service next month.

At the CeBIT trade fair in Hannover, Germany, on Tuesday the operator laid out its plans for upgrading its 3G network as it showcased demos of evolved high-speed packet access (HSPA+) and Long Term Evolution (LTE). (See Deutsche Telekom Revs 3G.)

Deutsche Telekom said it would start marketing a "web'n'walk" stick that supports theoretical peak rates on the downlink of up to 21 Mbit/s. The launch of this upgraded 3G service will be "soon," according to the carrier.

In the U.S., T-Mobile US Inc. was the first operator to launch HSPA+ in Philadelphia in September last year. The operator announced plans at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona last month to roll out the technology nationwide, which could potentially make T-Mobile the fastest 3G network in the U.S. by the end of the year. (See MWC 2010: T-Mob's 3G Speed Race and MWC 2010: T-Mobile Boosts Backhaul.)

But in Germany, T-Mobile plans to rev up the 3G network even further this year. The operator said that it will increase 3G network speeds in Germany to peak rates of up to 42 Mbit/s in the course of 2010. (See MWC 2010: Dual-Carrier Duel, MWC 2010: DT Plans for More Data, and MWC 2010: Olivier Baujard, CTO, Deutsche Telekom.)

The carrier describes what it's doing to its 3G network as "the greatest 3G modernization and upgrade campaign of Deutsche Telekom to date. The bandwidth upgrades to HSPA+ are just part of the project. Other elements of this network overhaul include "replacing a major portion of UMTS/HSPA network technology, significantly increasing 3G coverage, and enhancing the connection bandwidth of the base stations."

These 3G upgrades, which will be completed by the end of 2010, will make the network more green as well. T-Mobile says the new technology will ensure a 30 percent reduction in the power consumption at cell sites.

For the HSPA+ demos at CeBIT this week, Nokia Networks supplied infrastructure, and Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) supplied the device technology. For the LTE demonstration, the infrastructure came from Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , and the devices were from Samsung Corp.

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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